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To E. W. V. Harcourt   19 August [1856]

Summary

Asks to borrow C. L. Brehm’s book [Handbuch der Naturgeschichte aller Vögel Deutschlands (1831)]. Wants to see how far Brehm went in splitting species.

Took finches from Madeira to British Museum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  19 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Autograph File, D)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1451

To Frances Mackintosh Wedgwood   18 [August 1856 – January 1858]

Summary

Is flattered by a proposal that he undertake some reviewing work, but has many years’ work in prospect on his present book on species and varieties.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Frances Emma Elizabeth (Fanny) Wedgwood
Date:  18 [Aug 1856 - Jan 1858]
Classmark:  DAR 148: 303
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1810

From Asa Gray   [early August 1856]

Summary

Believes intermediate varieties are generally less numerous in individuals than the two states that they connect.

Discusses the difficulties of deciding what is the typical form of a species

and gives some opinions on the variability of introduced species compared with indigenous species.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [early Aug 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 165: 93
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1934

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [15–22 August 1856]

Summary

Is collecting only pigeons that differ in proportions, so declines some birds offered by WBT.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  [15–22 Aug 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1935

From J. S. Henslow   2 August 1856

Summary

One plant in self-sown patch of Aegilops has assumed a triticoidal character; JSH feels it may be an example of Aegilops passing to wheat.

Author:  John Stevens Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Aug 1856
Classmark:  DAR 166: 178
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1936

From J. D. Hooker   4 August 1856

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Summary

JDH’s arguments against transmutation: 1. Plants do not show the confusion he would expect; 2. Under clearly similar physical conditions we do not find same species.

JDH’s argument against migration: commonality of alpine species. Believes migration opposes facts of botanical distribution in Van Diemen’s Land and New Zealand; prefers continental extension theory.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Aug 1856
Classmark:  DAR 100: 100–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1937

To J. D. Hooker   5 August [1856]

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Summary

Agrees that Lyell’s letters shed no new light on extensions issue. Continental extensions: opposes their being hypothesised all over world.

Commonality of alpine plants damns both extension and migration.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  5 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 173
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1938

To J. S. Henslow   6 August [1856]

Summary

Reports on results of forcing and other attempts to produce variations in plants. Asks for some seeds.

Is correcting his Linnean Society paper ["On the action of sea-water", Collected papers 1: 264–71].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  6 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A55–A56
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1939

To J. D. Hooker   7 August [1856]

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Summary

Antarctic plants most difficult to account for on any theory. Lyell’s iceberg transportal of seeds.

Are there more representative species of American origin in Tristan da Cunha than in Kerguelen land?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  7 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 174
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1940

To W. B. Tegetmeier   14 August [1856]

Summary

Inquires about pigeons seen at Anerley show.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  14 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1941

To Ebenezer Norman    17 [August 1856]

Summary

Thanks EN for copying a MS [on "Geographical distribution" (Natural selection, pp. 534–66)]. Increases his payment and offers EN work in the future.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Ebenezer Norman
Date:  17 [Aug 1856]
Classmark:  Mrs K. M. B. Thompson (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1941A

To Thomas Campbell Eyton   21 August [1856]

Summary

Asks whether offspring of cross between African pig and common pig are fertile. Are Lord Rowland Hill’s African pigs domesticated?

Mentions pigeons’ skeletons.

Is working at a book on variation [Natural selection].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  21 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.135)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1942

To W. B. Tegetmeier   23 August [1856]

Summary

Instructions for delivering pigeons to Down.

Has Scandaroons for WBT.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  23 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1943

To Asa Gray   24 August [1856]

Summary

Rarity of intermediate varieties.

Variability of introduced plants.

Ranges of plants common to Europe and U. S.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  24 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (36)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1944

To T. C. Eyton   27 [August 1856]

Summary

Asks about strains of Herefordshire cattle.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  27 [Aug 1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.136)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1946

To W. B. Tegetmeier   30 August [1856]

Summary

Will forward the Scandaroons.

Is crossing all his pigeons to see which are fertile.

Hopes WBT’s work on fowls’ skulls is not forestalled by T. C. Eyton who also has a grand collection of skeletons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  30 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1947

To T. C. Eyton   31 August [1856]

Summary

Asks whether number of incisors varies in domestic pigs. Is testing views of J. M. Bechstein.

Comments on TCE’s book [Herd book of Hereford cattle (1846–59)]. Mentions variations in the breed.

Will quote TCE on geese [Mag. Nat. Hist. 4 (1840): 90–2].

Problem of geographical distribution; his seed-salting experiments. Asks about distribution of seeds to islands. Do water-birds ever have dirty feet?

Could Eyton’s gamekeepers collect owl and hawk pellets? Asks for dace stomachs and contents.

Asks for cats’ skeletons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  31 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.137)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1948

From Bernard Peirce Brent    [after August 1856]

Summary

On his breeding of Jacobin pigeons. How reciprocal crosses to produce mules work among canaries, goldfinches, linnets, and green linnets.

Will soon forward copies of Cottage Gardener for June.

Author:  Bernard Peirce Brent
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after Aug 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 160.2: 298
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2850

To E. W. V. Harcourt   23 August [1856]

Summary

Has received [C. L.?] Brehm’s work [unspecified]. Will return it in two or three weeks.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  23 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  Wellcome Collection
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4598
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Capturing Darwin’s voice: audio of selected letters

Summary

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: 3 hits

  • … Gray. Re: Design toured Britain and America in 2007–8, shedding light on how Darwin developed …
  • … his Wedgwood nieces, Lucy ( [before 25 September 1866] ; 8 June [1867-72?] ) and Sophy ( 8
  • … a draft chapter of Descent (letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ). …

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year

Summary

The year 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working on second editions of Coral reefs and Descent of man; the rest of the year was mostly devoted to further research on insectivorous plants. A…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … of shooting and collecting beetles ( letter from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such reminiscences …
  • … one from Charles Lyell ( letter to Smith, Elder & Co., 8 January 1874 , letter to J. D. …
  • … much in Switzerland ( letter from Francis and Amy Darwin, 8 August [1874] ). Francis had …

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution

Summary

The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex’.  Descent was the culmination of over three decades of observations and reflections on…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … more grateful I shall be’  ( letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ). She had previously read …
  • … that I shd. turn parson?’ ( letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ). Henrietta disagreed: …
  • … as the mind of man!’ ( letter from H. E. Darwin, [after 8 February 1870] ). Darwin was also …
  • … he will not succeed’ ( letter to James Crichton-Browne, 8 June [1870] ). Darwin’s queries …

Darwin in letters, 1872: Job done?

Summary

'My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, 'is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work’, and the tenor of his correspondence throughout the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … shall be chiefly new work’ ( letter to Francis Galton, 8 November [1872] ), and the tenor of his …
  • … are accustomed to novels for 1s’, he wrote to Murray on 8 January , but Murray complained that …
  • … felt friendly towards me’ ( letter to St G. J. Mivart, 8 January [1872] ).  Despite Darwin’s …

Women’s scientific participation

Summary

Observers | Fieldwork | Experimentation | Editors and critics | Assistants Darwin’s correspondence helps bring to light a community of women who participated, often actively and routinely, in the nineteenth-century scientific community. Here is a…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L to Darwin, [8 & 9 May 1869] Jane Loring Gray, …
  • … Letter 7223 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., [8 June 1867 - 72] Darwin asks his niece, …
  • … Letter 5602 - Sutton, S. to Darwin, [8 August 1867] Sutton, the keeper of the …
  • … Letter 4235 - Becker, L. E. to Darwin, [8 July 1863] Lydia Becker sends Darwin a …
  • … Letter 12745 - Darwin to Wedg wood, K. E. S., [8 October 1880] Darwin asks his …
  • … . Letter 9485 - Treat, M. to Darwin, [8 June 1874] Mary Treat details her …
  • … . Letter 7124 - Darwin to Darwin, H. E., [8 February 1870] Darwin seeks …

Darwin in letters, 1856-1857: the 'Big Book'

Summary

In May 1856, Darwin began writing up his 'species sketch’ in earnest. During this period, his working life was completely dominated by the preparation of his 'Big Book', which was to be called Natural selection. Using letters are the main…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … he remarked to Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 September [1856] ). I mean to make my …
  • … my Book as perfect as ever I can.’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 8 February [1857] ). Darwin also …

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: 16 hits

  • … 39. tom. 4. p. 273. Latreille Geographie des Insectes 8 vo  p 181 [Latreille 1819]. see p. …
  • … de Serres Cavernes d’Ossements 7 th  Ed. 10  8 vo . [Serres 1838] good to trace Europ. forms …
  • … by Loudon [Loudon 1831]. Book I. ch. 7 & Book II. Ch. 8. Book. VII. ch 8, 11. read 1 st …
  • … Lacordaire Introduction Entomologique [Lacordaire 1834–8]: Reptiles [Duméril and Bibron 1834–54]: …
  • … Mem. of Helvetic Soc. of Neuchatel on Jura. 1846, or 7, or 8 [?Marcou 1845]. 46   Morris  good …
  • … 1838] Walter Scott’s life [Lockhart 1837–8] 1 st  2 nd  & 7 th  vols. …
  • … on Geology of France [Dufrénoy and Élie de Beaumont 1830–8] & C Prevost on l’Ile Julie [Prévost …
  • … 1839 Jan 10 All life of W. Scott [Lockhart 1837–8] except 5 th  vol. 19 Mungo …
  • … hermaphroditism—good letters of M r  Knight July 8 th  M.S. Voyage of Kolff to the …
  • … Works & several reviews [Carlyle 1838–9] Nov 8 th  Murchison Silurian System [Murchison …
  • … of the Bath and West of   England Society ]. 1 st  to 8 th  vol. inclusive 1 st . series …
  • …  Pallas Travels [Pallas 1802–3] (wretched) ——8 th  Brand’s dissert. [Linnaeus 1781c] …
  • … E. Ferrier] 1824 and 1818].— 18 th . 7 th  & 8 th . Vol of Hume’s England [Hume …
  • … Botanica [Linnaeus 1751] (references at end) June 8 th . Evelyn’s Sylva [Evelyn 1664]. …
  • … 1825] & Liebers remains of Niebuhr [Lieber 1835]. 8 Paley’s Evidence. of Christ. [Paley …
  • … Register of Rural & Domestic Improvement ] Vol 7 th . & 8 th . vol. April 8 th …

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: 4 hits

  • … I shall look rather blank’ ( letter from W. S. Dallas, 8 January 1868 ). Darwin sympathised, …
  • … enemies of Nat. Selection’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 8 [April] 1868 ). Researching …
  • … cry (letters to W. E. Darwin, [15 March 1868] and 8 April [1868] ). Such facts proved …
  • … omnipotent and omniscient Creator’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 8 May [1868] ). Others were concerned …

Darwin’s earthquakes

Summary

Darwin experienced his first earthquake in 1834, but it was a few months later that he was really confronted with their power. Travelling north along the coast of Chile, Darwin and Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, were confronted with a series of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … having happened Darwin to his sister Catherine, 8 November 1834 Darwin …

The writing of "Origin"

Summary

From a quiet rural existence at Down in Kent, filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on the transmutation of species, Darwin was jolted into action in 1858 by the arrival of an unexpected letter (no longer extant) from Alfred Russel Wallace outlining a…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … what you have seen,’ he told Hooker in his letter of 8 [June 1858] , ‘yet I have been forced to …
  • … hurry in world about my M.S.’ In his letter to Hooker of 8 June [1858] , he indicates that this …
  • … the story was not deleted (see  Correspondence  vol. 8, letters to Asa Gray, 28 January [1860] …

Darwin’s queries on expression

Summary

When Darwin resumed systematic research on emotions around 1866, he began to collect observations more widely and composed a list of queries on human expression. A number of handwritten copies were sent out in 1867 (see, for example, letter to Fritz Muller…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Gray, Asa 8 & 9 May 1869 Florence, Italy (about …
  • … Lubbock, E.F. [1867-8?] Lombard Street, London? …

Darwin and Fatherhood

Summary

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: 1 hits

  • … lines were built to the area (Darwin to J. D. Hooker,  8 April [1856] ). This meant that most of …

Women as a scientific audience

Summary

Target audience? | Female readership | Reading Variation Darwin's letters, in particular those exchanged with his editors and publisher, reveal a lot about his intended audience. Regardless of whether or not women were deliberately targeted as a…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Letter 7124 - Darwin to Darwin, H. E., [8 February 1870] Darwin seeks Henrietta’s …
  • … Letter 6976 - Darwin to Blackwell, A. L. B., [8 November, 1869] Darwin writes to feminist …
  • … Letter 5712 - Dallas, W. S. to Darwin, [8 December 1867] Translator and author …

Darwin’s hothouse and lists of hothouse plants

Summary

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: 8 hits

  • … greenhouse for experiments (see  Correspondence  vols. 8–10). Though his greenhouse was probably …
  • … ( Correspondence  vol. 3, letter to Charles Lyell, 8 October [1845] ). Having indulged …
  • … plants drawn up by Darwin; these lists are in DAR 255: 8 and DAR 255: 2–5. The first is a list that …
  • … Get Edwardsia tetraptera mentioned by Treviranus  Honey. 8 Acropera …
  • …   ——  pictus  . 13 8  s     …
  • … chæmæcistus 20 Provenance:  DAR 255: 8 Notes 1.  Hugh Low & …
  • … 7.  Melastoma trinerve or M. trinervium. 8.  This sentence added in pencil. The reference is …
  • … 5 s .’ deleted in ink. 13.  ‘—— pictus 8  s .’ deleted in ink. 14.  ‘Drosera’ …

Darwin in letters, 1864: Failing health

Summary

On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July 1864: ‘the venerable beard gives the look of your having suffered, and … of having grown older’.  Because of poor health, Because of poor health, Darwin…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … leaves  produce tendrils’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [8 February 1864] ). Darwin’s excitement …
  • … very careful treatment’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 April 1864 ). Nevertheless, Hooker solicited …
  • … latest ‘outburst of bigotry’ ( letter to Hugh Falconer, 8 November [1864] ). Although …

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: 3 hits

  • … exhausting. And I am actually forced always to go to bed at 8 o’clock completely tired. …
  • … attention. He opens the letter. DARWIN:  8   April 25 th 1855. My dear [Dr Gray] …
  • … 7  C DARWIN TO JD HOOKER 11 JANUARY 1844 8  C DARWIN TO A GRAY, 25 APRIL 1855 …

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: 3 hits

  • … deliberating how to end the matter to his satisfaction. On 8 January , he told Hooker: ‘I will …
  • … between Whitney and Max Müller. In Descent 2d ed., pp. 86–8, Darwin had cited Whitney’s …
  • … of having made false statements,’ Darwin replied on 8 April . ‘This is conduct which a man does …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute

Summary

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: 4 hits

  • … extinct species such as the mammoth ( Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 4 May [1860 …
  • … what he thought about ‘the derivation of Species’. 8 Darwin continued to feel aggrieved about …
  • … theory of transmutation, see Bartholomew 1973. 8. See Correspondence vol. 11, …
  • … Letters from Charles Lyell to T. H. Huxley, 7 June 1865, and 8 June 1865 (Imperial College, Huxley …

The evolution of honeycomb

Summary

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…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and buying a swarm (letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 8 [June 1858] ). (Articial wax is probably …
  • … might have a simple explanation. (Letter to Richard Hill, 8 August [1859] .) Much later, Jeffries …

'An Appeal' against animal cruelty

Summary

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…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … W. D. Fox, [6–27 September 1863], 29 September [1863], and 8 December [1863]). Emma sent a copy to …
  • … pamphlet', and letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, 8 December [1863]). There is no …
  • … 7 September 1863, letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, 8 December [1863], and Animal World , 1 …
  • …   or to Mrs C. Darwin | Downbar Bromley | Kent. 8 Christ’s College Library, …
  • … however, see letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, 8 December [1863]. Only two resident gamekeepers …
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