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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To W. D. Fox   [25 January 1841]


Birds has gone to the printer.

Continues "to collect all kinds of facts about ""varieties and species"" " for his "some-day work".

Would be grateful for descriptions of offspring of crossbred domestic animals.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [25 Jan 1841]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 59)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-586

To G. R. Gray   [February 1841]


In a revise [of Birds] CD has altered "Colaptes Chilensis Vigors" to "Chrysoptilus Chilensis G. R. Gray". Is that right?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Robert Gray
Date:  [Feb 1841]
Classmark:  The British Library (Egerton MS 2348: 239)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-587

From G. E. Bearpark   12 February 1841


Requesting information about membership of the Geological Society of London.

Author:  George Edmundson Bearpark
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Feb 1841
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/L/R/6/126)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-587F

To G. R. Gray   [February–March 1841]


Sends proof of index of final number of Birds for checking.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Robert Gray
Date:  [Feb–Mar 1841]
Classmark:  The British Library (Egerton MS 2348: 240)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-589

To Charles Lyell   [21 February – 4 April 1841]


Answers a number of queries from Lyell concerning geography and geology of Chiloé Island and its relationship to the Cordilleras.

Asks about "perched rocks" on Jura and notes their relevance to Louis Agassiz’s theory. Discusses Agassiz’s view on Jura.

Mentions seeing Robert Brown.

Notes R. I. Murchison’s discovery of shells in central England.

Weakness of negative evidence.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [21 Feb – 4 Apr 1841]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.26)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-590

To M. J. Berkeley   [March 1841]


Looks forward to the paper on CD’s edible fungus specimen from Tierra del Fuego [read 16 Mar 1841; Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 19 (1845): 37–43].

Sends a correction: Fagus betuloides, not F. antarctica, is the common tree of Tierra del Fuego.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Date:  [Mar 1841]
Classmark:  Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/47)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-591

To Charles Lyell   [March 1841]


Discusses the role of ice in determining the geological features of the Jura. Mentions view of Agassiz. Objects to idea of "a [sea of ice] carrying rocks". Notes Agassiz’s earlier view of "ice expanded in the line of the Great Swiss Valley". Comments on Pentlands.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [Mar 1841]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.27)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-592

To Louis Agassiz   1 March [1841]


Has enjoyed reading LA’s book [Études sur les glaciers (1840)].

Hopes LA will pardon manner in which CD has alluded to his work on glaciers in his Journal of researches, of which he sends a copy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Jean Louis Rodolphe (Louis) Agassiz
Date:  1 Mar [1841]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (MS Am 1419: 280)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-593

To Charles Lyell   [9 March 1841]


Defends his theory [in "Parallel roads of Glen Roy" (1839), Collected papers 1: 87–137] against the view that the "roads" were formed by glacial action.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [9 Mar 1841]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.23)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-594

To Charles Lyell   [12 March 1841]


Discusses at length Louis Agassiz’s book [Études sur les glaciers (1840)] and Agassiz’s explanation of moraines. Defends his own theory of the importance of floating ice. Relates glacier theory to his own interpretation of Glen Roy.

Mentions a paper he is writing on South American boulders and till [Collected papers 1: 145–63].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [12? Mar 1841]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.25)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-595

To A. Y. Spearman   27 March 1841


The Smith, Elder & Co. account for the now published fifth number of the third part of the Zoology is presented.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Young Spearman
Date:  27 Mar 1841
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4585 paper 10688)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-595A

From Leonard Jenyns   [c. 30 March 1841]



LJ has had a letter from R. T. Lowe in Madeira who thinks Scorpaena histrio, a species from Galapagos described in no. 1 [of Fish], is the same as the one in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. LJ does not think it is possible.

Author:  Leonard Jenyns; Leonard Blomefield
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c.30 Mar 1841]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 279
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-596

To William Lonsdale   14 April [1841]


Sends paper on erratic boulders [Collected papers 1: 145–63] to the Society. Has taken two months to complete it because of illness.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Lonsdale
Date:  14 Apr [1841]
Classmark:  Geological Society of London (GSL/L/R/6/299)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-597

From J. S. Henslow   19 April 1841


Reports observations on the behaviour of captive harvest mouse and dormouse. When descending sticks mouse uses its tail like a prehensile-tailed monkey.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  19 Apr 1841
Classmark:  DAR 166: 176
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-598

From William C. Redfield    May 1841


Is sending through John Blunt a copy of the last geological report of the state of New York along with a short paper on the tornado that passed through the state of New Jersey in June 1835.

Author:  William C. Redfield
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  May 1841
Classmark:  Yale University: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (William C. Redfield’s outbound letter book 1835–41 (z117 00151 2) p. 239)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-598A

To A. Y. Spearman   17 May 1841


The third number of part four of the Zoology has been published. CD transmits the Smith, Elder & Co. account.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Young Spearman
Date:  17 May 1841
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (T1/4585 paper 10688)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-598B

To [E. W. Brayley?]   8 May [1841]


Thanks recipient for finding reference on carbonate of lime. Doubtful when he will publish his geological memoranda.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  8 May [1841]
Classmark:  Christie’s, London (dealers) (online 31 October – 8 November 2018, lot 3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-598F

To Leonard Jenyns   24 June [1841]


Doctors predict it will take years for CD’s constitution to recover.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Leonard Jenyns; Leonard Blomefield
Date:  24 June [1841]
Classmark:  Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-599

To Emma Darwin   [1 July 1841]


Family news. Mainly concerned about Doddy’s [W. E. Darwin’s] health.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Emma Wedgwood; Emma Darwin
Date:  [1 July 1841]
Classmark:  DAR 210.8: 16
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-600

To Emma Darwin   [3 July 1841]


The happy family life at Shrewsbury. CD is looking so well his father would not have known there was anything the matter with him. The year’s accounts come to £1380.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Emma Wedgwood; Emma Darwin
Date:  [3 July 1841]
Classmark:  DAR 210.8: 17
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-601
Document type
letter (33)
01 (1)
02 (4)
03 (7)
04 (2)
05 (3)
06 (1)
07 (6)
08 (3)
09 (2)
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Darwin & Glen Roy


Although Darwin was best known for his geological work in South America and other remote Beagle destinations, he made one noteworthy attempt to explain a puzzling feature of British geology.  In 1838, two years after returning from the voyage, he travelled…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … To William Buckland, [November 1840-17 February 1841] To Charles Lyell, [9 March 1841] …

Darwin’s reading notebooks


In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to read in Notebook C (Notebooks, pp. 319–28). In 1839, these lists were copied and continued in separate notebooks. The first of these reading notebooks (DAR 119…

Matches: 25 hits

  • … to M. Therry [Broughton 1832]— a 2 d  Edit preparing in 1841.— Lesson Hist Nat des …
  • … Generale. Iside. St Hilaire [I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1841]— Some wonderful facts on Hybrids read …
  • … [Butler 1736] Life & corresp. of Beethoven [Schindler 1841] Locke on Education …
  • … } Hist of India— [Elphinstone 1841 and ?Macpherson 1812] Macpherson’s …
  • … Lee Scot’s Narrative of Shipwreck in China [J. L. Scott 1841] Lockarts Life of Burns …
  • … French [Ségur 1825] Catlins Indians [Catlin 1841].— L d . Dudley’s Correspondence …
  • … in the Himalayan Provinces by W. Moorcroft. Edited by Wilson 1841 [Moorcroft and Trebeck 1841
  • … Sicily [Philippi 1836].— Paxton Pocket Bot. Dict. 1841 [Paxton 1840]— probably good—every …
  • … r  Knight from Hort: & Royal Soc. 15 s . Longman [Knight 1841] Gardener’s Magazine …
  • … From Herschel’s Review Quart. June /41/ [Herschel 1841] I see I  must   study  Whewell on …
  • … de morphologie. par August. de Saint-Hilaire [Saint-Hilaire 1841]: review annal. des Scien. p. 100 …
  • … Ruminants [Jardine ed. 1835–6]// on Horses [C. H. Smith 1841]// Exotic Moths including Si[l]k …
  • … und Wiesengräser &c Von. J. Metzger. Heidelberg 1841 [Metzger 1841] Read Henslow in …
  • … [ Veterinarian ] Veterinary: Jan & Feb. number 1841. Karkeek on the geological History …
  • … D r . Etherington Observ. on Instinct [Etherington 1841–3]. Whittaker 1844. in Parts. cheap. 1.6 a …
  • … Geological Society (read) Goulds Kangaroos [Gould 1841–2]— Birds of Himalaya [Gould 1834] ( …
  • … Martineau 1837] Bamfords Life of a Radical [Bamford 1841] [DAR *119: 21v.] …
  • … Eliza 50  has good Edition Catlins Indians [Catlin 1841] Edwardes. Voyage up Amazon …
  • … End Feb. 23 rd . Henslow Pamph. on Wheat [Henslow 1841]— fact about number & size of …
  • … Generale. Isid. G. St. Hilaire: [I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1841] d[itt]o: 10 th  Journal de …
  • … Dec. 10 th  The Hour & Man. H. Martineau [H. Martineau 1841] —— 12 Sir S. Romilly’s …
  • … 1836–7] 26 th . Carlyle. Hero Worship [Carlyle 1841].— moderate April 4 th . …
  • … K. Porter 1821–2]— [DAR 119: 11a] 1841 May 13 Stillingfleet Tracts …
  • … Paper on Zoosperms in Annales des Sciences no. 1: 1841: [Prévost and Dumas 1824] 23 d …
  • … abstracted 22 d  Lyells Elem. 2 d  Edit. [Lyell 1841] d[itt]o.— Jan 3 d . …

Darwin in letters, 1837–1843: The London years to 'natural selection'


The seven-year period following Darwin's return to England from the Beagle voyage was one of extraordinary activity and productivity in which he became recognised as a naturalist of outstanding ability, as an author and editor, and as a professional…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … 1837a and 1838; W. J. Hooker and G. A. W. Arnott 1836, 1841; J. D. Hooker 1844–7, 1845, 1846, 1853–5 …
  • … sub-laws.' To his cousin, W. D. Fox, [25 January 1841] , he wrote: 'If you …
  • … his stays at Shrewsbury and Maer during the summers of 1841 and 1842 show that he was making …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album


Here is a list of people that appeared in the photograph album Darwin received for his birthday on 12 February 1877 from scientific admirers in the Netherlands. Many thanks to Hester Loeff for identifying and researching them. No. …

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Publisher 36 Nijmegen 9 october 1841 Zaltbommel 14 january …
  • … University 36 Groningen 01 january 1841 Holwerd 03-04-1890 …
  • … and Geology   Deventer 3 may 1841 Leiden 16 may 1922 …
  • … 36 Assen 13 february 1841 Delft 1 june 1891 Assen …
  • … Mag.”   Amsterdam 16 december 1841 Baarderadeel 18 april …

Alexander Burns Usborne


Alexander Burns Usborne was born in Kendal, Westmorland, in 1808, the son of Alexander and Margaret Usborne; his father died in 1818 and in his will was described as the purser on HMS Hannibal. His son joined the navy in 1825 aged 16 as a second-class…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … after his recovery worked in the Hydrographic Office; in the 1841 census he was living in Devonport, …
  • … ( Death index ) Census returns of England and Wales 1841 (The National Archives: Public …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album


List of people appearing in the photograph album Darwin received from scientific admirers in the Netherlands for his birthday on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Hester Loeff for providing this list and for permission to make her research available.…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Publisher 36 Nijmegen 9 October 1841 Zaltbommel 14 January …
  • … University 36 Groningen 1 January 1841 Holwerd 3 April 1890 …
  • … and Geology   Deventer 3 May 1841 Leiden 16 May 1922 …
  • … 36 Assen 13 February 1841 Delft 1 June 1891 Assen …
  • …   Amsterdam 16 December 1841 Baarderadeel 18 April 1891   …

Darwin’s observations on his children


Charles Darwin’s observations on the development of his children, began the research that culminated in his book The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, published in 1872, and his article ‘A biographical sketch of an infant’, published in Mind…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … Parallels in the development of Anne Elizabeth, born 2 March 1841, were also recorded during this …
  • … box but not to scold at it—[36] 27  January. 1841. When eight months old, & for some …
  • … on page after next) [31v.] 30  Feb. 20 th . [1841]— Was amused & laughed out, at my …
  • … were added considerably later; Anne Elizabeth was born in 1841 and Henrietta Emma in 1843. Mrs Locke …

Annie Darwin born


Daughter Anne Elizabeth (Annie) born

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Daughter Anne Elizabeth (Annie) born …

The death of Anne Elizabeth Darwin


Charles and Emma Darwin’s eldest daughter, Annie, died at the age of ten in 1851.   Emma was heavily pregnant with their fifth son, Horace, at the time and could not go with Charles when he took Annie to Malvern to consult the hydrotherapist, Dr Gully.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Our poor child, Annie, was born in Gower St on March 2 d . 1841. & expired at Malvern at 1  …

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)


George Eliot was the pen name of celebrated Victorian novelist Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880). She was born on the outskirts of Nuneaton in Warwickshire and was educated at boarding schools from the age of five until she was 16. Her education ended when she…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … to care for her father and to run the family household. In 1841 she moved to Coventry with her …

Darwin & the Geological Society


The science of geology in the early nineteenth century was a relatively new enterprise forged from the merging of several distinct traditions of inquiry, from mineralogy and the very practical business of mining, to theories of the earth’s origin and the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … and becoming its secretary (a position he held until 1841).  Taken as a whole, these papers …

Syms Covington


When Charles Darwin embarked on the Beagle voyage in 1831, Syms Covington was ‘fiddler & boy to Poop-cabin’. Covington kept an illustrated journal of his observations and experiences on the voyage, noting wildlife, landscapes, buildings and people and,…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … arrived in Australia, or what he first did there, but in 1841 he married Eliza Twyford (originally …

Fritz Müller


Fritz Müller, a German who spent most of his life in political exile in Brazil, described Darwin as his second father, and Darwin's son, Francis, wrote that, although they never met 'the correspondence with Müller, which continued to the close of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … for a year before beginning his university career in 1841 at Berlin, where he studied mathematics …

Emma Darwin


Emma Darwin, Charles Darwin's wife and first cousin, was born Emma Wedgwood, the eighth and youngest child of Josiah Wedgwood II and Bessy Allen. Her father was the eldest son of the famous pottery manufacturer, Josiah Wedgwood I. Her mother was one…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … the same year, and Anne Elizabeth Darwin was born in March 1841. In 1842, Charles bought Down House …

Thomas Burgess


As well as its complement of sailors, the Beagle also carried a Royal Marine sergeant and seven marines, one of whom was Thomas Burgess. When the Beagle set sail he was twenty one, having been born in October 1810 to Israel and Hannah Burgess of Lancashire…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … His eldest daughter, Mary, was born in Stockport and in 1841 the family, with three-month old Eliza, …

John Lort Stokes


John Lort Stokes, naval officer, was Charles Darwin’s cabinmate on the Beagle voyage – not always an enviable position.  After Darwin’s death, Stokes penned a description of their evenings spent working at the large table at the centre, Stokes at his…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Australasian waters, succeeding to the ship’s command in 1841, and eventually returned to England in …

Bibliography of Darwin’s geological publications


This list includes papers read by Darwin to the Geological Society of London, his books on the geology of the Beagle voyage, and other publications on geological topics.  Author-date citations refer to entries in the Darwin Correspondence Project’s…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … on the Coast of Brazil.  Philosophical Magazine  19 (1841): 257-60.  [ Shorter publications , pp …

George James Stebbing


George James Stebbing (1803—1860) travelled around the world with Charles Darwin on board HMS Beagle and helped him with measuring temperature on at least one occasion. However, Stebbing barely registers in Darwin’s correspondence. The only mention omits…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … after the return of the  Beagle  in 1836, but in 1841 he set up a business as a manufacturer of …

Darwin’s hothouse and lists of hothouse plants


Darwin became increasingly involved in botanical experiments in the years after the publication of Origin. The building of a small hothouse - a heated greenhouse - early in 1863  greatly increased the range of plants that he could keep for scientific…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … gardening  (Loudon 1835), a copy of which Darwin signed in 1841 (see the copy in the Darwin Library …

A tale of two bees


Darwinian evolution theory fundamentally changed the way we understand the environment and even led to the coining of the word 'ecology'. Darwin was fascinated by bees: he devised experiments to study the comb-building technique of honey bees and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … 5 May 1872] ,  Correspondence , vol. 20) In an 1841 letter to  Gardeners’ Chronicle …
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