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From Edwards Crisp   4 April 1857

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Summary

Reports on wheat in the stomach of fish he caught.

Author:  Edwards Crisp
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 221
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2071

To J. D. Dana   5 April [1857]

Summary

Asks whether Crustacea from temperate parts of the Southern Hemisphere are more strongly analogous to those in same latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere than are Arctic to Antarctic Crustacea.

Discusses astonishing finds of mammalian and reptilian remains in Purbeck beds; notes reactions of Lyell.

Has doubts about Richard Owen’s recent classification of mammals [J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 2 (1858): 1–37].

Works away [on Natural selection].

Asa Gray has given valuable assistance.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  5 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2072

To J. D. Hooker   8 April [1857]

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Summary

Independence of variation from climate shown by several plant genera; CD asks for confirmation.

Progressing with book [Natural selection].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 191
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2073

To William Sharpey   9 April [1857]

Summary

Recommendations of books of general interest [for the Royal Society library]. These include [Louis] Agassiz’s works, [William] McGillivray’s [History of] British birds, and David Low’s [On the domesticated animals of the British Islands].

Comments on current candidates for the Royal Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Sharpey
Date:  9 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 249: 128 (photocopy)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2073F

From J. D. Hooker   [11 April 1857]

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Summary

JDH cites W. H. Harvey’s observations on Fucus and David Don’s on Juncus as examples of variations that are independent of climate. There are many such cases. Gives his working scheme for categorising variation.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [11 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 198–201
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2074

To J. D. Hooker   12 April [1857]

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Summary

Thanks JDH for response on variation. Studying variations that seem correlated with environment, e.g., north vs south, ascending mountains.

CD’s weed garden: observations on slugs killing seedlings.

Seed-salting. One-seventh of the plants of any country could be transported 924 miles by sea and would germinate.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  12 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 192
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2075

From T. V. Wollaston   [12 April 1857]

Summary

Lists groups of insects absent from the Madeiran fauna.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [12 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 181: 139
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2076

To Charles Lyell   13 April [1857]

Summary

CD returns a letter from Wollaston.

Although opposed to the Forbesian doctrine [of continental extension] as a general rule, CD would have no objection to its being proved in some cases. Does not think Wollaston has proved it; nor can anyone until more is known about the means of distribution of insects – but the identity of the two faunas is certainly interesting.

His health is very poor and his "everlasting species-Book" quite overwhelms him with work. It is beyond his powers, but he hopes to live to finish it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  13 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Edinburgh University Library, Centre for Research Collections (Gen.109/702)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2077

From George Robert Waterhouse   14 April 1857

Summary

Has found no reference to construction of bees’ cells in works referred to by CD. Describes cell of Osmia atricapilla. Hive-bees’ cell was described at Entomological Society.

Author:  George Robert Waterhouse
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 181: 21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2078

To Laurence Edmondston   19 April [1857]

Summary

Thanks for pigeon.

Are there Shetland birds chequered with black marks, as Carl Julian Graba states are in Faeroes [Reise nach Färö (1830)] and Col. King in the Hebrides?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Laurence Edmondston
Date:  19 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  L. D. Edmondston (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2079

From James Tenant   23 April 1857

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Summary

Fish will take both sorts of seeds sent by CD, but will not take oats.

Author:  James Tenant
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 258
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2081

To P. H. Gosse   27 April [1857]

Summary

Asks PHG to conduct an experiment to see if young littoral molluscs will cling to a duck’s foot – CD seeks to explain distribution of molluscs without adopting E. Forbes’s [continental extension] theory.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Henry Gosse
Date:  27 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Leeds University Library Special Collections (Brotherton Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2082

From J. D. Dana   27 April 1857

Summary

In reply to CD’s query [see 2072], JDD describes what little is known about the crustacea of the Antarctic and southern lands.

Knows of no species of the cold temperate south identical with those of the cold temperate north.

Author:  James Dwight Dana
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 162: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2083

To J. D. Hooker   [29 April 1857]

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Summary

Curative power of hydropathy.

General hairiness of alpine plants questioned: direct environmental effect.

CD has long felt JDH is too hard on bad observers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [29 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 194
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2084

To W. D. Fox   [30 April 1857]

Summary

His impressions of the hydropathic establishment and E. W. Lane. Is convinced the only thing for "chronic cases" is the water-cure.

Asks if WDF knows of any breed of pig that originated or was modified by a cross with a Chinese or Neapolitan pig, and whether the crossbreed bred true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [30 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 103)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2085
Document type
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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: 4 hits

  • … The Scottish botanist John Scott wrote from Calcutta, 4 May 1868 : “Shame is … expressed by an …
  • … Foster, Michael 4 June [1871] Trinity College, …
  • … Geach, F.F. 4 July 1868 Johore, Malaysia …
  • … Haast, J.F.J. von 4 Dec 1867 Christchurch, New …

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: 5 hits

  • … translation, 1863 2d French translation 1865 4 th English edition published, 1866 …
  • … Lyell, 11 October [1859] and letter from Charles Lyell, 4 October 1859 ).  Despite having …
  • … doomed to disappointment.   3 rd to 4 th editions This …
  • … Everything which I have read during last 4 years I find is quite washy in my mind . Once …
  • … mate choice , details that Darwin squirreled away for the 4 th edition, and his use of natural …

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: 23 hits

  • … (1) Alberts, Karl (4) Alberts, Maurice …
  • … (2) Allman, G. J. (4) Althaus, Julius …
  • … (1) Atkinson, Edward (4) Aubertin, J. J. …
  • … (1) Bailey, W. W. (4) Baillie, A. F. …
  • … (1) Bary, Anton de (4) Bashford, Frederick …
  • … (1) Behrens, Wilhelm (4) Beke, C. T. …
  • … (1) Bianconi, G. G. (4) Bibliogr. Inst. …
  • … (8) Blackwall, John (4) Blackwell, A. L. B. …
  • … (7) Blair, R. H. (4) Blake, C. C. (3 …
  • … (2) Broca, Paul (4) Broderip, W. J. …
  • … (1) Browne, Hugh (4) Browne, W. R. …
  • … (1) Canning, A. S. G. (4) Capes, Frederick …
  • … (1) Cardwell, Edward (4) Carlier, A. G. …
  • … (1) Chapman, John (4) Charles, R. F. …
  • … (2) Cheeseman, T. F. (4) Chemical supplier …
  • … (1) Chester, J. L. (4) Chiantore, G. …
  • … (2) Clark, J. W. (b) (4) Clarke, Benjamin …
  • … (3) Coan, T. M. (4) Cobbe, F. P. (13 …
  • … (2) Crotch, G. R. (4) Crotch, W. D. …
  • … (56) Dallinger, W. H. (4) Daly, J. …
  • … (11) Dobson, G. E. (4) Dodel-Port, Arnold …
  • … (3) Dunker, Wilhelm (4) Dupré, August …
  • … (2) Fawcett, Henry (4) Fayrer, Joseph …

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, …

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 …

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

  • … Could you tell us a bit more about that? 4. How did you use Darwin’s …
  • … between him and us, however uncomfortable. 4. How did you use Darwin’s correspondence to re …

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

  • … improvement to Jones’s diet ( see letter to T. H. Huxley, 4 October [1865] ). It was not until …
  • … for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In early June, he wrote to …
  • … from the Linnean Society ( letter to [Richard Kippist], 4 June [1865] ). The paper was published …
  • … to high scientific account’ (A. Gray 1865–6, pp. 273-4). Darwin had also written to Gray on 19 …
  • … for him to read attentively ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1865] ). The fact that …
  • … do it if it ever can be done’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1865] ); the hard work of …
  • … keep out of contact with him’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 4 May [1865] ). Darwin contributed …

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

  • … Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he received an exciting and …

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  Darwin the Collector activities 4 How did Darwin develop his ideas on …

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: 9 hits

  • … published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4  [Pierquin de Gembloux 1839]. Said to …
  • … et anim: on sleep & movements of plants  £ 1 ..s  4. [Dutrochet 1837] Voyage aux …
  • … observations on increase & decrease of different diseases 4 to . 1801 [Heberden 1801] quoted …
  • … worth reading [Dampier 1697] Sportsman’s repository 4 to . [W. H. Scott 1820]— contains …
  • … Audubons Ornithol: Biography [Audubon 1831–9]— 4 Vols. well worth reading [DAR *119: 4v.] …
  • … 31 An analysis of British Ferns. G. W. Francis 4 s  [Francis 1837]— plates of every …
  • … of Rural Sports [Blaine 1840] (at Athenæum?) Book II Chapt. 4 on variation by  Blaine .— & on …
  • … Yak.— Steudel Botan. Nomenclature [Steudel 1821–4]. Synonym of every plant & country— …
  • … Paper on transmutation of shells [Haldeman 1843–4] already (1844) VI. vols. published Lib. …

New material added to the American edition of Origin

Summary

A ‘revised and augmented’ American edition of Origin came on the market in July 1860, and was the only authorised edition available in the US until 1873. It incorporated many of the changes Darwin made to the second English edition, but still contained…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … US ed., pp. i–xi) New material added to chapter 4 on ‘Natural selection’ ( ibid ., pp. …
  • … and bearing in mind, &c., &c. Page 169, 4 tenth line from top, after ‘ …

Darwin and vivisection

Summary

Darwin played an important role in the controversy over vivisection that broke out in late 1874. Public debate was sparked when the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals brought an unsuccessful prosecution against a French physiologist who…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … on the Trichinae’ (letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January [1875] ). Darwin also worried that any …
  • … a new sketch for a petition (letter from T. H. Huxley, [4 April 1875] ). This was evidently …

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

  • … mammoth ( Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 4 May [1860] and n. 3; Hutchinson 1914, …
  • … partly inspired by the controversies associated with it. 4 One area of controversy centred …
  • … admiration for Lubbock’s book ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1865] ). A week later he sent …
  • … of the situation was succinct. In his letter to Hooker of [4 June 1865] he warned that no one …

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest

Summary

The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression.…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … of  Descent , he wrote to Philip Lutley Sclater on 4 January , ‘Heaven knows, whether the book …
  • … produce physiological changes ( letter from Michael Foster, 4 June [1871] ). Pangenesis …
  • … can hardly sit up, so no more’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 4 August [1871] ). On 23 September he …
  • … good as twice refined gold’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 September [1871] ). The months …

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

  • … me’, Darwin wrote enthusiastically to Reginald Darwin on 4 April , declaring that reading it was …
  • … independent of him as possible’, Francis told Darwin on 4 July, after reporting that he had …
  • … with Ubba about your return’, Darwin wrote to Francis on 4 July , ‘He said “it is likely he will …
  • … neither cross nor ennuied’ (Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: 125)). Darwin …
  • … has opposed it’ (letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [4 August 1879] (DAR 219.1: 125)). Nothing …
  • … ‘to be planted in my honour!’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 4 November [1879] ). While in Coniston, …
  • … frog be published in Nature ( letter to J. N. Lockyer, 4 and 6 March [1879] ). When Darwin’s …

Darwin in letters, 1876: In the midst of life

Summary

1876 was the year in which the Darwins became grandparents for the first time.  And tragically lost their daughter-in-law, Amy, who died just days after her son's birth.  All the letters from 1876 are now published in volume 24 of The Correspondence…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … curs in London’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [4 February 1876] ). 'The heat of …
  • … as stemming a torrent with a reed’, he told Romanes on 4 June , but added, ‘Frank … who sputters …
  • … the previous year ( letter to G. H. Darwin, [after 4 September 1876] ). ...all sorts of …
  • … say is do not commit suicide’ ( letter to G. H. Darwin, [4 June 1876] ). By midsummer, Darwin …
  • … size of pollen grains & state of stigma’, he told Gray on 4 December. Darwin also adopted …

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

  • … He expressed his views to his daughter Henrietta on 4 January : ‘I wd gladly punish severely …
  • … eyes of one variety into another ( Variation 2d ed. 1: 420–4, 2: 360). Darwin had encouraged …
  • … become wholly white’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [before 4 November 1874] ).   Testing …
  • … am very glad indeed of your work,’ Darwin replied on 4 November , ‘though I cannot yet follow all …
  • … occasions and finally arranged a visit to Down House on 4 May, but was not content with just one …

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: 2 hits

  • … except that of vigorous health… DARWIN:  4   My confounded stomach. GRAY: …
  • … OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, PROCEEDINGS XVII, 1882 4  C DARWIN TO JD HOOKER 10 MAY 1848 …

Darwin in letters,1866: Survival of the fittest

Summary

The year 1866 began well for Charles Darwin, as his health, after several years of illness, was now considerably improved. In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of  Origin. Darwin got the fourth…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … [1866] ). Darwin began riding the cob, Tommy, on 4 June 1866, and in a letter to his …
  • … before the season is over’ ( letter from John Lubbock, 4 August 1866 ). More predictably, however, …
  • … is known on the subject’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 and 4 August [1866] ). And on the next day: …
  • … he had sounded the charge’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [4 September 1866] ). 'Natural …
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