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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

From James Hunt   [before 29 December 1857]

Summary

Birds that have been hybridised.

Author:  James Hunt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 29 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 166: 281
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2096

To George Bentham   1 December [1857]

Summary

Thanks GB for his help on naturalised plants; comments on spreading of plants.

Wants to quote GB on the names of species and varieties of Silene on which C. F. von Gärtner experimented.

Thinks GB will be disappointed in his book [Natural selection]. "It will be grievously too hypothetical."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Bentham
Date:  1 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Bentham, George letters: 682–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2177

From J. D. Hooker  [2 December 1857]

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Summary

News of Mrs Henslow’s death.

Studying Impatiens, which bears on CD’s problems. Though genus is endemic to India, with over 100 species, CD will be glad to know they do not run into one another.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [2 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 178–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2178

From Richard Bishop to Charles Spence Bate   3 December 1857

Summary

Gives observations to be forwarded to CD of impregnation in Balanus.

Author:  Richard Bishop
Addressee:  Charles Spence Bate
Date:  3 Dec 1857
Classmark:  DAR 160: 189
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2179

To J. D. Hooker  4 December [1857]

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Summary

Inquiries on effect of dry heat on temperate plants for glacial chapter.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  4 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 216
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2180

From J. D. Hooker  [6 December 1857]

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Summary

Finds CD’s results [of his survey of well-marked varieties from A. P. and Alphonse de Candolle’s Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis (1824–73)] "very curious and suggestive". Thinks the Labiatae will present an obstacle to him as it is a very large and distinct order with well-defined species and genera. Would like to see him tackle more volumes of Candolle’s Prodromus, as his case can only be established by evidence from mundane plants. CD should beware of generalising from local species variability. A comparison of C. C. Babington’s and G. Bentham’s [British] Floras [Babington Manual of British botany (1843, 4th ed., 1856); Bentham Handbook of British flora (1858)] would be invaluable. Suggests CD write to Ferdinand Müller and Charles Moore in Australia. Moisture favouring extension of species is important for CD’s view.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [6 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 195–6, DAR 47: 192
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2181

To J. D. Hooker   9 December [1857]

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Summary

Survey of species with well-marked varieties: JDH’s Labiatae case a "great blow", but result is very generally consistent.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  9 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 217
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2182

To E. W. V. Harcourt   13 December [1857]

Summary

Thanks for offer of pigeons, if breeding is successful; hopes to go to poultry show to see them.

Several questions about the Boz or Booz pigeon of Tunis.

If any of EWVH’s birds die and he does not want the skin, perhaps he would send it to CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  13 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Bodleian Library (MS.Harcourt dep.adds. 346 ff. 258–62)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2182F

From H. C. Watson  14 December [1857]

Summary

Will shortly return CD’s list of varieties of British plants. Discusses the situations in which different varieties of species are often found and the ranges of varieties relative to those of the species.

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A11–12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2183

To George Bentham   15 December [1857]

Summary

For his studies on fertility of crosses, asks GB to mark a list of pairs of Cucubalus as to whether they are varieties of the same species, or distinct species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Bentham
Date:  15 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Bentham, George letters: 681
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2184

To E. W. V. Harcourt   15 December [1857]

Summary

Will not accept invitation to Hastings, or offer to send pigeons to Down.

Is looking forward to seeing pigeons at Crystal Palace poultry show.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  15 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Bodleian Library (MS.Harcourt dep.adds. 346 ff. 263–4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2184F

To T. H. Huxley  16 December [1857]

Summary

THH’s catalogue [THH and R. Etheridge, A catalogue of the collection of fossils in the Museum of Practical Geology (1865), part published in 1857] best résumé he has seen of science of natural history. On classification he is not quite sure that he wholly goes along with THH. Encloses a few criticisms of THH’s preface.[enclosure survives as copy only].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  16 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 151); DAR 145: 178
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2185

From George Bentham   [16 or 17 December 1857]

Summary

Returns CD’s lists [sent with 2184]. Confusion in genera of Silene is great in continental botanic gardens. One would have to know whether C. F. v. Gärtner had the right names for species in his experiments.

Author:  George Bentham
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 or17 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 160: 151
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2186

To W. D. Fox   17 December [1857]

Summary

Thanks WDF for his letter about a rabbit breed that he thinks is the Himalaya. He is particularly glad to hear of it because it breeds so true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  17 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 105)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2187

From J. D. Hooker  [17–23 December 1857]

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Summary

Sending more Candolle volumes for survey of species with well-marked varieties.

Has begun his introduction [to Flora Tasmaniae]; will not make generalisations.

J. D. Dana’s pamphlet too metaphysical for JDH.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [17–23 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 194
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2188

To George Bentham   18 December [1857]

Summary

Thanks GB for his answers [to 2184], which were as explicit as he expected. Cucubalus viscosus and italicus are extremely sterile together; all other forms extremely fertile. Other instances of infertility found by Gärtner.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Bentham
Date:  18 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Bentham, George letters: 700a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2189

From H. C. Watson  20 December [1857]

Summary

Finds he cannot annotate CD’s list of subspecies and varieties as wanted. Mentions again his difficulties with "species"; he "cannot find the proof of species being definite and immutable whatever they may seem to be at any one time and spot".

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A13–14
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2190

To A. R. Wallace   22 December 1857

Summary

Comments on agreement of their respective views on distribution.

Reference to differences on subsidence.

Reports on progress of his work and praises ARW’s investigations.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  22 Dec 1857
Classmark:  British Library (Add 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2192

From Edward Hewitt   22 December 1857

Summary

Replies to more queries about fowl hybrids.

Author:  Edward Hewitt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  22 Dec 1857
Classmark:  DAR 166: 197
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2193
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