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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: 17 hits

  • There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1879 on this website.  The full texts
  • 27 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin , published by Cambridge
  • to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an
  • the sensitivity of the tips. Despite this breakthrough, when Darwin first mentioned the book to his
  • … ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [after 26] July [1879] ). From July, Darwin had an additional
  • … ‘a dismal time’ ( letter to Henry Johnson, 24 September 1879 ). He may have been consoled to learn
  • pear’ ( enclosure in letter from R. W. Dixon, 20 December 1879 ). The year ended with the start of
  • or gone some other way round?’ At least the last letter of 1879 contained a warmer note and the
  • marriage settlement ( letter from W. M. Hacon, 31 December 1879 ). Seventy years old
  • could be’ ( letter from Karl Beger, [ c. 12 February 1879] ). The masters of Greiz College
  • with glory’ ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 February 1879 ). The botanist and schoolteacher
  • with Charles Darwin and Ernst Haeckel. Kosmos was, as Francis Darwin reported from Germany that
  • the children correctly’, mentioning in particular that Francis Galton was the son of one of Erasmus
  • to contradict false statements that had been published by Francis Galtons aunt, Mary Anne
  • for Captain Robert FitzRoy on the Beagle voyage, Francis Beaufort of the Admiralty described the
  • and poet’ ( Correspondence vol. 1, letter from Francis Beaufort to Robert FitzRoy, 1 September
  • perplexed than ever about life of D r . D’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 12 July [1879] ). It was

1879 Letters now online

Summary

In 1879, Darwin continued his research on movement in plants and researched, wrote, and published a short biography of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin as an introduction to a translation of an essay by Ernst Krause on Erasmus’s scientific work. Darwin’s son…

Matches: 11 hits

  • In 1879, Darwin continued his research on movement in plants and researched, wrote, and published a
  • most of August on holiday in the Lake District. In October, Darwins youngest son, Horace, became
  • from her father, who, although an admirer of Charles Darwin, thought Horace a poor prospect for his
  • such a job. ( Letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 December [1879] ) In early 1879, as a tribute
  • until the preface was longer than the translated article. Darwin contacted cousins, sent his sons to
  • little book, with low but respectable sales, and Darwin was relieved to hear that his friends
  • sense & not to professional advisors .  ( Letter to the Darwin children, 21 February 1879 ) …
  • for receiving certain irritations  ( Letter t o Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ) …
  • the country .  ( Letter to THFarrer, 23 October 1879 ) During the year Darwin
  • of the theory of natural selection. Nothing came of it in 1879, but it was to bear fruit later. He
  • strong health .  ( Letter to THFarrer, 13 October 1879 ) Darwin wrote this to his

Movement in Plants

Summary

The power of movement in plants, published on 7 November 1880, was the final large botanical work that Darwin wrote. It was the only work in which the assistance of one of his children, Francis Darwin, is mentioned on the title page. The research for this…

Matches: 23 hits

  • 7 November 1880was the final large botanical work that Darwin wrote. It was the only work in which
  • about their research while he was away from home. Although Darwin lacked a state of the art research
  • research being pursued by other naturalists who, like Francis, had come to this centre for the study
  • methods and use the most advanced laboratory equipment. Darwin also benefitted from the instrument
  • copied but also improved on some of the apparatuses that Francis had been introduced to at Würzburg. …
  • plant physiology, but it was at its core informed by Darwins theory of evolution, particularly by
  • early 1860s, at a time when his health was especially bad, Darwin had taken up the study of climbing
  • reproduced as a small book, giving it a much wider audience. Darwin was not the first naturalist to
  • which eventually appeared in 1875. In the same year, Darwin published a much longer work,  …
  • from all over Europe and beyond. When Darwins son Francis worked in this laboratory in the summers
  • had also asked Horace to discuss the point with his friend Francis Balfour(258). Darwin promised to
  • of any success. '. Just two months later, Darwin put Francis in charge of this aspect of the
  • more familiar with the research in Sachss laboratory as Franciss departure for Würzburg was
  • to Wurzburg, & work by myself will be dull work’ . Francis was in Würzburg until early August. …
  • couple of days ( letter from A. F. Batalin28 February 1879 ). Darwin was especially keen for his
  • so much at odds ( letter to Hugo de Vries 13 February 1879 ). He was reassured by De Vries, who
  • When Francis spent a month in Algiers in early 1879, Darwin asked him to visit the botanist Gaetano
  • seeds ( letter to Francis Darwin, [4 February8 March 1879] ). He continued to write up the
  • … ’. The lull in experimental work continued into March 1879, and Darwin seemed weary when he told
  • the subject of bloom from his bookIn mid-June 1879, Darwin was pleased to get back to
  • and growth ( letter from Hugo de Vries7 August 1879 ). Darwin replied, ‘ I thank you much for
  • the Spring ’. Luckily, De Vries published two papers in 1879 and 1880 that Darwin was later able to
  • … ‘A horrid boreIn late October 1879, Darwin told Gray, ‘ I have written a rather big

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms

Summary

‘My heart & soul care for worms & nothing else in this world,’ Darwin wrote to his old Shrewsbury friend Henry Johnson on 14 November 1880. Darwin became fully devoted to earthworms in the spring of the year, just after finishing the manuscript of…

Matches: 23 hits

  • heart & soul care for worms & nothing else in this world,’ Darwin wrote to his old
  • to adapt to varying conditions. The implications of Darwins work for the boundary between animals
  • studies of animal instincts by George John Romanes drew upon Darwins early observations of infants, …
  • of evolution and creation. Many letters flowed between Darwin and his children, as he took delight
  • Financial support for science was a recurring issue, as Darwin tried to secure a Civil List pension
  • with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. …
  • Charles Harrison Tindal, sent a cache of letters from two of Darwins grandfathers clerical friends
  • divines to see a pigs body opened is very amusing’, Darwin replied, ‘& that about my
  • registry offices, and produced a twenty-page history of the Darwin family reaching back to the
  • the world’ ( letter from J. L. Chester, 3 March 1880 ). Darwins sons George and Leonard also
  • he had written for the German journal Kosmos in February 1879, an issue produced in honour of
  • Butler, Evolution old and new , which had appeared in May 1879. Krause wanted to correct Butlers
  • Correspondence vol. 27, letter from Ernst Krause, 7 June 1879 , and letter to Ernst Krause, 9
  • Darwin stated that Krauses piece had been written in 1879 (before Evolution old and new was
  • Power of movement                 With Franciss assistance, the last of Darwins botanical
  • had raised the plant from seeds sent by Asa Gray in December 1879. His observations differed, …
  • by Gray in an article and textbook (A. Gray 1877 and A. Gray 1879, pp. 201). ‘I think you cannot
  • of the nervous system, and the nature ofsensitivity’. Francis Balfour described Movement in
  • the intake of stones and flints to aid digestion. He asked Francis to check for castings on old
  • rightly thought thequeer subjectof interest to Francis Galton, who had already taken thumb
  • extending the study to public-school pupils ( letter to Francis Galton, 7 April 1880 , and
  • vol. 27, letter from J. D. Hooker, 18 December 1879 ). For some years, Wallaces main source of
  • Williams interest in geology, and longed to see Francis elected fellow of the Royal Society. He

Power of movement in plants

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Family experiments Darwin was an active and engaged father during his children's youth, involving them in his experiments and even occasionally using them as observational subjects. When his children…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … | Experiment Family experiments Darwin was an active and engaged father during
  • Man (1872). This teaching module focuses on work done by Darwin with his son Francis on
  • and his role as an attentive and affectionate father. Darwin's letters to Francis mix advice on
  • notice that although they come from the last decade of Darwins life, he is still interested in his
  • move In The Power of movement in plants Darwin continued his experiments with and
  • in behavioral responses. In the conclusion of the book Darwin argues that gradual modifications in
  • SOURCES Books Darwin, C.R. The power of movement in plants. 1880. London: …
  • of movement in plants Letter 7346 - Darwin to Francis Darwin, 18 October 1870
  • compromising their character. Letter 10517 - Darwin to Francis Darwin, 29 May 1876
  • they would be worth making. Letter 11628 - Francis Darwin to Darwin, 24 July 1878
  • Letter 12152 - Francis Darwin to Darwin, 12 July 1879 Francis writes to his father

Life of Erasmus Darwin

Summary

The Life of Erasmus Darwin (1879) was a curious departure for Darwin. It was intended as a biographical note to accompany an essay on Erasmus's scientific work by the German writer Ernst Krause. But Darwin became immersed in his grandfather's…

Matches: 17 hits

  • … The Life of Erasmus Darwin (1879) was a curious departure for Darwin. It was intended as a …
  • … scientific work by the German writer Ernst Krause. But Darwin became immersed in his grandfather& …
  • … his grandfather's mind and character. To compose the work, Darwin gathered materials and …
  • … the book into grist for controversy.  In February 1879, Darwin received an unusual birthday …
  • … an essay by Ernst Krause on the evolutionary ideas of Darwin's grandfather. Darwin was familiar …
  • … poems, The Botanic Garden and Temple of Nature . But Darwin had never known his grandfather, …
  • … in Darwinismus '; ' It piles up the glory and would please Francis '. Darwin' …
  • … 'men of science'. The biographical sketch was thus a way for Darwin to trace his own …
  • … character. Once a celebrated poet and philosopher, Erasmus Darwin's fame had declined sharply …
  • … wholly & shamefully ignorant of my grandfathers life ', Darwin wrote to Krause on 14 March …
  • … storehouse of private thoughts and experiences. Reading it, Darwin said, was like ' having …
  • … Priory where he resided at his death, both appeared in Darwin's Life .   & …
  • … word “benevolent” has always been associated with Dr. Darwin by his friends '. She recalled an …
  • … bedside & made him a sign to be silent. He then said “Dr. Darwin I am the Jockey who is to ride …
  • … my tether '. The book was published in November of 1879. Darwin filled his notice with …
  • … Erasmus's character and restored his good reputation. Francis Galton was pleased to have been …
  • … whose Evolution Old and New had been published in May of 1879, had not failed to find the …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions

Summary

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 …

Interview with Randal Keynes

Summary

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: 19 hits

  • Randal Keynes is a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and the author of Annies Box (Fourth
  • University Library - in the Keynes Room! - visiting the Darwin Correspondence Project. Randal is a
  • Your book seems to counter prevailing popular portraits of Darwin as the solitary genius, and of
  • any historian of science, that the great achievements, like Darwin's, and many others, are not
  • … [of] all the scientist's colleagues. 6. Darwin's poetic sensibility
  • and daughter to take a holiday in the Lake District, and in 1879 he went to the Lake District, and
  • Yes. 7. How, and what, do we know of Darwin's opinions about religion? …
  • to conclude with any certainty. You, and Jim Moore [another Darwin biographer] as well, talk about
  • … ?the tatters of belief in a moral, just universe?, and that Darwin now took his stand as an
  • that he read, which are very important - and in general, Darwin's reading is a fascinating
  • important, fundamental act. That was important for her. Darwin just didn't have that in him, …
  • … ? and look there for the explanation of the difficulties Darwin and Emma had with each other's
  • I'm struck by, also, this moral dimension to Christianity. Darwin, several times, comes back to
  • of liberal theologians and unitarians that were part of Darwin's circle would not necessarily
  • Dr White: Right. 9. Emma Darwin's influence and struggle with faith
  • White: Right. 10. Parallels between Darwin's occupation and Emma's
  • for that was a struggle - and I'm thinking also about Darwin's humility as a man of
  • and? I'm seeing a parallel between her religious journey and Darwin's scientific vocation, …
  • should reveal, in the Life and letters that his son Francis was putting together, about his

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: 25 hits

  • In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished
  • used these notebooks extensively in dating and annotating Darwins letters; the full transcript
  • … *128). For clarity, the transcript does not record Darwins alterations. The spelling and
  • book had been consulted. Those cases where it appears that Darwin made a genuine deletion have been
  • a few instances, primarily in theBooks Readsections, Darwin recorded that a work had been
  • of the books listed in the other two notebooks. Sometimes Darwin recorded that an abstract of the
  • own. Soon after beginning his first reading notebook, Darwin began to separate the scientific
  • the second reading notebook. Readers primarily interested in Darwins scientific reading, therefore, …
  • editorsidentification of the book or article to which Darwin refers. A full list of these works is
  • page number (or numbers, as the case may be) on which Darwins entry is to be found. The
  • in the bibliography that other editions were available to Darwin. While it is likely that Darwin
  • are not found listed here. The description given by Francis Darwin of his fathers method of
  • Darwin Library (AC.34). Darwins books were bequeathed to Francis Darwin, who, in 1908, gave all but
  • to be available to scholars using the archive. Books that Francis Darwin had kept were left to his
  • 1828] 31 An analysis of British Ferns. G. W. Francis 4 s  [Francis 1837]— plates of
  • 9  CD did not follow his own advice. In 1879, he stated that he had unbounded respect for
  • work is listed again on p. [22]. 44  Probably Francis Boott. 45  Edward
  • Africa . London.  *119: 18v.; 119: 14a Bacon, Francis. 182536The works of Francis
  • ed. London. [Darwin Library.]  128: 12 Castelnau, Francis, Comte de. 1846. M. de Castelnau
  • of   Linnæus . n.p119: 4a Davis, John Francis. 1852China, during war and since
  • the Second.  London. [Other eds.]  119: 17b Francis, George William. 1837An analysis
  • of J. Galt . 2 vols. London119: 21b Galton, Francis. 1853The narrative of an
  • Cowper . 4 vols. London119: 5a Head, Francis Bond. 1834Bubbles from the Brunnens
  • Leonard, ed. 1843Memoirs and correspondence of   Francis Horner.  Edited by Leonard Horner. 2
  • … . Boston. [Other eds.] *119: 18v. [Jeffrey, Francis]. 1811. Alison on tasteEdinburgh

What did Darwin believe?

Summary

What did Darwin really believe about God? the Christian revelation? the implications of his theory of evolution for religious faith? These questions were asked again and again in the years following the publication of Origin of species (1859). They are…

Matches: 25 hits

  • What did Darwin really believe about God? the Christian revelation? the implications of
  • rhetoric of crusading secularists, many of whom take Darwin as an icon. But Darwin was very
  • Letters became an important medium through which Darwins readers sought to draw him out on matters
  • the religious implications of his work. Letters written to Darwin by persons unknown to him became
  • own. Mary Booles letter In December 1866 Darwin received a letter from Mary Boole, a
  • See the letter Boole, like a number of Darwins readers, found a way of reconciling the
  • with some form of religious belief. But when Boole asks Darwin about specific points of belief, such
  • See the letter In his response to Boole, Darwin implies that certain questions are beyond
  • Science, or by the so calledinner consciousness”’. Darwin does not dismiss different forms of
  • such territory in this letter to a stranger. Emma Darwin In what is perhaps
  • mind. See the letter In this letter, Darwin is quite clear that he has never
  • he says, is often in a state of flux. What did Darwin mean by the termagnostic”? The word
  • about questions such as the existence and nature of God. For Darwin, it also seems to imply that
  • be answered by science, and other questions that can not. Darwin had made this point in his response
  • their engagement in 1838, we find an early expression of Darwins religious doubts. Darwins
  • with you. See the letter We know from Darwins scientific notebooks from this
  • these differences to be shared. The tendency amongst Darwin scholars has been to assume that
  • part, sustained their marriage. If not deeply religious, Darwin was at least not disrespectful to
  • and wifely devotion have appeared only as a background to Darwins own life and intellectual
  • was another important religious tradition in the Darwin and Wedgwood families. Josiah Wedgwood, who
  • the Darwins and Wedgwoods, together in the first place. Darwin had attended a Unitarian school in
  • writer Frances Power Cobbe. All were regular guests of Darwins brother Erasmus, and of Emmas
  • liberal Anglican authors, including Martineau, Taylor, and Francis Newman. Newmans  Phases of
  • doctrine, only to recite the liturgy. But we know, from Francis Darwins comments, that Emma used to
  • Unitarian clergyman and religious writer. Newman, Francis, 1850Phases of faith; or, passages

John Murray

Summary

Darwin's most famous book On the origin of species by means of natural selection (Origin) was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, particularly politics, travel and science, and had published…

Matches: 19 hits

  • Darwin's most famous book  On the origin of species by means of natural
  • Scotland : it contains more than two hundred letters from Darwin, from his first negotiations in
  • date from 1859, the year of the publication of  Origin . Darwins son Francis described how his
  • more interesting correspondence ( LL  1, p. v). Darwin returned from his voyage around the
  • …  This had been published in London by Henry Colburn, but Darwin felt that the arrangements had been
  • … ). Lyells talk with Murray must have been successful, for Darwin sold his copyright in the  …
  • a single volume. Returning to Murray the final proof sheets Darwin wrote, ‘I am much obliged for the
  • … ). Thus began the business relationship between Charles Darwin and John Murray. Darwins next
  • Murrays printers, and in the first copies some pages in Darwins chapter were transposed ( Letter
  • some present’ (12 June [1849] Letter 1245 ). Darwins next publications, his barnacle
  • would not have interested a commercial publisher. In 1854 Darwin had begun writing up his species
  • species was driven by natural selection. In order to ensure Darwins priority, his friends Charles
  • … ), who, without even reading the manuscript, offered Darwin two-thirds of the profit ( Letter 2443
  • the trade at 9 s .6 d . a copy ( Letter 2513a ). When Darwin first saw the finished volume, …
  • called for ( Letter 2549 ). In the end Murray paid Darwin £180 for the first edition of  Origin
  • of a world that is slowly and continuously changing. Darwin now began work on  The variation
  • and on the good effects of intercrossing (Orchids) , which Darwin had prepared for the Linnean
  • profits ( Letter 12219 ), and the book was published in 1879. The following year Darwin
  • plants (Movement in plants),  which he wrote with his son, Francis. It was extensively illustrated, …

Discussion Questions and Essay Questions

Summary

There are a wide range of possibilities for opening discussion and essay writing on Darwin’s correspondence.  We have provided a set of sample discussion questions and essay questions, each of which focuses on a particular topic or correspondent in depth.…

Matches: 9 hits

  • of possibilities for opening discussion and essay writing on Darwins correspondence.  We have
  • start researching and writing an essay that centres on Darwins letters, narrowing the field to a
  • Why was correspondence so important for Darwin? How did Darwin encourage people he did not
  • material did letters contain? How much knowledge does Darwin assume when he writes to
  • and class, matter in scientific exchange? What does Darwin do when he wants to introduce a
  • internet today? Essay writing How was Darwins early species theory discussed
  • What ethical implications did readers draw from Darwins theories?[Mary Boole (1864), F. E. Abbot
  • Müller and the adaptations of insects to flowers (1867), Francis Galton on inheritance theory
  • Gray (1861-8), Wallace (1869-70), Mivart (1871-4)] Did Darwin believe in progress? [Lyell

Volume 28 (1880) now published

Summary

1880 opened and closed with an irksome controversy with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. Darwin became fully devoted to earthworms in the spring of the year, just after finishing the manuscript of Movement in…

Matches: 17 hits

  • with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. Darwin
  • most ambitious botanical book. Many letters flowed between Darwin and his children, as he took
  • Financial support for science was a recurring issue, as Darwin tried to secure a Civil List pension
  • Volume 28 of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin is now available. Read more
  • the Lewisham and Blackheath Scientific Society after meeting Darwin at Down in July 1880. Forty
  • the Yorkshire NaturalistsUnion came to Down to present Darwin with a memorial address. Among less
  • Butler was outraged that Ernst Krause, in his book Erasmus Darwin , alluded negatively to Butler
  • in a letter to the Athenaeum , and in his next book. Darwin, mortified, drafted letters
  • by science, I must now lose some for science Darwin was pessimistic about the likely
  • work on the proof-sheets of Movement in plants , Darwin began writing his final book, The
  • decades in the making, drawing on research interests that Darwin returned to time and again. …
  • getting some provision for Wallace. In October, Darwin again took up the project, …
  • the help of Arabella Burton Buckley and Thomas Henry Huxley, Darwin drew up and circulated a
  • Gladstone, granted their request, writing personally to Darwin. The draft memorial and other details
  • you may have pleased him. Early in the year, Darwins children clubbed together to buy
  • Younger members of the family thrived. On 3 January, Darwins son Horace married Ida Farrer, and in
  • their small grandson, Bernard, especially while his father, Francis, spent the summer months

Fritz Müller

Summary

Fritz Müller, a German who spent most of his life in political exile in Brazil, described Darwin as his second father, and Darwin's son, Francis, wrote that, although they never met 'the correspondence with Müller, which continued to the close of…

Matches: 12 hits

  • Francis Darwin, in Life and letters of Charles Darwin , wrote of Fritz Müller They
  • Müller, in a letter to Ernst Krause written shortly after Darwins death, expressed his feelings: …
  • history. It was during this ten-year period that he read Darwins On the origin of species , …
  • in the German scientific community and eventually came to Darwins attention. Earlier in 1861, …
  • brother Hermann, provide important evidence in support of Darwins theory. The book, simply
  • him frequent dizzy spellsThis same illness had prevented Darwin from working on his follow-up book
  • …  ( Botany ).  Having now read Müllers book, Darwin initiated a correspondence with
  • of the fact that he was addressing a complete stranger, Darwins tone in this first letter was
  • and readClimbing plants’, he had already written to Darwin describing several genera of
  • that after consulting his friend Joseph Dalton Hooker, Darwin sent off the letters for
  • was set for the rest of their correspondence. With each work Darwin sent, he received valuable
  • Transactions of the Entomological society of London in 1879 on Darwins suggestion . Müller