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Darwin Correspondence Project
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From Erasmus Alvey Darwin to Emma Darwin   [before 3 February 1867?]


Will be glad to see her on 4th.

Thinks Hensleigh is getting better, very slowly.

Author:  Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Addressee:  Emma Wedgwood; Emma Darwin
Date:  [before 3 Feb 1867?]
Classmark:  DAR 105: B122–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5335

To William Turner   1 February [1867]


Thanks for information about rudimentary organs. Asks about rudimentary character of human hair and panniculus carnosus.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Turner
Date:  1 Feb [1867]
Classmark:  Edinburgh University Library, Centre for Research Collections (Dc.2.96/5 folio 3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5386

From D. Appleton & Co. to Asa Gray   1 February 1867


Statement of sales of U. S. edition of Origin.

Author:  D. Appleton & Co
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  1 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 159: A81
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5387

From William Darwin Fox   1 February [1867]


Wants to know whether Variation is published and how the other book [CD’s proposed volume on variation in nature] is going.

Author:  William Darwin Fox
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Feb [1867]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 185
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5388

From Fritz Müller   2 February 1867


Thanks for CD’s letter inquiring about capsules produced by the Maxillaria with larger pods [see 5331]. Gives descriptions of Maxillaria and of the other Vandeae.

Describes Oncidium flexuosum.

Tells of botanical results of recent excursion to the German colony Theresopolis. Brought home fine collection of living orchids.

Author:  Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Feb 1867
Classmark:  Möller ed. 1915–21, 2: 109–11; DAR 70: 146
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5389A

From J. D. Hooker   4 February 1867



Has declined Presidency of BAAS.

Relation of insular and continental genera will always be difficult problem.

On Providence and the "continuity theory".

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 102: 138–142
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5390

From Lydia Ernestine Becker   6 February 1867


Thanks CD for Lythrum paper [Collected papers 2: 106–31] and "Climbing plants" sent to Manchester Ladies’ Literary Society. Comments on Lythrum.

Author:  Lydia Ernestine Becker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 160: 115
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5391

To W. D. Fox   6 February [1867]


Has just sent MS of Variation off to printer. Is in darkness about its merits.

News of family and their health. Riding seems to help him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  6 Feb [1867]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 147)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5392

To Fritz Müller   7 February [1867]


CD’s Variation is in printer’s hands.

Orchid self-sterility.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Date:  7 Feb [1867]
Classmark:  The British Library (Loan MS 10 no 12)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5393

From William Henry Kinnaird Gibbons   7 February 1867


Asks CD whether he has given any thought to the phenomena of spiritualism.

Author:  W. H. S Gibbons
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 165: 36
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5394

To J. D. Hooker   8 February [1867]


On the Duke of Argyll and a review of his Reign of law.

Asa Gray’s theological view of variation. God’s role in formation of organisms; JDH’s view of Providence.

Insular and continental genera.

Owen on continuity and ideal types

and on bones of Mauritius deer.

On man.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 Feb [1867]
Classmark:  DAR 94: 10–13
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5395

From William Turner   8 February 1867



On muscles in man for moving skin, hair, ears, etc.

Author:  William Turner
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 80: B152–3c
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5396

From J. V. Carus   11 February 1867


Sends CD an English translation of his preface to the revised German edition of Origin and asks his opinion of it.

Asks CD where he might get a specimen of Eozoon.

Author:  Julius Victor Carus
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  11 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 161: 55, 57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5397

To William Turner   11 February [1867]


Thanks WT for information.

Will not include chapter on man in Variation but plans separate essay in future.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Turner
Date:  11 Feb [1867]
Classmark:  DAR 148: 155
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5398

From J. D. Hooker   12 February 1867



Relieved that CD approves his declining the Presidency of BAAS. The BAAS and the role of scientific men in it.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 102: 143–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5399

From John Lubbock   12 February 1867


H. T. Stainton should be elected F.R.S.

Author:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 170: 55
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5400

To William Benjamin Carpenter   [13–16 February 1867]


Asks for specimen [of Eozoon] for J. V. Carus of Leipzig.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Benjamin Carpenter
Date:  [13–16 Feb 1867]
Classmark:  Sotheby Parke Bernet, London (18 June 1979)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5402

To J. V. Carus   17 February [1867]


CD thinks JVC’s preface is fair to Bronn. Regrets JVC has not added notes of his own, but, having dropped Bronn’s appendix, it is perhaps best to leave the text without comment. Rejoices that the German public can now judge the Origin fairly.

Has written to W. B. Carpenter for a specimen of Eozoon to send to JVC.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Julius Victor Carus
Date:  17 Feb [1867]
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 6–7)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5403

From Edward Blyth   19 February 1867


Encloses memorandum on Origin [1866]

discussing mimicry in mammals and birds,

abnormal habits shown by birds,

behaviour of cuckoos,

and analogies existing between mammals of the same geographical region.

Speculates on possible lines of development linking groups of mammals.

[CD’s notes on the verso of the letter are for his reply.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  19 Feb 1867
Classmark:  DAR 160: 209, 209/1 & 2, DAR 47: 190, 190a, DAR 80: B99–99a, DAR 205.11: 138, DAR 48: A75
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5405

To Edward Blyth   [18 February 1867]


Asks to meet EB for a walk in the Zoological Gardens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward Blyth
Date:  [18 Feb 1867]
Classmark:  McGill University Library, Department of Rare Books
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5406
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List of correspondents


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: 16 hits

  • … Émile (8) Alice (2) Alison, R. E. …
  • … (1) Allen, Thomas (2) Allman, G. J. …
  • … (1) Appleton, C. E. C. B. (2) Appleton, T. G. …
  • … (5) Austin, A. D. (2) Austin, C. F. …
  • … (7) Axon, W. E. A. (2) Aylmer, I. E. …
  • … (3) Baldwin, J. D. (2) Balfour, F. M. …
  • … (1) Baranoff, W. (2) Barber, M. E. …
  • … (1) Barnard, Anne (2) Barnes, K. S. …
  • … (1) Barrois, J. H. (2) Bartlett, A. D. …
  • … (1) Batalin, A. F. (2) Bate, C. S. …
  • … (1) Bates, Frederick (2) Bates, H. W. …
  • … (1) Baumhauer, E. H. von (2) Baxter, E. B. …
  • … (3) Beale, L. S. (2) Beall, T. B. (1 …
  • … B. (1) Beck, John (2) Becker, L. E. …
  • … (3) Beger, Karl (2) Behrens, Frederick …
  • … (1) Bell, Robert (b) (2) Bell, Thomas …

Darwin The Collector


Look at nature more closely and create and record your own natural collections.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities provide an introduction to Charles Darwin, how and why he collected so many specimens …

Detecting Darwin


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’s reading notebooks


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: 5 hits

  • … Stoke’s Library 1 Cambridge. Library 2 Royal Coll of Surgeons [DAR *119 …
  • … de l’Homme,” by Dr. Pierquin, published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4   …
  • … 1829]; read Letter to M. Therry [Broughton 1832]— a 2 d  Edit preparing in 1841.— Lesson …
  • … of habits of birds. Temminck Manuel D’ornithologie. 2 d  Edit: Introduction on migration of …
  • … Ker Porter’s Travels in Caucasus [R. K. Porter 1821–2] praised by Silliman poor Cyclop. of …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions


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

  • … edition published, 1872   1 st to 2 nd editions I have …
  • … the voids caused by the action of His laws.” ( Origin 2d ed, p. 481).   2 nd …
  • … to a letter to Asa Gray he had yet to start it on 28 January, but on 2 February 1860 he told …
  • … “Origin” for the first time, for I am correcting for a 2 nd . French Edition; & upon my life, …

Dates of composition of Darwin's manuscript on species


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

  • … nor was it recorded in Darwin's ‘Journal’. Chapter 2 is not extant but was recorded in Darwin& …
  • … [1] (not extant) 2 13 October 1856 …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick


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

  • … to Darwin, how did language begin? 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? And …
  • … sense, a more developed moral sense, and so forth. 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? …

Darwin And Evolution


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


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, …

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots


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

  • … his wife sent birthday greetings and a photograph of their 2-year-old son named Darwin, who, they …
  • … materialism”’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 2 June 1879 ]). As one of Darwin’s most ardent …
  • … other than Darwin’s sister Caroline (who was around 2 years old at the time of Erasmus’s death). …
  • … that plants were ‘mere machines’, reminding Francis on 2 June that he had long thought that …
  • … for certain movements’ ( second letter to Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ). Sachs guarded …
  • … for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first letter) . Much of the time, however, …
  • … their ‘tremendous journey’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [2 August 1879] ). The journey proved more …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments


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

  • … to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] ). However, Hooker, at the …
  • … idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not until 25 …
  • … abstract of the paper was read before the Linnean Society on 2 February, and in April Darwin wrote …
  • … 1867), and Darwin summarised them in  Variation  2: 106–7, concluding, ‘it follows from Mr. Scott …
  • … and professional seniority ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ); but Darwin’s feelings …
  • … in healing this ugly breach’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ), Darwin seems to have …
  • … of weather-forecasting ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 May 1865 and nn. 2 and 5), and he may …

Home learning: 7-11 years


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 Detecting Darwin activities 2 Learn about Darwin and the Beagle …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep


In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to the movements of plants. He investigated the growth pattern of roots and shoots, studying the function of specific organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering about the …
  • … tomorrow to Wurzburg,’ Darwin wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 2 June , ‘& work by myself will be …
  • … [before 17 July 1878] ), ‘a strong horizontal axis about 2 feet long which goes round by clockwork …
  • … animal instinct and intelligence. ‘Frank’s son, nearly 2 years old (& we think much of his …
  • … more expertly. ‘I conclude that a child—just under 2 years is inferior in intellect to a monkey.’ …
  • … & a baby in your house!’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 2 September [1878] ). More …
  • … seems to me quite ridiculous’ ( letter to John Price, 2 April [1878] ). When a wealthy businessman …
  • … was ‘deeply gratified’, remarking to Skertchly on 2 March : ‘It is the greatest possible …
  • … that such checks had been in action during the last 2 or 3 centuries, or even for a shorter time in …

Satire of FitzRoy's Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, by John Clunies Ross. Transcription by Katharine Anderson


[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: 5 hits

  • … the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2 nd 3 rd and Appendix Volumes of …
  • … many Kentledge pigs – and almost as heavy – limited the 2 nd to 700 pages of easily readable type …
  • … for commanding under it an H.C. Cruizer [ vf.147v p.2 ] of considerably greater tonnage – and …
  • … making a quick passage to the Southward. In the 2 nd that the expression “sailed from …
  • … in singing ^of^ jovial sea songs even on Wednesdays *[2] [ f.158r p.23 ] instead of the …

Interview with Pietro Corsi


Pietro Corsi is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford. His book Evolution Before Darwin is due to be published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Date of interview: 17 July 2009 Transcription 1: Introduction …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … surrounding evolutionary theories. 2. The situation in France …

Interview with John Hedley Brooke


John Hedley Brooke is President of the Science and Religion Forum as well as the author of the influential Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 1991). He has had a long career in the history of science and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Paul. It’s a very great pleasure. 2. Victorian spiritualism and the …

Interview with Randal Keynes


Randal Keynes is a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and the author of Annie’s Box (Fourth Estate, 2001), which discusses Darwin’s home life, his relationship with his wife and children, and the ways in which these influenced his feelings about…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … which came to my mind as I read his book. 2. Darwin's influences …

Interview with Emily Ballou


Emily Ballou is a writer of novels and screenplays, and a prize-winning poet. Her book The Darwin Poems, which explores aspects of Darwin’s life and thoughts through the medium of poetry, was recently published by the University of Western Australia Press.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … some of these poems today, and? 2. The idea of writing about Darwin …

Interview with Tim Lewens


Dr Tim Lewens is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Organisms and artifacts (2004), which examines the language and arguments for design in biology and philosophy, and of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … you for the flattering introduction. 2. The unusual role Darwin plays today …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions


Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, with full debunking below...

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, …
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