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Darwin Correspondence Project
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From Edward Forbes   [after 14 February 1845]


Sends information on Gryphaea orientalis. [See South America, p. 212.]

Author:  Edward Forbes
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 14 Feb 1845]
Classmark:  DAR 43.1: 47–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-809

To Emma Darwin  [7–8 February 1845]


Mainly news of the three children.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Emma Wedgwood; Emma Darwin
Date:  [7–8 Feb 1845]
Classmark:  DAR 210.8: 22
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-810

To Emma Darwin   [3–4 February 1845]


News of the children and books he is reading.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Emma Wedgwood; Emma Darwin
Date:  [3–4 Feb 1845]
Classmark:  Sotheby’s (dealers) (28 March 1983)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-821

To Edward William Brayley   7 February 1845


Discusses EWB’s application for a position and his qualifications.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Brayley
Date:  7 Feb 1845
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (41)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-822

To Trenham Reeks   [before 8 February 1845]


CD sends queries on chemical composition of various Beagle mineral specimens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Trenham Reeks
Date:  [before 8 Feb 1845]
Classmark:  DAR 39: 51–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-823

To Charles Lyell   [8 February 1845]


Remarks on fossils described in A. D. d’Orbigny’s Voyage dans l’Amérique méridionale.

Asks CL whether he has talked with John Murray concerning 2d ed. [of Journal of researches].

Mentions conversation with Hugh Cuming about South American shells. Has had G. B. Sowerby (elder) look at some specimens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  [8 Feb 1845]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (42)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-824

From Trenham Reeks   8 February 1845


Sends results of chemical tests on specimens [of salt, see South America, pp. 73–5].

Encloses abstract from Justus Liebig on composition of bones and their ability to withstand decay.

Author:  Trenham Reeks
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Feb 1845
Classmark:  DAR 39: 43–4, 49–50
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-825

To J. D. Hooker   [10 February 1845]



Congratulates JDH and condoles with him on possible position at Edinburgh. Although CD will miss him bitterly, he encourages JDH to view it as a good opportunity.

Sorry to hear that Humboldt is failing.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [10 Feb 1845]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 27
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-826

To W. D. Fox   [13 February 1845]


News of his family and his own health. He is able to work three hours a day on the geology of South America.

Harriet Martineau is greatly excited by mesmerism.

Tells of Sydney Smith’s dream.

Asks for some [S. American] potatoes to test "sporting".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [13 Feb 1845]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 69a)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-827

To Leonard Jenyns   14 February [1845]


Discusses checks on growth of species population; use of term "mutation" in his species theory. His belief in species mutability.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Leonard Jenyns; Leonard Blomefield
Date:  14 Feb [1845]
Classmark:  Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-828

From Alcide Charles Victor Dessalines d’Orbigny   14 February 1845


Agrees that CD’s fossil shells do not differ from those ADd’O saw in South America. Apparent differences due to errors by G. B. Sowerby. Collection magnificent; recommends special publication. Enabled ADd’O to correct error in dating of sandstone of Concepción. Lists geological periods represented in collection from Jurassic to Diluvian. Collection includes unusual group of crepidules.

Author:  Alcide Charles Victor Dessalines (Alcide) d’Orbigny
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Feb 1845
Classmark:  DAR 43.1: 62–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-829

From A. C. V. D. d’Orbigny  [14 February 1845?]


Identifications of CD’s fossil shells. New species marked; many described previously by ADd’O.

Author:  Alcide Charles Victor Dessalines (Alcide) d’Orbigny
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [14 Feb 1845?]
Classmark:  DAR 43.1: 68–89
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-830

From Trenham Reeks   25 February 1845


Encloses analysis of salt from Patagonia. Cannot account for its inferiority.

Author:  Trenham Reeks
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Feb 1845
Classmark:  DAR 39: 45–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-831

From J. D. Hooker   [late February 1845]



Previous letter [missing] on Edinburgh position was ill-tempered. Friends assure him that he ought to be thankful for opportunity to try for professorship.

Reports meeting with Humboldt in Paris.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [late Feb 1845]
Classmark:  DAR 100: 165–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-832
in keywords
162 Items
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Darwin The Collector


Look at nature more closely and create and record your own natural collections.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities provide an introduction to Charles Darwin, how and why he collected so many specimens …

Detecting Darwin


Who was Charles Darwin? What is he famous for? Why is he still important?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Pupils act as Darwin detectives, exploring clues about Darwin’s life and work. No prior knowledge …

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: 5 hits

  • … Stoke’s Library 1 Cambridge. Library 2 Royal Coll of Surgeons [DAR *119 …
  • … de l’Homme,” by Dr. Pierquin, published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4   …
  • … 1829]; read Letter to M. Therry [Broughton 1832]— a 2 d  Edit preparing in 1841.— Lesson …
  • … of habits of birds. Temminck Manuel D’ornithologie. 2 d  Edit: Introduction on migration of …
  • … Ker Porter’s Travels in Caucasus [R. K. Porter 1821–2] praised by Silliman poor Cyclop. of …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick


Darwin made a famous comment about parallels between changes in language and species change. Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Leeds University, talks about the importance of the development of language to Darwin, what…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … to Darwin, how did language begin? 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? And …
  • … sense, a more developed moral sense, and so forth. 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? …

Darwin And Evolution


What is evolution? What did Darwin discover and how did he come to his conclusions?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities give an introduction to Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Specimens brought …

Darwin's Fantastical Voyage


Learn about Darwin's adventures on his epic journey.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … These activities explore Darwin’s life changing voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Using letters home, …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments


The year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend and supporter; Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and father of Darwin’s friend…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] ). However, Hooker, at the …
  • … idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not until 25 …
  • … abstract of the paper was read before the Linnean Society on 2 February, and in April Darwin wrote …
  • … 1867), and Darwin summarised them in  Variation  2: 106–7, concluding, ‘it follows from Mr. Scott …
  • … and professional seniority ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ); but Darwin’s feelings …
  • … in healing this ugly breach’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ), Darwin seems to have …
  • … of weather-forecasting ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 May 1865 and nn. 2 and 5), and he may …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep


In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to the movements of plants. He investigated the growth pattern of roots and shoots, studying the function of specific organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering about the …
  • … tomorrow to Wurzburg,’ Darwin wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 2 June , ‘& work by myself will be …
  • … [before 17 July 1878] ), ‘a strong horizontal axis about 2 feet long which goes round by clockwork …
  • … animal instinct and intelligence. ‘Frank’s son, nearly 2 years old (& we think much of his …
  • … more expertly. ‘I conclude that a child—just under 2 years is inferior in intellect to a monkey.’ …
  • … & a baby in your house!’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 2 September [1878] ). More …
  • … seems to me quite ridiculous’ ( letter to John Price, 2 April [1878] ). When a wealthy businessman …
  • … was ‘deeply gratified’, remarking to Skertchly on 2 March : ‘It is the greatest possible …
  • … that such checks had been in action during the last 2 or 3 centuries, or even for a shorter time in …

Interview with Randal Keynes


Randal Keynes is a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and the author of Annie’s Box (Fourth Estate, 2001), which discusses Darwin’s home life, his relationship with his wife and children, and the ways in which these influenced his feelings about…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … which came to my mind as I read his book. 2. Darwin's influences …

Interview with Emily Ballou


Emily Ballou is a writer of novels and screenplays, and a prize-winning poet. Her book The Darwin Poems, which explores aspects of Darwin’s life and thoughts through the medium of poetry, was recently published by the University of Western Australia Press.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … some of these poems today, and? 2. The idea of writing about Darwin …

Interview with Tim Lewens


Dr Tim Lewens is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Organisms and artifacts (2004), which examines the language and arguments for design in biology and philosophy, and of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … you for the flattering introduction. 2. The unusual role Darwin plays today …

Interview with Pietro Corsi


Pietro Corsi is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford. His book Evolution Before Darwin is due to be published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Date of interview: 17 July 2009 Transcription 1: Introduction …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … surrounding evolutionary theories. 2. The situation in France …

Interview with John Hedley Brooke


John Hedley Brooke is President of the Science and Religion Forum as well as the author of the influential Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 1991). He has had a long career in the history of science and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Paul. It’s a very great pleasure. 2. Victorian spiritualism and the …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions


Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, with full debunking below...

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, …

Language: key letters


How and why language evolved bears on larger questions about the evolution of the human species, and the relationship between man and animals. Darwin presented his views on the development of human speech from animal sounds in The Descent of Man (1871),…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 3054: Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 2 Feb [1861] If the descent of languages was …

Darwin and religion: a definitive web resource


I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came and how it arose.  Charles Darwin to N. D. Doedes, 2 April 1873 Darwin is more famous, and more notorious than ever. Nowhere is this more evident than in the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … arose.   Charles Darwin to N. D. Doedes, 2 April 1873 Darwin is more …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute


In May 1865 a dispute arose between John Lubbock and Charles Lyell when Lubbock, in his book Prehistoric times, accused Lyell of plagiarism. The dispute caused great dismay among many of their mutual scientific friends, some of whom took immediate action…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … sites in both France and Germany (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 336). In April 1860, Lubbock travelled …
  • … of errata’ that he may have seen, and then mentioned: 2 have struck out Galton …
  • … what he thought of the affair ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ). Hooker, for his part, …

Books on the Beagle


‘Considering the limited disposable space in so very small a ship, we contrived to carry more instruments and books than one would readily suppose could be stowed away in dry and secure places’. So wrote Captain FitzRoy in the Narrative (2: 18). CD, in his…

Matches: 10 hits

  • … places’. So wrote Captain FitzRoy in the  Narrative  (2: 18). CD, in his letter to Henslow, 9 …
  • … in notes made during 1833 cite secondary sources (DAR 33: 254 and DAR 30.2: 112) but several later …
  • … during the summer of 1836 (Sulloway 1982b, pp. 331–2, n. 13). Finally, there are two works that CD …
  • … de Voisins, Jean Franc~ois d’.  Traité de géognosie . 2 vols. Strasbourg, 1819. (Inscription in …
  • … 1835). * Boitard, Pierre.  Manuel d’entomologie. 2 vols. Paris, 1828. (Inscription in vol. 2
  • … Forster. London, 1772. ( Voyage ,  p. 178; DAR 34.2: 153). §  British Association for …
  • … travaux de M. Gay.  Annales des Sciences Naturelles   28 (1833): 26–35. (DAR 35.2: 396). …
  • … With Notes . . . by Robert Jameson.  London, 1813. (DAR 30.2: 154). Darwin Library–CUL. …
  • … John.  Travels in the interior of Southern Africa . 2 vols. London, 1822–4. ( Voyage , p. 182;  …
  • … Blonde to the Sandwich Islands,   in the years 1824–25 . London, 1826. (DAR 31.2: 333; Stoddart …

German poems presented to Darwin


Experiments in deepest reverence The following poems were enclosed with a photograph album sent as a birthday gift to Charles Darwin by his German and Austrian admirers (see letter from From Emil Rade, [before 16] February 1877). The poems were…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … unaufhörlich ringen; Manch’ ein Eppur si muove! 2 klang Den dichten Nebel zu …
  • … shall be in eternal strife; Many an Eppur si muove! 2 was uttered To pierce the heavy …
  • … poet Ludovico Ariosto, first published in 1516. 2. Eppur si muove!: And yet it moves! …

Capturing Darwin’s voice: audio of selected letters


On a sunny Wednesday in June 2011 in a makeshift recording studio somewhere in Cambridge, we were very pleased to welcome Terry Molloy back to the Darwin Correspondence Project for a special recording session. Terry, known for his portrayal of Davros in Dr…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … to help him with his research (e.g. to Lydia Becker, 2 August 1863 ; to Mary Treat, 5 January …
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