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To [W. W. Baxter?]   [after June 1857]

Summary

Requests a quart of distilled water for photography to be sent in a clean bottle via the postman on the following day.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Walmisley Baxter
Date:  [after June 1857]
Classmark:  Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation (Archives, Autograph Letters and Manuscripts Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13889F

From Edward Hewitt   18 December 1857

Summary

Hybrid varieties of pheasant and common fowl. Reply to CD queries.

Author:  Edward Hewitt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  18 Dec 1857
Classmark:  DAR 166: 196
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1614

To W. E. Darwin   [before 11 September 1857]

Summary

Writes of the extension to Down House.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  [before 11 Sept 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 17
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1619

To W. E. Darwin   [17 February 1857]

Summary

Is glad WED is in the sixth [form]. Discusses WED’s intention to become a barrister.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  [17 Feb 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 14
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1805

To John Innes   [after 16 February 1857]

Summary

Recommends he read passages on bees by C. T. E. von Siebold [in On the true parthenogenesis in moths and bees (1857)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  [after 16 Feb 1857]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.149)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2025

To [W. E. Darwin]   [1857?]

Summary

Will be grateful for facts from Mr Linton on numbers of eggs from goldfinch–canary crosses.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  [1857?]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 187
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2029

To Henry Doubleday   [before 5 February 1857]

Summary

Have all varieties been bred from the same set of eggs so that there can be no doubt they are all the same species?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Doubleday
Date:  [before 5 Feb 1857]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2032

To J. D. Hooker   [after 20 January 1857]

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Summary

CD finds Alphonse de Candolle very useful, though JDH has low opinion.

CD argues for accidental introductions explaining some odd distributions, e.g., New Zealand vs Australian plants.

CD’s method.

Diverging affinities in isolated genera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [after 20 Jan 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 190
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2033

To Asa Gray   1 January [1857]

Summary

Thanks AG for 2d part of "Statistics [of the flora of the northern U. S.", Am. J. Sci. 2d ser. 22 (1856): 204–32; 2d ser. 23 (1857): 62–84, 369–403].

Is glad AG concludes species of large genera are wide-ranging, but is "riled" that he thinks the line of connection of alpine plants is through Greenland. Mentions comparisons of ranges worth investigating.

Believes trees show a tendency toward separation of the sexes and wonders if U. S. species bear this out. Asks which genera are protean in U. S.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  1 Jan [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (7)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2034

From William Henry Harvey   3 January 1857

Summary

Sexes of algae.

Author:  William Henry Harvey
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Jan 1857
Classmark:  DAR 166: 115
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2035

To T. H. Huxley   4 January [1857]

Summary

Congratulations [on Mrs H’s delivery].

Balanus balanoides positively identified by CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  4 Jan [1857]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 48)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2037

To Henry Doubleday   8 January [1857]

Summary

Thanks for a kind note, and asks not to answer until better.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Doubleday
Date:  8 Jan [1857]
Classmark:  Dr Heather Whitney (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2037F

From Richard Hill   10 January 1857

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Summary

Will attend to any subject in Jamaica about which CD wants information.

Crithagra brasiliensis and canary refused to pair.

A collection of Jamaican land Mollusca will be presented to the British Museum.

Hurricanes are a considerable influence on diffusion of birds and insects.

Author:  Richard Hill
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Jan 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 237
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2038

From Charles Lyell   [16 January 1857]

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Summary

Enumerates fossil mammals known in Secondary strata.

Lack of angiosperm plants in rocks older than Chalk is no reason to anticipate rarity of warm-blooded quadrupeds.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 Jan 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 205.9: 394
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2039

To J. D. Hooker   17 January [1857]

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Summary

CD will advise W. F. Daniell on collecting.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  17 Jan [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 188
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2040

To T. H. Huxley   17 January [1857]

Summary

Asks THH question on flow of glaciers after ice has been fractured and fragmented.

CD had to leave Royal Society lecture [joint paper by THH and J. Tyndall, "On the structure and motions of glaciers", Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 147 (1857): 327–46] before the end because of headache.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  17 Jan [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 261.8: 1 (EH 88205939)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2041

To J. D. Hooker   20 January [1857]

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Summary

CD will advise Daniell not to apply for Royal Society grant.

CD’s experiment: fish fed seeds, which germinated when voided.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  20 Jan [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 189
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2042

From Henry Doubleday   26 January 1857

Summary

Sends specimens of Tortrix, which illustrate the extraordinary variation of markings in two or three species. In every family of Lepidoptera there seem to be species extremely prone to vary and in some localities they vary more than in others.

Author:  Henry Doubleday
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Jan 1857
Classmark:  DAR 162: 235
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2044

To T. H. Huxley   3 February [1857]

Summary

Thanks THH for his response on glacial movement. Hopes Tyndall will experiment on broken ice and explain how two pieces of ice can freeze together.

Sorry to hear of THH’s row with Richard Owen.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  3 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 104)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2045

To John Tyndall   4 February [1857]

Summary

CD is "as ignorant of mechanics as a pig", but glaciers have interested him greatly. Hopes to hear that JT’s experiments with ice will explain the freezing together of ice below the freezing point.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Tyndall
Date:  4 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 261.8: 2 (EH 88205940)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2046
Document type
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Six things Darwin never said – and one he did

Summary

Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly attributed to Darwin that never flowed from his pen.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly …

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: 11 hits

  • … of information about his preoccupations during 1856 and 1857. They reveal little noticed aspects of …
  • … as ever I can.’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 8 February [1857] ). Darwin also attempted to test …
  • … the alpine plants pretty effectually’ complained Darwin in 1857 ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [2 May …
  • … of calculation was wrong ( letter to John Lubbock, 14 July [1857] ). Darwin thought his results …
  • … experiments on plants through the summers of 1856 and 1857, particularly with garden vegetables like …
  • … Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette  in October 1857, to be followed by a second notice in 1858. …
  • … find the work: am I not a kind Father?’ Darwin wrote in 1857, soon followed by the complaint ‘You …
  • … to end!’ (letters to W. E. Darwin, [17 February 1857] and 21 [July 1857] ). The problem of …
  • … of his manuscript ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 1 May 1857 ) seem innocuous and hardly the veiled …
  • … are all vividly displayed in Darwin's letters. By the end of 1857, Darwin was well on the way …
  • … long letter to Asa Gray ( letter to Asa Gray, 5 September [1857] ). From this letter it is evident …

Darwin and Down

Summary

Charles and Emma Darwin, with their first two children, settled at Down House in the village of Down (later ‘Downe’) in Kent, as a young family in 1842.   The house came with eighteen acres of land, and a fifteen acre meadow.  The village combined the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … was in Darwin’s day.  To J. D. Hooker,  3 June [1857] :  on the struggle for existence in …

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: 1 hits

  • … 2070: Wedgwood, Hensleigh to Darwin, C. R., [before 29 Sept 1857] Darwin’s brother-in-law, …

Abstract of Darwin’s theory

Summary

There are two extant versions of the abstract of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. One was sent to Asa Gray on 5 September 1857, enclosed with a letter of the same date (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Asa Gray, 5 September [1857] and enclosure).…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … natural selection. One was sent to Asa Gray on 5 September 1857, enclosed with a letter of the same …
  • … to Prof. Asa Gray, Boston, U.S., dated Down, September 5th, 1857.” (Darwin and Wallace 1858, p. 50). …
  • … was sent to A. Gray 8 or 9 months ago, I think October 1857 [‘or perhaps’  del ]’. The printed …

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

  • … the Origin of Species…’ FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH: 1857-1858 In which Gray and Hooker …
  • … JUNE 1855 20  C DARWIN TO A GRAY, 1 JANUARY 1857 21  A GRAY TO C DARWIN, …
  • … MARCH 1862 35  C DARWIN TO A GRAY, 1 JANUARY 1857 36  A GRAY TO C DARWIN …
  • … OCTOBER 1858 59 A GRAY TO JD HOOKER, 12 OCTOBER 1857 60 A GRAY TO JD HOOKER, …

The "wicked book": Origin at 157

Summary

Origin is 157 years old.  (Probably) the most famous book in science was published on 24 November 1859.  To celebrate we have uploaded hundreds of new images of letters, bringing the total number you can look at here to over 9000 representing more than…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … ’s appearance, but there is a fascinating scrap from 1857 comparing his views on species to …

The evolution of honeycomb

Summary

Darwin recognised that explaining the evolution of the honey-bee’s comb-building abilities was essential if his theory of natural selection was to be taken seriously, and in the 1850s he carried out his own experiments at his home at Down House in Kent,…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … of other cells. (Letter from G. R. Waterhouse, 14 April 1857 .) In a later letter …

Darwin’s study of the Cirripedia

Summary

Darwin’s work on barnacles, conducted between 1846 and 1854, has long posed problems for historians. Coming between his transmutation notebooks and the Origin of species, it has frequently been interpreted as a digression from Darwin’s species work. Yet…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … a high compliment when he touched upon this matter in his 1857 lecture on cirripedes. In his praise …
  • … and not an anatomist ex professo .’ (T. H. Huxley 1857, p. 238 n.).    While Darwin’s …
  • … nos. 2118 and 2119, letter to T. H. Huxley, 5 July [1857] , and letter from T. H. Huxley, 7 …

Scientific Networks

Summary

Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Letter 2125 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 20 July [1857] Darwin writes a challenging letter …
  • … of the ephippium”, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 147 (1857): 79–100]. Darwin and Müller …

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: 2 hits

  • … 2055  - Langton, E. to Darwin,  F., [21 February 1857] Darwin’s nephew, Edmund, …
  • … Letter 2069  - Tenant, J. to Darwin, [31 March 1857] James Tenant, keeper of the …

Alfred Russel Wallace

Summary

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…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … and most famously, the problem of species change. In 1857, Darwin and Wallace exchanged …
  • … observations and theoretical abilities. In a letter of 1 May 1857, he alluded to his own unfinished …
  • … Science … may all your theories succeed” (22 December 1857). It may have been this shared interest …

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

  • … completed his ninth chapter, on hybridism, on 29 December 1857, Darwin began in January 1858 to …
  • … on variation under nature. Having learned in the summer of 1857 that his method for deriving …
  • … with an abstract of his views sent to Asa Gray in September 1857. The correspondence between Darwin, …

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: 21 hits

  • … 112 Jukes. “Students Manual of Geology” [Jukes 1857]— published a few years ago, good on …
  • … Lucas l’Heredite Naturelle [Lucas 1847–50] 1857 Nov. 15. Andersson Lake Gnami …
  • … Thackeray English Humourists [Thackeray 1853] 1857 Jan. Cockburn life of Selby [ …
  • … 1856]: H. Coverdale [Smedley [1854–6]: Quits [Tautphoeus] 1857] 29 Lutfullah. Life of …
  • … Marsh] 1858] Buckle History of Civilisation [Buckle 1857] Feb. 28 Sir J. Mackintosh …
  • … Oct. 22. Olmstead Journey through Texas [Olmsted 1857] Dec. Motley’s History of Dutch …
  • … 1853]— Aug.— Sherard Osborne’s Quedah [Osborn 1857] d[itt]o d[itt]o Arctic Journal …
  • … Harris 1842] Jukes Student Manual of Geology [Jukes 1857] Azara’s Quadrupeds [Azara …
  • … *119: 18v.; 119: 8a, 21a Buckle, Henry Thomas. 1857.  History of civilization in   …
  • … 21v., 22; 119: 19a Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn. 1857.  The life of Charlotte   Brontë . …
  • … [Abstract in DAR 205.3: 138.]  119: 20a ——. 1857.  The student’s manual of geology. …
  • … [Other eds.]  *119: 15v. Livingstone, David. 1857.  Missionary travels and   researches …
  • … 3 vols. Vivay. [Other eds.]  *119: 22 Lutfullah. 1857.  Autobiography of Lutfullah: a …
  • … *119: 23; 128: 5 Napier, William Francis Patrick. 1857.  The life and opinions of General …
  • … of   Elgin’s mission to China and Japan in the years 1857, 1858,   1859 . 2 vols. Edinburgh and …
  • … on their economy . New York.  128: 25 ——. 1857.  A journey through Texas; or, a winter …
  • …  an Arctic journal\. London.  128: 25 ——. 1857.  Quedah; or, stray leaves from a journal …
  • … Rouvroy, Louis de, Duke de Saint-Simon Vermandois. 1857.  The memoirs of the Duke of Saint Simon on …
  • … [Other eds.]  *119: 1v.; 119: 12a Smiles, Samuel. 1857.  The life of George Stephenson, …
  • …  New York.  *128: 178 [Tautphoeus, Jemima von]. 1857.  Quits; a novel . 3 vols. London.  …
  • … . Edited by J. C. Morris. Madras. 1833–51. Second series, 1857–. [Abstract in DAR 74: 177.]  *119: …

Divergence

Summary

In a later account of how he had come to the evolutionary ideas published in Origin, Darwin wrote: 'Of all the minor points, the last which I appreciated was the importance & cause of the principle of Divergence' (to Ernst Haeckel, [after 10]…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … principle by name in a letter to Joseph Hooker in August 1857, but didn't explain what he …

Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … completed his ninth chapter, on hybridism, on 29 December 1857, Darwin began in January 1858 to …
  • … on variation under nature. Having learned in the summer of 1857 that his method for deriving …
  • … with an abstract of his views sent to Asa Gray in September 1857. The correspondence between Darwin, …

Hensleigh Wedgwood

Summary

Hensleigh Wedgwood, Emma Darwin’s brother and Charles’s cousin, was a philologist, barrister and original member of the Philological Society, which had been created in 1842. In 1857, while Wedgwood was preparing a dictionary of English etymology, he wrote…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … the Philological Society, which had been created in 1842. In 1857, while Wedgwood was preparing a …

Fanny Owen

Summary

One question which arises a lot when sifting through Darwin’s letters is are we prying? The vast majority of ‘burn this’ requests are found in his correspondence with Fanny Owen, the young woman Darwin courted before the Beagle voyage. Owen was evidently…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … referred in part here to a frustrating experience he had in 1857 when William Sharpey read …

Second species sketch

Summary

Darwin finishes an expanded sketch of his species theory, first drafted in 1842

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Darwin finishes an expanded sketch of his species theory, first drafted in 1842 …

John Lubbock

Summary

John Lubbock was eight years old when the Darwins moved into the neighbouring property of Down House, Down, Kent; the total of one hundred and seventy surviving letters he went on to exchange with Darwin is a large number considering that the two men lived…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … supporter, populariser, and strategist.  As early as 1857 Darwin wrote to thank Lubbock for saving …
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