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From D. Appleton & Co. to Asa Gray   1 September 1870


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

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 159: 87
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7313

From Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya and V. O. Kovalevsky   1 September 1870


Accepts CD’s offer to order books from the Royal Society Library.

VOK asks for information about W. B. Carpenter’s dredging expedition in the Porcupine.

Author:  Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya (Софья Васильевна Ковалевская)
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 169: 53
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7314

From W. W. Reade   3 September 1870


Could not go up the Niger, as trading steamers are trying to keep their trade in the dark.

Has seen several albinos, but no blushing. Thinks blacks do blush.

Author:  William Winwood Reade
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 176: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7315

To John Murray   4 September [1870]


Variation is a much better looking volume than Origin due to quality of paper and binding. Hopes JM will attend to this point in Descent. Printers have sent "splendid lot" of proofs.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  4 Sept [1870]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 f. 211)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7316

From V. O. Kovalevsky   5 September [1870]


Will order the first set of casts from Murray.

Thanks CD for a book for his wife from the Royal Society Library.

His brother [Alexander] is delighted at being referred to in CD’s work [Descent 1: 205].

Author:  Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 Sept [1870]
Classmark:  DAR 169: 80
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7317

From John Tyndall   7 September 1870


Sends CD proofs of a lecture he will give at Liverpool. Asks CD to check the part referring to him.

Élie de Beaumont’s remark, in which he requires CD to recant before being admitted to the [French] Academy, is intolerable. "This spirit has much to do with the present condition of France."

Author:  John Tyndall
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 106: C3–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7318

To John Tyndall   8 September 1870


CD finds JT’s discourse "grand and most interesting" [On the scientific use of the imagination (1870)]. Flattered by what JT says about him.

He is "a rash man to say a good word for Pangenesis for it has hardly a friend among naturalists".

CD is much struck with what JT says about "pondering" and delighted by his "as if" argument.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Tyndall
Date:  8 Sept 1870
Classmark:  The Michael Faraday Museum at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, reference RI MS JT/2/10/458, spine title: Journal V111A 1858–71
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7319

From V. O. Kovalevsky   15 September 1870


Requests a copy of [Living] Cirripedia to send to his brother, Alexander, who is working in Naples and wishes to verify CD’s discovery of complementary males.

Author:  Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 169: 81
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7320

From George Cupples   17 September 1870


CD’s deerhound puppy will be ready soon.

Author:  George Cupples
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 161: 293
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7321

From V. O. Kovalevsky   20 September 1870


Thanks for Cirripedia. Sorry CD has had to buy the books.

Author:  Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 169: 82
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7322

To George Cupples   20 September [1870]


Many thanks for present of a dog: he will arrange its collection from the train whenit arrives in London.

He is correcting proofs of Descent, and will send GC a copy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Cupples
Date:  20 Sept [1870]
Classmark:  Christie’s, New York (dealers) (19 December 2002, lot 41)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7322F

From J. D. Hooker   24 September 1870



Reports on the 1870 BAAS meeting at Liverpool. Huxley’s address was over the heads of the laymen.

Tyndall’s was eloquent to listen to, disappointing to read.

George Rolleston’s "Rococo" address [Nature 2 (1870): 423–7, 442–6].



Has done an immense lot of work.

Regrets CD has not kept the simple title "Origin of man" [for Descent].

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 103: 57–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7323

From Edward Livingston Youmans   25 September 1870


Concerning an American edition of Descent by Appleton’s.

Author:  Edward Livingston Youmans
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 183: 2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7324

From E. L. Youmans   25 September 1870


A note to inform CD that ELY has sent his earlier letter [7324] to the Athenaeum, being unsure of CD’s address.

Author:  Edward Livingston Youmans
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 183: 3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7325

From Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevsky   25 September 1870


Outlines the evidence for his view that ascidian larvae are true vertebrates presented in his paper ["Weitere Studien über die Entwicklung der einfachen Ascidien", Arch. Mikrosk. Anat. 7 (1871): 101–302]. CD can cite this as confirmation of AOK’s earlier claims.

Author:  Alexander Onufrievich Kovalevsky
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  25 Sept 1870
Classmark:  DAR 169: 52
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7326

To John Murray   26 September 1870


Wants sheets [of Descent] for foreign editions. Asks JM to determine price to be charged for the stereotypes of 62 cuts. Dallas would be excellent for the index but must be "civilly warned" not to delay. Encloses memo on the index.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  26 Sept 1870
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 214–17)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7327

To J. D. Hooker   27 September [1870]


Comments on JDH’s report of Liverpool meeting.

Huxley’s address.

Sir Roderick [Murchison]’s "apotheosis".

Tyndall’s lecture is "grand" except for egotistical beginning. Some Frenchmen have pitched into CD for using the "as if" reasoning, which Tyndall shows is justified.

Has just read George Rolleston’s address in Nature.

Anton Dohrn says German public have high opinion of Lyell.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  27 Sept [1870]
Classmark:  DAR 94: 181–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7328

From John Murray   28 September [1870]


Various arrangements concerning the publication of Descent. "It will cause men to prick up [their] ears – & to elevate their eyebrows." JM thinks he will venture to print 2500 copies.

Suggests CD tone down as possibly indelicate a passage on proportion of advances made by the two sexes in animals.

Author:  John Murray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Sept [1870]
Classmark:  DAR 171: 378
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7329

To Hermann Settegast   29 September 1870


Thanks HS for a copy of his book [? Die Thierzucht (1868)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Hermann Gustav (Hermann) Settegast
Date:  29 Sept 1870
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Autogr. I/101, Bl. 1–2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7330

To John Murray   29 September [1870]


CD did not promise Appleton stereotypes of text [of Descent]; only of cuts.

Wishes to know which passage JM thought "coarse". Remembers only a quotation from John Hunter on courtship of female being required "to give her desires" [Descent 1: 273]. He fancied a quotation rendered the sentence less coarse.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  29 Sept [1870]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 212–13)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7331
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in keywords
89 Items
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Darwin’s queries on expression


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: 3 hits

  • … Gray, Asa 9 May [1869] [Alexandria, Egypt] …
  • … Gray, Jane 9 May [1869] [Alexandria, Egypt] …
  • … Gray, Asa 8 & 9 May 1869 Florence, Italy (about …

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: 4 hits

  • … that it was ‘dry as dust’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 9 September 1879 ). He was also unsatisfied …
  • … which is crowned with glory’ ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 February 1879 ). The botanist and …
  • … ). Darwin welcomed Krause’s suggestion, but warned him on 9 June not to ‘expend much powder & …
  • … (Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [27 August 1879] (DAR 219.9: 201)). Celebrity and honours …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex


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: 7 hits

  • … Darwin asked Murray to intervene, complaining on 9 January , ‘M r . Dallas’ delay … is …
  • … on the auditory organs of Orthoptera and Coleoptera on 9 September . Darwin annotated a letter …
  • … from the south of France to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood on 9 Novembe r, describing sphinx moths that …
  • … direct result of natural selection ( Variation  2: 185–9). Wallace seized upon this point in a …
  • … Katherine ( letter from C. M. Hawkshaw to Emma Darwin, 9 February [1868] ). Darwin’s eldest son, …
  • … from Fritz Müller, 22 April 1868 , 17 June 1868 , 9 September 1868 , and 31 October 1868 …
  • … A different order of pride was expressed on 9 November by Ernst Haeckel on the birth of his son …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments


1862 was a particularly productive year for Darwin. This was not only the case in his published output (two botanical papers and a book on the pollination mechanisms of orchids), but more particularly in the extent and breadth of the botanical experiments…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … excited Darwin, who exclaimed to Gray ( letter to Asa Gray, 9 August [1862] ), ‘I am almost stark …
  • … , whether the Book will sell’ ( letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862] ). To his son, William, …
  • … better fun’ than species ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1862] ), he responded to the …
  • … active young wolves’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 9 October 1862 ). Darwin had managed to …
  • … to read any paper or speak’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 [April 1862] ). A visit in October from …
  • … me go away for an hour after dinner & retire to my room at 9 o clock I do not think it would …
  • … as true as gospel, so it must be true’ ( to J. D. Hooker, 9 May [1862] ). the real …

Books on the Beagle


The Beagle was a sort of floating library.  Find out what Darwin and his shipmates read here.

Matches: 2 hits

  • … the  Narrative  (2: 18). CD, in his letter to Henslow, 9 [September 1831] , discussing the …
  • … Desaulses de.  Voyage autour du monde . . . 1817–20.  9 vols., 4 vols. plates, Paris, 1824–44. …

Francis Galton


Galton was a naturalist, statistician, and evolutionary theorist. He was a second cousin of Darwin’s, having descended from his grandfather, Erasmus. Born in Birmingham in 1822, Galton studied medicine at King’s College, London, and also read mathematics…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … into an entirely new province of knowledge’ ( 9 December 1859 ). He soon became interested in …

Women’s scientific participation


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: 5 hits

  • … Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L to Darwin, [8 & 9 May 1869] Jane Loring Gray, …
  • … Letter 6453 - Langton, E. to Wedgwood, S. E., [9 November 1868] Darwin’s nephew, …
  • … 5756 - Langton, E. & C. to Wedgwood S. E., [after 9 November 1868] Darwin’s …
  • … Letter 7433  - Wedgwood,  F. to Darwin, [9 January 1871] Darwin’s brother-in-law, …
  • … Letter 8153  - Darwin to  Darwin, W. E., [9 January 1872] Darwin thanks his son …

Darwin & Glen Roy


Although Darwin was best known for his geological work in South America and other remote Beagle destinations, he made one noteworthy attempt to explain a puzzling feature of British geology.  In 1838, two years after returning from the voyage, he travelled…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … field guide to Glen Roy: To Charles Lyell, 9 August [1838] To Charles Lyell, …

Darwin in letters, 1869: Forward on all fronts


At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  Origin. He may have resented the interruption to his work on sexual selection and human evolution, but he spent forty-six days on the task. Much of the…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … by his perfectibility principle (Nägeli 1865, pp. 28–9). In further letters, Hooker tried to provide …
  • … hatred—’ ( from Asa Gray and J. L. Gray, 8 and 9 May [1869] ). James Crichton-Browne and …
  • … of the soil ( letter to  Gardeners’ Chronicle , 9 May [1869] ). In March, Darwin received …
  • … I do not care to follow him’ ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 9 October 1869 ). Farrer ventured to …
  • … on summit of a mountain.—’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 9 July [1869] ).  Earlier in the year, …

Capturing Darwin’s voice: audio of selected letters


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: 1 hits

  • … Beagle voyage, to a letter to C. A. Kennard written on 9 January 1882 , only shortly before …

Jane Gray


Jane Loring Gray, the daughter of a Boston lawyer, married the Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1848 and evidence suggests that she took an active interest in the scientific pursuits of her husband and his friends. Although she is only known to have…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … (letter from Asa Gray and J. L. Gray, 8 and 9 May 1869 ) Darwin cited Gray’s …
  • … book shows that they spent 14s on a backgammon board on 9 November 1868, a few days after leaving …

Darwin in letters, 1863: Quarrels at home, honours abroad


At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of The variation of animals and plants under domestication, anticipating with excitement the construction of a hothouse to accommodate his increasingly varied botanical experiments…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … my teeth at my own folly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] ). After his venture into the …
  • … … who dare speak out’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] ). The others listed were himself, …
  • … to Asa Gray, 20 April [1863] , letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] , and memorandum from G. H …

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution


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: 2 hits

  • … ‘is the bane of existence!’ ( letter to William Ogle, 9 November 1870 ). Researching …
  • … demons and spirits were white ( letter from W. W. Reade, 9 November 1870 ). Keen for more …

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: 3 hits

  • … Cactus’, he wrote to William Turner Thiselton-Dyer on 9 May. He later noted that in many Cacteae the …
  • … about the radicles’, he wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 9 May . ‘The apex is sensitive, & instead …
  • … ‘I am what may be called a rich man’, he replied on 9 December, ‘on the other hand I have 5 sons …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute


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: 5 hits

  • … Lyell telling him about the letter to the Athenæum . 9  In the same letter, Darwin …
  • … about C. Lyell 1863a are discussed in Bynum 1984, pp. 154–9. 7. See Correspondence …
  • … letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] and n. 7. 9. See Correspondence vol. 11, …
  • … 11, letter from J. D. Hooker, [24 March 1863] and n. 9. In his published review, Lubbock wrote …
  • … Emma Darwin to Henrietta Emma Darwin, [1 June 1865] (DAR 219.9: 28). 24. See the …

Photograph album of German and Austrian scientists


The album was sent to Darwin to mark his birthday on 12 February 1877 by the civil servant Emil Rade, and contained 165 portraits of German and Austrian scientists. The work was lavishly produced and bound in blue velvet with metal embossing. Its ornate…

Matches: 0 hits

Six things Darwin never said – and one he did


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 …

Vivisection: first sketch of the bill


Strictly Confidential Mem: This print is only a first sketch. It is being now recast with a new & more simple form – but the substance of the proposed measure may be equally well seen in this draft. R.B.L. | 2 586 Darwin and vivisection …

Matches: 3 hits

  • … to be killed after painful experiments. “ 9. —Unlicensed persons making painful …
  • … liable to penalties of Cruelty to Animals Act. 9.—Any person not holding a licence under …
  • … and restrictions contained in sections numbered 8, 9, 10, 11, of the said act. (Signed) …

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: 21 hits

  • … (read) Smellie Philosophy of Zoology [Smellie 1790–9]. Fleming Ditto [Fleming 1822] …
  • … Read Aristotle to see whether any of my views are ancient 9 Study with profound care …
  • … read Audubons Ornithol: Biography [Audubon 1831–9]— 4 Vols. well worth reading [DAR …
  • … de leurs genres, par M. Latreille, 1 vol. 8vo. 9 s . [Latreille 1825] Mémoire sur la …
  • … [Fabricius 1603]. referred to by Hallam [Hallam 1837–9] D r . Lord has written some new …
  • … 1842] Coleridge. Literary Remains [Coleridge 1836–9] Inconsistency of Human wishes. …
  • … and cheaper Edition, with Plates and Woodcuts. Post 8vo., 9 s . 6 d . [Knapp] 1838] Read …
  • … Duke of Wellington’s Dispatches [Wellesley 1834–9] Carlyles Oliver Cromwell [Carlyle 1845] …
  • … Knight’s facts on dogs instincts Veterinary. vol: 9. p. 229. “A comparative view of the form …
  • … 6. Birds of the Game kind [Jardine 1834b]. 9. Columbidæ (Pigeons.) [Selby 1835] 11. …
  • … vol. Ludlows Memoirs [Ludlow 1698–9] Memoirs of Plumer Ward by Hon …
  • … to the Study of Insects 1868. U. States [Packard 1868–9] (an excellent large Book) [DAR …
  • … of W. S. Landors Imaginary Conversations [Landor 1824–9]— very poor Sir J 57  Browne’s …
  • … 1831] 4 vols 25 Phillips Geology [J. Phillips 1837–9] Lardners 2 nd  vol March 16 …
  • … Miscellaneous Works & several reviews [Carlyle 1838–9] Nov 8 th  Murchison Silurian …
  • … Decemb. Several more of Carlyles Essays [Carlyle 1838–9]— —— Skimmed Ordinaire on Volcanos …
  • … are some few references at end of Hallam [Hallam 1837–9]) Feb. 12 th  Charlsworths Journal …
  • … 4 th . Hallam’s Hist. Lit. 4 vols. [Hallam 1837–9]— good 15 th  Failed in reading Dryden …
  • … Shelley says is victorious & decisive 72 Octob. 9 th  Lindley’s Theory of Hort. …
  • … of Botany ]. 2. vols. 1801 to 1806. extracted. 9 th  Müllers Physiology [Müller 1837–42] 2 …
  • … 24 th . Smellie’s Philos. of Nat. Hist. [Smellie 1790–9] (one vol) d[itt]o— May 20 th . …

Darwin & coral reefs


The central idea of Darwin's theory of coral reef formation, as it was later formulated, was that the islands were formed by the upward growth of coral as the Pacific Ocean floor gradually subsided. It overturned previous ideas and would in itself…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … he arrived at his coral reef theory. Autobiography , pp. 98-9 No statement of Darwin' …
  • … the channels and lagoons of the islands ( Narrative  2: 38-9), so it may be presumed that he was …
  • … wants to be sure they will visit the South Sea Islands:  [9 September 1831] . The first …
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