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Darwin Correspondence Project

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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To William Erasmus Darwin   [26 February 1856]

Summary

Writes of WED’s progress at school and events at home.

Discusses pigeons, with which he is "getting on splendidly".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  [26 Feb 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1804

From Thomas Vernon   Wollaston [February 1856]

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Summary

Sends Madeira specimens, including frogs recently introduced into the island, and flourishing.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Feb 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 299
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1806

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [1 February 1856]

Summary

Has been invited to see Mr Bult’s pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  [1 Feb 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1821

To William Yarrell   6 [February 1856]

Summary

"The Pigeons are all quite well".

Sends thanks to Mrs Cotton.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Yarrell
Date:  6 [Feb 1856]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1829

To Samuel Birch   6 February [1856]

Summary

Is grateful for SB’s note and assistance. Will call upon him in London in a fortnight.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Birch
Date:  6 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  British Museum (Department of the Middle East, correspondence 1826–67: 1492)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1829A

From Charles James Fox Bunbury   7 February 1856

Summary

Has heard CD is much interested in questions relating to varieties and species. Mentions a case of a seminal variety of Colletia spinosa, described by John Lindley, which appears identical with another wild species of Colletia from S. America. Hopes CD will one day "enlighten us very much" on "the laws of species". There are many different views on the limits of species; M. F. Dunal made 50 species of Solanum which George Bentham considers are all varieties of S. nigrum.

Author:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 160: 374, DAR 205.4: 97
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1830

From Edward Blyth   23 February 1856

Summary

Opposition to EB within the Asiatic Society.

Possibility of establishment of a zoological garden at Calcutta.

Has seen Gallus varius alive for the first time.

Will procure domestic pigeons for CD; could CD pay for them by returning hardy creatures, such as macaws and marmosets, which EB can sell for a high price in India?

Does not recall his authority for genealogy of the asses of Oman. If a genuine wild ass exists EB believes it will be in south Arabia.

Infertility of Irish and Devon red deer.

Details of an unusual species of wild dog.

Fertility of canine hybrids. General tendency toward hybrid sterility.

Has skins of hybrid Coracias and the parent species.

Wide-ranging species; skua found in Europe and Australia, but not in the tropics.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A128–A132
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1832

From Edward Blyth   26 February 1856

Summary

There is a possibility of establishment of a Government Museum at Calcutta, with which the Asiatic Society Museum would be merged. EB would like the curatorship but fears other possible applicants. Asks CD to represent him to W. H. Sykes.

Discusses the ancients’ awareness of various cats as deduced from the etymology of their names.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A126–A127
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1833

To Miles Joseph Berkeley   29 February [1856]

Summary

Preparing paper on seed-soaking for Linnean Society ["Action of sea-water on seeds", Collected papers 1: 264–73]. Wants to use MJB’s results. Lost ardour when he found seeds would not float.

Has grown MJB’s purest pea seeds and got a few variants. Gärtner’s experiments suggest direct action of pollen, but CD thinks it is "mere variation".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Date:  29 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/45)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1834

To Francis Galton    4 February [1856]

Summary

Can FG use his influence with Rev. [Erhardt] to get information about domesticated poultry in Africa for CD?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Galton
Date:  4 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  UCL Library Services, Special Collections (GALTON/1/1/9/5/7/4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3059
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List of correspondents

Summary

Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

Matches: 16 hits

  • … Émile (8) Alice (2) Alison, R. E. …
  • … (1) Allen, Thomas (2) Allman, G. J. …
  • … (1) Appleton, C. E. C. B. (2) Appleton, T. G. …
  • … (5) Austin, A. D. (2) Austin, C. F. …
  • … (7) Axon, W. E. A. (2) Aylmer, I. E. …
  • … (3) Baldwin, J. D. (2) Balfour, F. M. …
  • … (1) Baranoff, W. (2) Barber, M. E. …
  • … (1) Barnard, Anne (2) Barnes, K. S. …
  • … (1) Barrois, J. H. (2) Bartlett, A. D. …
  • … (1) Batalin, A. F. (2) Bate, C. S. …
  • … (1) Bates, Frederick (2) Bates, H. W. …
  • … (1) Baumhauer, E. H. von (2) Baxter, E. B. …
  • … (3) Beale, L. S. (2) Beall, T. B. (1 …
  • … B. (1) Beck, John (2) Becker, L. E. …
  • … (3) Beger, Karl (2) Behrens, Frederick …
  • … (1) Bell, Robert (b) (2) Bell, Thomas …

Darwin The Collector

Summary

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

Summary

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

Summary

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 …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions

Summary

For such an iconic work, the text of Origin was far from static. It was a living thing that Darwin continued to shape for the rest of his life, refining his ‘one long argument’ through a further five English editions.  Many of his changes were made in…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … edition published, 1872   1 st to 2 nd editions I have …
  • … the voids caused by the action of His laws.” ( Origin 2d ed, p. 481).   2 nd …
  • … to a letter to Asa Gray he had yet to start it on 28 January, but on 2 February 1860 he told …
  • … “Origin” for the first time, for I am correcting for a 2 nd . French Edition; & upon my life, …

Dates of composition of Darwin's manuscript on species

Summary

Many of the dates of letters in 1856 and 1857 were based on or confirmed by reference to Darwin’s manuscript on species (DAR 8--15.1, inclusive; transcribed and published as Natural selection). This manuscript, begun in May 1856, was nearly completed by…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … nor was it recorded in Darwin's ‘Journal’. Chapter 2 is not extant but was recorded in Darwin& …
  • … [1] (not extant) 2 13 October 1856 …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick

Summary

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's Fantastical Voyage

Summary

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 And Evolution

Summary

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 in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth century. His journey back in time started when he decided to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an essay on Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … his wife sent birthday greetings and a photograph of their 2-year-old son named Darwin, who, they …
  • … materialism”’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 2 June 1879 ]). As one of Darwin’s most ardent …
  • … other than Darwin’s sister Caroline (who was around 2 years old at the time of Erasmus’s death). …
  • … that plants were ‘mere machines’, reminding Francis on 2 June that he had long thought that …
  • … for certain movements’ ( second letter to Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ). Sachs guarded …
  • … for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first letter) . Much of the time, however, …
  • … their ‘tremendous journey’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [2 August 1879] ). The journey proved more …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

Summary

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 …

Home learning: 7-11 years

Summary

Do try this at home! Support your children’s learning by downloading our free and fun activities for those aged between 7-11 and 11-14 years, using Darwin’s letters.  

Matches: 1 hits

  • … More Detecting Darwin activities 2 Learn about Darwin and the Beagle …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep

Summary

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 …

Satire of FitzRoy's Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, by John Clunies Ross. Transcription by Katharine Anderson

Summary

[f.146r Title page] Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2nd 3rd and Appendix Volumes of the First / Edition Written / for and in the name of the Author of those / Volumes By J.C. Ross. / Sometime Master of a…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2 nd 3 rd and Appendix Volumes of …
  • … many Kentledge pigs – and almost as heavy – limited the 2 nd to 700 pages of easily readable type …
  • … for commanding under it an H.C. Cruizer [ vf.147v p.2 ] of considerably greater tonnage – and …
  • … making a quick passage to the Southward. In the 2 nd that the expression “sailed from …
  • … in singing ^of^ jovial sea songs even on Wednesdays *[2] [ f.158r p.23 ] instead of the …

Interview with Pietro Corsi

Summary

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

Summary

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 …

Interview with Randal Keynes

Summary

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

Summary

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

Summary

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 …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions

Summary

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, …
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