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From W. D. Fox   8 March [1856]

Summary

Is trying to procure some cocks for CD.

Believes Scotch deerhounds are mongrels.

Author:  William Darwin Fox
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 174
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1646

From John Morris   1 March 1856

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Summary

Informs CD on age of land, freshwater, and marine Mollusca.

Author:  John Morris
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Mar 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 246
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1835

From M. J. Berkeley   7 March 1856

Summary

Reports on breeding experiments with various seeds: corn, aubergine, kidney beans, sugar-peas. Speculates that cause of changes in seed colour in sugar-peas may be mere variation rather than result of impregnation.

Author:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Mar 1856
Classmark:  DAR 160: 174
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1836

To George Henry Kendrick Thwaites   8 March 1856

Summary

Hopes GHKT will publish on variations in plant species at different elevations. Asks about variations among plants on heights of Ceylon.

Promises to publish on the species question.

Asks for pigeons’ skins from India or Ceylon, and for ducks’ skeletons. Mentions help promised by E. F. Kelaart.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Henry Kendrick Thwaites
Date:  8 Mar 1856
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.125)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1837

From Thomas Hutton   8 March 1856

Summary

TH believes that the progeny of hybrid crosses, in which a domesticated or "artificial" race is involved, tend to resemble the more "natural" of their parents [see Natural selection, p. 486].

Provides some information on local hybrid domestic geese [see Natural selection, p. 439] and pigeons.

Author:  Thomas Hutton
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Mar 1856
Classmark:  DAR 166: 283
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1838

To Syms Covington   9 March 1856

Summary

Thanks SC for his interesting account of the state of the colony. SC was wise to settle there where his sons have much better prospects.

Has finished his book on barnacles [1854]. Royal Medal awarded him chiefly for this work.

Asks SC whether he has observed any odd imported breeds of poultry, for his work on variation of species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Syms Covington
Date:  9 Mar 1856
Classmark:  Sydney Mail, 9 August 1884, p. 255
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1840

To Herbert Spencer   11 March [1856]

Summary

Thanks for copy of HS’s Principles of psychology [1855].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Herbert Spencer
Date:  11 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 147: 484a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1841

To Samuel Birch   [12 March 1856]

Summary

Arranges an appointment.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Birch
Date:  [12 Mar 1856]
Classmark:  British Museum (Department of the Middle East, correspondence 1826–67: 1489)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1841A

To W. B. Tegetmeier   15 March [1856]

Summary

Asks WBT to try to purchase some specific pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  15 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1842

To W. D. Fox   15 March [1856]

Summary

Believes WDF’s case of mongrel Scotch deerhound is very valuable for him.

Mentions his work on pigeons and chickens.

Fears sometimes he will break down: "My subject gets bigger and bigger".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  15 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 97)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1843

To Miles Joseph Berkeley   18 March [1856]

Summary

Thanks MJB for information which he is including in his article for the Linnean Society.

Refers to the peas "which produce the black or intensely purple pods". [See 1834 and 1836.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Date:  18 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  Joseph R. Sakmyster, ADS Autographs (dealer) (no date)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1843A

To W. B. Tegetmeier   20 March [1856]

Summary

Discusses various pigeons and would welcome receiving any odd breed. Some pigeons have died from overeating bag salt.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  20 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1844

From Edward Blyth   [c. 22 March 1856]

Summary

Gives references to works on fowls and pigeons.

Observations on Gallinaceae.

Musk ox skull from southern England is additional evidence for Agassiz’s glacial period. Owen is mistaken in calling it a buffalo.

EB describes the buffalo proper.

Will send domestic pigeon specimens.

Believes pigeons were not bred in India before the Mohammedan conquest. Describes Indian breeds.

Believes the ass is an African rather than an Asian production. Discusses various species of ass and their distribution.

Wild horned cattle on borders of Pilibhit and Shahjahanpur.

[Notes received by CD on 6 May 1856.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 22 Mar 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 98: 133–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1845

To C. J. Andersson   25 March [1856]

Summary

Thanks for proof sheets of Lake Ngami: or, exploration and discoveries during four years’ wanderings in the wilds of South Western Africa (Andersson 1856).

Is very grateful for the information CJA has provided about cattle in South Africa, and wishes to ask further questions about native breeds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles John (Carl Johann) Andersson
Date:  25 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  National Library of South Africa, Cape Town
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1845F

To John Lubbock    [March? 1856]

Summary

JL is studying Cynipidae. CD sends galls for his examination.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  [Mar? 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 263: 10 (EH 88206459)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2028
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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: 24 hits

  • … (1) Abney, W. de W. (3) Accademia dei Lincei …
  • … (1) Ainslie, O. A. (3) Airy, Hubert …
  • … (4) Alberts, Maurice (3) Albrecht, R. F. …
  • … (1) Ambrose, J. L. (3) American Academy of …
  • … (1) Anderson, James (c) (3) Anderson-Henry, …
  • … (1) Badger, E. W. (3) Baer, K. E. von …
  • … (1) Balch, C. L. (3) Baldwin, J. D. …
  • … (5) Ball, Robert (3) Ball, Valentine …
  • … (1) Beal, W. J. (3) Beale, L. S. (2) …
  • … (1) Beddoe, John (3) Beger, Karl (2) …
  • … (66) Bergson, Edouard (3) Bergstedt, C. F. …
  • … (4) Blake, C. C. (3) Blanche (2) …
  • … (1) Blewitt, Octavian (3) Blomefield, Leonard …
  • … (5) Boole, M. E. (3) Boott, Francis …
  • … (1) Bornet, Édouard (3) Bosquet, J. A. H. de …
  • … (1) Bouton, Louis (3) Bowerbank, J. S. …
  • … (1) Bridgman, W. K. (3) Brigg, John …
  • … (1) Brown-Séquard, C. É. (3) Browne, H. G. C. …
  • … (2) Burgess, Thomas (3) Burn, Robert …
  • … (1) Bush, John (3) Busk, George (18) …
  • … (2) Butler, Mary (3) Butler, Samuel (b) …
  • … (1) Campbell, G. D. (3) Canby, W. M. …
  • … (9) Cattell, John (3) Cecil, Henry …
  • … (7) Chance, Frank (3) Chancellor of the …

Darwin in letters, 1860: Answering critics

Summary

On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwin’s Origin of species, printing off another 3000 copies to satisfy the demands of an audience that surprised both the publisher and the author. It wasn't long, however, before ‘the…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … at all concern his main argument ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1860] ). Darwin’s …
  • … been ‘ utterly  smashed’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). (A chronological list of all …
  • … and five botanists ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 March [1860] ). Others, like François Jules …
  • … I gaze at it, makes me sick!’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 3 April [1860] ). By the end of 1860, …
  • … is best thing for subject.—’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). Further details of the …

Teaching Evolution at Key Stage 3? Join our December workshop

Summary

This free, exciting training and consultation event takes place on Tuesday 12th December at Cambridge University Library, 9.00-4.30. The workshop aims to support KS3 science teachers in delivering informed, dynamic Darwin-based sessions.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … This exciting training and consultation event takes place on Tuesday 12th December at Cambridge …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex

Summary

The quantity of Darwin’s correspondence increased dramatically in 1868 due largely to his ever-widening research on human evolution and sexual selection.Darwin’s theory of sexual selection as applied to human descent led him to investigate aspects of the…

Matches: 8 hits

  • … of a ‘short essay’ on man ( letter to Ernst Haeckel, 3 July 1868 ). But this work would eventually …
  • … pages feel fairly nauseated’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 February [1868] ). But such worries were …
  • … kind almost heroic, in you to sacrifice your hair and pay 3 d  in the cause of science …
  • … canary (letters from J. J. Weir, [26] March 1868 and 3 June 1868 ). ‘It was very kind’, …
  • … on 9 September . Darwin annotated a letter sent on 3 April by Henry Doubleday that contained a …
  • … you have communicated to me’ ( letter to Fritz Müller, 3 June 1868 ). it is a fatal …
  • … of species through the study of monstrosities, remarked on 3 April , ‘your works are destined to …
  • … admirer of your genius’, wrote Frederick Behrens on 3 December , ‘I presume you are much plagued …

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: 6 hits

  • … Surgeons [DAR *119: 1] Books to be Read 3 “Traité de la Folie des …
  • … on Annals of Nat. Hist. [Jenyns 1838] Prichard; a 3 d . vol [Prichard 1836–47] Lawrence [W. …
  • … ou Traité de Tératologie, par I. Geoffroy-Saint Hilaire, 3 vols. 8vo. et atlas de 20 planches. ibid, …
  • … of Human wishes. 28 Bacon’s Essays [Bacon 1825–36].— Butler. 3. first sermons …
  • … 1826]— (read) Pallas’ Travels [Pallas 1802–3]— Hookker (623 no) read Darby’s Louisiana …
  • … Drinkwater] 1833]— Prof. Smyth. French Revolution 3 vols [Smyth 1840] Baber’s …

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

  • … ( to Charles Layton, 24 November [1869] ). From the 3 rd edition on, each English …
  • … ( Origin 2d ed, p. 481).   2 nd to 3 rd editions; US edition …
  • … changes, was doomed to disappointment.   3 rd to 4 th editions …
  • … to include at least one change only previously made in the 3 rd German edition . I …

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

  • … topic for Darwin? And if so, why? 3. Darwin made a famous comment about parallels …
  • … Darwinian account of the origin of language. 3. Darwin made a famous comment about parallels …

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings

Summary

‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … to the subject of cross and self-fertilisation. On 3 October , he wrote with fresh enthusiasm to …
  • … other interested parties. Darwin was summoned to testify on 3 November. It caused him much anxiety, …
  • … for printing an additional 250 ( letter to John Murray, 3 May 1875 ). In the event, the …
  • … weekly publications of Natural History’, he explained on 3 June , ‘are not sufficiently …
  • … time I can talk to anyone’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 3 May [1875] ). Finally it was arranged for …

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

  • … selection , pp. 534--66) 3 16 December 1856 …
  • … 5 3 March 1857 The struggle for existence as bearing on …

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 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'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, …

Language: key letters

Summary

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: 2 hits

  • … Letter 8367: Darwin, C. R. to Wright, Chauncey, 3 June [1872] In this letter to the …
  • … Letter 8962: Darwin, C. R. to Max Müller, Friedrich, 3 July 1873 In the 1870s, Darwin …

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms

Summary

There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1880 on this website.  The full texts of the letters are not yet available online but are in volume 28 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin, published by Cambridge…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … Kingdom, & even the world’ ( letter from J. L. Chester, 3 March 1880 ). Darwin’s sons George …
  • … regret that I did not do so’ ( letter to Samuel Butler, 3 January 1880 ). At the top of Butler’s …
  • … It is a horrid disease’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 February 1880 ).                 All …
  • … letter … made me open my eyes’, Gray replied on 3 February , but he affirmed his original …

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

  • … and the Beagle  Voyage activities 3 Learn about Darwin the collector: …

Dramatisation script

Summary

Re: Design – Adaptation of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Asa Gray and others… by Craig Baxter – as performed 25 March 2007

Matches: 4 hits

  • … – Asa Gray Actor 2 – Charles Darwin Actor 3 – In the dress of a modern day archivist, …
  • … friend, the botanist, Joseph D Hooker GRAY:   3   Charles Darwin… made his home on …
  • … quite kindly, and told me… Hugh Falconer (Actor 3) – a Scottish paleobotanist and …
  • … and in a lesser degree ‘Blood’s One Penny Envelope, 1, 3, and 10 cents’. If you will make him this …

Teachers notes: Offer of a lifetime

Summary

The Offer of a Lifetime?  Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he received an exciting and unique opportunity to join HMS Beagle. The voyage changed his life but the letters show how close he came to not going at all! …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … a Lifetime?  Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he …

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: 5 hits

  • … ( see letter from Hugh Falconer to Erasmus Alvey Darwin, 3 January 1865 ). Erasmus forwarded his …
  • … these alone are unalloyed’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1865 ). Darwin, now …
  • … than anything else. I am able most days to work for 2 or 3 hours & this makes all the difference …
  • … the serenity of the Christian world’ (Brewster 1862, p. 3). John Hutton Balfour, though he had sent …
  • … of reform and reorganisation ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [3 November 1865] ). The death of …

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: 4 hits

  • … Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2 nd 3 rd and Appendix Volumes of the First / …
  • … on the Cocos – &c &c – above mentioned. [ f.148r p.3 ] Seeing as I could not help …
  • … that I have said, or shewn to the contrary. In the 3 rd It is generally understood – that …
  • … get the few deep soundings which are given in the plan *[3] V. Until the 12 th …

Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?

Summary

Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … of inheritance!” ( letter to F. S. B. F. de Chaumont, 3 February [1873] ). Some readers …
  • … civilisation and good breeding ( letter from Henry Reeks, 3 March 1873 ). Robert Swinhoe …
  • … some with his finger ( letter to  Nature , [before 3 April 1873] ). Moggridge suggested the …
  • … offend his father ( enclosure to letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 December 1873 ).  In April, …
  • … the passage of purgatory” ( letter from Andrew Clark, 3 September 1873 ). Revising …
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