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To Philip Henry Stanhope   30 July [1852]


Declines invitation to Chevening [Lord Stanhope’s residence].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Henry Stanhope, 5th Earl Stanhope
Date:  30 July [1852]
Classmark:  Archives of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Ernst Mayr Library, Harvard University
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13844

To ?   31 December [1852–3]


Responds to correspondent’s request for information about shells from the Coquimbo beds in Chile. Difficulty in deciding on age of deposits and species. Notes views of Alcide d’Orbigny.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  31 Dec [1852-3]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Autograph File, D)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13872

To ?   19 December [1852 or 1854]


Ray Society has given CD 22 copies [of Living Cirripedia, vol. 1].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  19 Dec [1852 or 1854]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.100)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1464

To J. S. Henslow   [1852–60]


Sends an enclosure forwarded from Down.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [1852–60]
Classmark:  Harvard Medical Library in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine (H MS c3.3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1466F

To J. J. S. Steenstrup   3 January [1852]


Asks JS to compare cirripede specimens with those of Lorenz Spengler to establish comparative nomenclature.

Requests reference to article describing Xenobalanus.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Johannes Japetus Smith (Japetus) Steenstrup
Date:  3 Jan [1852]
Classmark:  Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (NKS 3460 4to)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1469

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 10 January 1852]


Asks readers of Gardeners’ Chronicle whether they have experience with light wire rope instead of chain in drawing water buckets from deep wells. Describes the problem of his own well with its 325 foot chain.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 10 Jan 1852]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 2, 10 January 1852, p. 22
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1470

To Edward Forbes   23 January [1852?]


Discusses Balanus unguiformis. Promises to return specimen.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward Forbes
Date:  23 Jan [1852?]
Classmark:  Florida State University Libraries, Strozier Library Special Collections Vault (tipped into a copy of Origin, QH365 .O2 1859)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1472

To Edwin Lankester, Ray Society   30 January [1852]


The Binder "by some wonderful Blunder" has bound the enclosed in all of CD’s copies [of Living Cirripedia, vol. 1]. He requests that it be pulled out. It may belong to W. A. Leighton’s volume [Lichens (1851)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edwin Lankester
Date:  30 Jan [1852]
Classmark:  DAR 221.5: 19 photocopy & John Wilson (dealer) Cat. 56
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1472A

To J. D. Dana   15 February [1852]


Sending first volumes on Living and Fossil Cirripedia. Solicits JDD’s opinion, especially on sexual relations of Scalpellum and Ibla, on which he "hardly expect[s] to be believed".

Sends unusual crustacean specimen collected by B. J. Sulivan.

The Sporillus sent by JDD is a very curious species of Acasta [see Living Cirripedia 2: 319].

Asks JDD to identify and give geographical distribution of pieces of coral in which some cirripedes are imbedded.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  15 Feb [1852]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 43)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1473

To W. E. Darwin   24 [February 1852]


Is glad WED has made a good beginning [at Rugby?].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  24 [Feb 1852]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1474

To A. A. Gould   29 February [1852]


Sends presentation copy of Fossil Cirripedia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Augustus Addison Gould
Date:  29 Feb [1852]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Augustus A. Gould papers, 1831–66 MS Am 1210: 226)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1475

To W. D. Fox   7 March [1852]


Congratulates and "condoles" with WDF on a tenth child.

On education, he has not had courage to break away from "the old stereotyped stupid classical education"; has sent William to Rugby.

The first Ray Society volume [Living Cirripedia] is finished.

Has joined in a society to prosecute violators of the act against use of children in climbing chimneys.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  7 Mar [1852]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 80)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1476

To Syms Covington   14 March 1852


Asks for details about the discoveries of gold in Australia.

Has published one book on barnacles [1851].

Sulivan has just returned from his cattle farm in the Falklands.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Syms Covington
Date:  14 Mar 1852
Classmark:  Sydney Mail, 9 August 1884, p. 254
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1477



Cancelled: draft of 1496.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [Apr 1852]
Classmark:  DAR 206: 40
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1478

From Johannes Japetus Smith Steenstrup    8 April 1852


His difficulties in answering CD’s letter of 3 Jan [1852] [see 1469]. There is no Lepas mitra in the Lorenz Spengler collection. He undertakes to compare the specimens of Balanus sent by CD with those of Spengler.

He thanks CD for his book [Fossil Cirripedia (1851)].

His work with Professor Forchhammer and Mr Worsaae.

Author:  Johannes Japetus Smith (Japetus) Steenstrup
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Apr 1852
Classmark:  Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1478A

To George Crawford Hyndman   16 April [1852]


Thanks GCH for Balanus specimens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Crawford Hyndman
Date:  16 Apr [1852]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.101)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1479

To John William Parker   5 May [1852]


As an author of some scientific works CD is of the opinion that each bookseller should settle, each for himself, the retail price.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John William Parker
Date:  5 May [1852]
Classmark:  Stationers’ Company (Records Pt XI (III) J. W. Parker: autograph letters from authors (TSC/1/F/07/22))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1480A

To J. D. Dana   8 May [1852]


Gratified by JDD’s opinion of his work.

Discusses problem of homologies of cirripede larva in first stage and reasons for his view.

JDD’s information on corals was just what CD needed.

Would like specimen of blind cave rat described by B. Silliman [Jr] ["On the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky", Am. J. Sci. 2d ser. 11 (1851): 336] for Waterhouse to examine.

Discusses origin of Australian valleys; he disagrees with JDD’s river-erosion hypothesis.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  8 May [1852]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 43)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1481

To Henry Norton Shaw, Secretary, Royal Geographical Society   17 May [1852]


Asks for catalogue and latest number of the Journal [of the Royal Geographical Society].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Norton Shaw; Secretary, R. Geographical Soc.
Date:  17 May [1852]
Classmark:  Royal Geographical Society
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1482

To John Higgins   19 June [1852]


Discusses his account and rent reduction. Comments on agricultural prices.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Higgins
Date:  19 June [1852]
Classmark:  Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/54)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1483
Document type
letter (38)
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02 (3)
03 (3)
04 (4)
05 (3)
06 (1)
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Edward Lumb


Edward Lumb was born in Yorkshire. According to the memoirs of his daughter Anne, Lady Macdonell, he travelled to Buenos Aires aged sixteen with his merchant uncle, Charles Poynton, and after some fortunate enterprises set up in business there. In 1833…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … 1847 refers to information sent through Mr Lumb; but by 1852 Darwin confessed to George …

Have you read the one about....


... the atheistical cats, or the old fogies in Cambridge? We've suggested a few - some funny, some serious - but all letters you can read here.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … ... the atheistical cats, or the old fogies in Cambridge? We've suggested a few - some funny, some …

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: 16 hits

  • … through 1851; the second (DAR 128) continues the list from 1852 to 1860, when, except for a few odd …
  • … John Davies. China during the War and Peace [J. F. Davis 1852]. read Books Read, 1838–51 …
  • … [Southey 1834–47]. Poor. skimmed Books to be Read, 1852–60 [DAR *128: Cover] …
  • … of 1851 on silk-worms & sheep, selection & crossing [R. Owen 1852]. Also hybrid-wheat …
  • … & Triticum 84 Knox on Anatomy & Art [R. Knox 1852]. London Library (read) …
  • … Work on Hybridism reviewed in Gardeners Chronicle in 1852. by Wagner? [Unger 1852] 85  Read …
  • … vols. The Vegetation of Europe by A. Henfrey [Henfrey 1852]. (remarks on Geograph. Distrib. …
  • … very expensive Coll. of Surgeons? M r  Highley. 88  1852 French Translation of Von …
  • … Life of L d . Jeffrey. Colburn Cockburn [Cockburn 1852] Our antipodes by Colonel Mundy [G. …
  • … Barrande Syst. Silurien du Centre de la Boheme [Barrande 1852–1911] must be deeply studied 1854 …
  • … The Hon ble  Cooke Journey to Oregon Bon. Price [Coke 1852] (amusing) read [DAR *128: 171 …
  • … [DAR *128: 167] Revue Horticol Imp. 1852. p. 102. Naudin Consid. Phil. sur l’espèce [Naudin …
  • … 109  [J. Phillips and Salter 1846]. Revue Horticole 1852 p. 102 Naudin on Nat. Selection …
  • … Atlantidum 1. 1. 0 [Wollaston 1865] Books Read, 1852–60 [DAR 128: Cover] …
  • … 20 D r  Holland Chapters on Mental Phys: [Holland 1852] July 24 th  Knox’s Ornithological …
  • … Macgillivray Voyage of Rattle-Snake 119  [J. Macgillivray 1852] Oct 5. Risso Essai sur l …

Darwin and Fatherhood


Charles Darwin married Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and over the next seventeen years the couple had ten children. It is often assumed that Darwin was an exceptional Victorian father. But how extraordinary was he? The Correspondence Project allows an unusually…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … he had just sent his eldest son William to Rugby School in 1852, Darwin admitted that ‘No one can …
  • … through the trammels.’ (Darwin to W. D. Fox,  7 March [1852] ). A more modern and scientific …

Living and fossil cirripedia


Darwin published four volumes on barnacles, the crustacean sub-class Cirripedia, between 1851 and 1854, two on living species and two on fossil species. Written for a specialist audience, they are among the most challenging and least read of Darwin’s works…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … bears the date 1851, it did not appear until January 1852 . By 1852, Darwin was well …
  • … so that the volume, at first promised by the end of 1852 then the summer of 1853 was only …

Scientific Practice


Specialism|Experiment|Microscopes|Collecting|Theory Letter writing is often seen as a part of scientific communication, rather than as integral to knowledge making. This section shows how correspondence could help to shape the practice of science, from…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 1495 — Darwin, C. R. to Hancock, Albany, 25 Dec [1852] Darwin discusses the capacity …

Darwin's health


On 28 March 1849, ten years before Origin was published, Darwin wrote to his good friend Joseph Hooker from Great Malvern in Worcestershire, where Dr James Manby Gully ran a fashionable water-cure establishment. Darwin apologised for his delayed reply to…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … which increased in severity in the years around 1848, 1852, 1859, and 1863. In a letter to Hooker in …
  • … and correspondence during periods of sickness in 1848, 1852, and 1859 (see Colp 1977, pp. 38, 47, 64 …

George Busk


After the Beagle voyage, Darwin’s collection of bryozoans disappears from the records until the material was sent, in 1852, for study by George Busk, one of the foremost workers on the group of his day. In 1863, on the way down to Malvern Wells, Darwin had…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … the records until the material was sent, in 1852, for study by George Busk, one of the foremost …

First of the barnacle books


After eight years of research, Darwin publishes  Living Cirripedia vol 1, the first of four volumes classifying living and fossil barnacles

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  • … After eight years of research, Darwin publishes  Living Cirripedia vol 1, the first of four …

Jane Gray


Jane Loring Gray, the daughter of a Boston lawyer, married the Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1848 and evidence suggests that she took an active interest in the scientific pursuits of her husband and his friends. Although she is only known to have…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … (letter to Jane Gray from George Bentham, 10 March 1852. Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Box AD, …

Hermann Müller


Hermann (Heinrich Ludwig Hermann) Müller, was born in Mühlberg near Erfurt in 1829. He was the younger brother of Fritz Müller (1822–97). Following the completion of his secondary education at Erfurt in 1848, he studied natural sciences at Halle and Berlin…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … and Berlin, focusing on botany, zoology, and geology. In 1852, he qualified as a teacher, but …

Arthur Mellersh


Arthur Mellersh was a midshipman (promoted to mate during the voyage) serving on the Beagle at the time when Darwin was travelling around the world. One account suggests an inauspicious start to their friendship; apparently Mellersh introduced himself…

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  • … on the HMS Rattler during the Burma Campaign in 1852, and in 1853 Darwin learned in a letter …

Alfred Russel Wallace


Wallace was a leading Victorian naturalist, with wide-ranging interests from biogeography and evolutionary theory to spiritualism and politics. He was born in 1823 in Usk, a small town in south-east Wales, and attended a grammar school in Hertford. At the…

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  • … most of his collection in a fire on the return to England in 1852, Wallace became known for his …

Philip Gidley King


King was born in Parramatta, New South Wales on 31 October 1817, son of Captain Phillip Parker King and Harriett (Lethbridge). His grandfather, also named Philip Gidley King, had been governor of New South Wales. As a child, King travelled to England with…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … studs and subsequently superintendent of stock. In 1852 gold was discovered north of Stroud …

'An Appeal' against animal cruelty


The four-page pamphlet transcribed below and entitled 'An Appeal', was composed jointly by Emma and Charles Darwin (see letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, [29 September 1863]). The pamphlet, which protested against the cruelty of steel vermin…

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  • … animals, reporting a neighbouring farmer to the RSPCA in 1852 for working horses with sore necks …

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…

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  • … However, at this point the record breaks off until January 1852, by which time the Darwin family had …
  • … to change “Yours is larger than mine Annie.” Jan. 1852 Lizzy 4½ years old.[60] She has always …

Syms Covington


When Charles Darwin embarked on the Beagle in 1831 Syms Covington was ‘fiddler & boy to Poop-cabin’. Covington died in 1861 reportedly 47 years old, so he would have been 17; although if he was the Simon Covington born in Bedford on 30 January 1809,…

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  • … Pambula, 280 miles south of Sydney, where he then lived. In 1852 CD had asked about the gold rush …

The evolution of honeycomb


Honeycombs are natural engineering marvels, using the least possible amount of wax to provide the greatest amount of storage space, with the greatest possible structural stability. Darwin recognised that explaining the evolution of the honey-bee’s comb…

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  • … in no other place, could have been given to it’ (Kirby 1852, 2: 246). Darwin’s copy of …

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…

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  • … had begun to consider emigrating. The plan was realised in 1852 when he, his brother August, and …

Darwin's bad days


Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and experimenting, even Darwin had some bad days. These times when nothing appeared to be going right are well illustrated by the following quotations from his letters:

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  • … Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and …
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