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To G. J. Romanes   24 January [1881]

Summary

Discusses possible case of inherited memory involving Pompilus. Cites similar example of electric eel.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George John Romanes
Date:  24 Jan [1881]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.530)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10813

From Fritz Müller   31 May 1881

Author:  Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  31 May 1881
Classmark:  Möller ed. 1915–21, 2: 410–11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11385A

To John Lubbock   12 November [1881]

Summary

JL’s sentence about glaciation will do excellently. Is glad JL thought about dimorphism of butterflies.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  12 Nov [1881]
Classmark:  Sotheby’s (dealers) (11 July 2017)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11743F

To G. J. Romanes   [17 December 1881]

Summary

Asks him to visit.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George John Romanes
Date:  [17 Dec 1881]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.578)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12382

From W. E. Darwin   1 January [1881]

Summary

Discusses possible investments.

Author:  William Erasmus Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Jan 1881
Classmark:  Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 75)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12392G

From T. H. Farrer   2 January [1881]

Summary

Concerning subscriptions raised for Torbitt’s experiments on potato disease.

Comments on CD’s latest book [Insectivorous plants].

Author:  Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Jan 1881
Classmark:  DAR 164: 96
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12395

From Lawrence Ruck   12 January [1881]

Summary

Discusses the grazing habits of sheep and cattle on steep hillsides.

Author:  Lawrence Ruck
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Jan 1881
Classmark:  DAR 176: 224
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12417

From J. D. Hooker   24 February 1881

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Summary

The debt of plant geography to voyages may be JDH’s topic at BAAS meeting [at Swansea].

Photographs from New Zealand forwarded.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Feb 1881
Classmark:  DAR 104: 138–139
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12498

To Julius Lippert   [1881]

Summary

Thanks JL for copy of Die Religionen [1881].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Julius Lippert
Date:  [1881]
Classmark:  Wellcome Library (MS.7781/23)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12959

From L. M. Forster to Emma Darwin   [after 19 June 1881]

Summary

On flowers bending towards light reflected in a mirror.

Author:  Laura Mary Forster
Addressee:  Emma Wedgwood; Emma Darwin
Date:  [after 19 June 1881]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 158
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12960

To G. H. Darwin   [1881–2?]

Summary

Will GHD ask Lord R[ayleigh] whether "gas-men in testing light, exclude the diffused light".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Howard Darwin
Date:  [1881–2?]
Classmark:  DAR 210.1: 115
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12961

From Wilhelm Breitenbach   [before 20 June 1881]

Summary

Arrived in Brazil three months ago. Studying insects and plants, but work suffers from lack of scientific literature.

Fritz Müller has written to him to observe relations between ants and plants.

Writing popular articles about evolution for German newspaper in Brazil.

Sends paper from Kosmos.

Expects to spend several years in Brazil.

Author:  Wilhelm Breitenbach
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 20 June 1881]
Classmark:  DAR 202: 16
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12962

To V. O. Kovalevsky   1 and 6 January 1881

Summary

Thanks VOK for the Russian tea.

Rejoices at his prosperity and appointment at Moscow [Associate Professor, Moscow University, 1880–3].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Vladimir Onufrievich Kovalevsky (Владимир Онуфриевич Ковалевский)
Date:  1 and 6 Jan 1881
Classmark:  Institut Mittag-Leffler
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12963

From A. R. Wallace   1 January 1881

Summary

ARW’s view of migration of plants from mountain to mountain gains support from case described in Nature [23 (1880): 125–6] by J. G. Baker. Identical species of alpine plants found in African mountains and Madagascar.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Jan 1881
Classmark:  DAR 271.6: a6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12964

To Alexander Agassiz   1 January 1881

Summary

Thanks AA for letter on coral reefs. "I used to think … that areas of elevation and of subsidence must – as a general rule be separated by a single great line of fissure, or rather of several".

Suggests that AA urge again his views on reappearance of old characters.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Agassiz
Date:  1 Jan 1881
Classmark:  DAR 143: 10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12965

To James Torbitt   [5 January 1881]

Summary

T. H. Farrer and James Caird express great interest in JT’s report. Have instructed CD to hold £90 for use by JT in spring. Caird asks that potatoes be sent to his gardener for trials.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Torbitt
Date:  1 Jan 1881
Classmark:  DAR 148: 127
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12966

To Post Office Savings Bank   1 January [1881]

Summary

Asks to have some funds of the Down Friendly Society transferred.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Post Office Savings Bank
Date:  1 Jan [1881]
Classmark:  DAR 202: 77
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12967

To A. R. Wallace   2 January 1881

Summary

On land migration of plants. The case in Nature is striking but CD doubts that seeds of plants could be blown from mountains of Abyssinia to mountains of Madagascar.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  2 Jan 1881
Classmark:  British Library (Add MS 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12968

From Ernst Krause   2 January 1881  

Summary

Encloses reply to Butler [Kosmos 8 (1881): 321–2]. Has also written a reply intended for English reader. Will have it translated for Popular Science Review if CD thinks suitable.

Report of Jäger accident was an error.

Kosmos has been purchased by Eduard Koch in Stuttgart and will continue as in the past.

Author:  Ernst Ludwig (Ernst) Krause
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Jan 1881
Classmark:  DAR 92: B61; DAR 221.2: 27
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12969

To H. W. Bates   3 January 1881

Summary

Alarm over Wallace’s memorial; asks HWB if he has received it and forwarded it to Hooker. Wanted to get it to Gladstone before Parliament met.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Walter Bates
Date:  3 Jan 1881
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-12970
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Alexander Burns Usborne

Summary

Alexander Burns Usborne was born in Kendal, Westmorland, in 1808, the son of Alexander and Margaret Usborne; his father died in 1818 and in his will was described as the purser on HMS Hannibal. His son joined the navy in 1825 aged 16 as a second-class…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … one called Beagle , in Plymouth harbour, until 1881 . He died in 1885, aged 76. His sister …
  • … 1861 (RG 9/1428/56/38), 1871 (RG10/2106/42/4), 1881 (RG11/2185/145/41) L. S. Dawson. 1885. …

Casting about: Darwin on worms

Summary

Earthworms featured in the news announcement in May 2014 that a citizen science project had been launched to map the distribution of earthworms across Britain (BBC Today programme, 26 May 2014). The general understanding of the role earthworms play in…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … , with observations on their habits, which was published in 1881. Despite Darwin’s fears that a book …
  • … earthworms. Although his monograph was not published until 1881, he had long been interested in …
  • … anyone wd suppose’ ( letter to W. E. Darwin, 31 January [1881] (CUL DAR 210.6: 173)). …

Exercise: Caricatures of Science

Summary

Caricatures provide intriguing insights into both ideals and transgressions of gender. The following six images show caricatured representations of nineteenth-century men and women of science. They provide insight into the boundaries of what was deemed …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … align="aligncenter" width="206"] Clémence Royer (1881)[/caption] …

Religion

Summary

Design|Personal Belief|Beauty|The Church Perhaps the most notorious realm of controversy over evolution in Darwin's day was religion. The same can be said of the evolution controversy today; however the nature of the disputes and the manner in…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Letter 13230 — Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William, 3 July 1881 Darwin praises Graham’s Creed …
  • … — Darwin, C. R. to Fegan, J. W. C., [Dec 1880 – Feb 1881] Darwin writes to J. W. C Fegan, a …

Earthworms

Summary

As with many of Darwin’s research topics, his interest in worms spanned nearly his entire working life. Some of his earliest correspondence about earthworms was written and received in the 1830s, shortly after his return from his Beagle voyage, and his…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Geological Society (Ser. 2) 5:505-509. Darwin, C.R. 1881. The Formation of Vegetable Mould, …
  • … Mary Catherine Stanley (Lady Derby) to Darwin, 16 October 1881 Among pleasantries about the …
  • … Vegetable Mould and Earth-Worms (London: John Murray, 1881), 26. [2] Ibid., 26-27. …

Referencing women’s work

Summary

Darwin's correspondence shows that women made significant contributions to Darwin's work, but whether and how they were acknowledged in print involved complex considerations of social standing, professional standing, and personal preference.…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … selected letters is followed by letters relating to Darwin's 1881 publication Vegetable …
  • … 13037 - Darwin to Darwin, W. E., [5 February 1881] Darwin discusses William’s …

Darwin as mentor

Summary

Darwin provided advice, encouragement and praise to his fellow scientific 'labourers' of both sexes. Selected letters Letter 2234 - Darwin to Unidentified, [5 March 1858] Darwin advises that Professor C. P. Smyth’s observations are not…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 13414 - Darwin to Harrison, L., [18 October 1881] Darwin advises his niece’s …

Darwin and the Church

Summary

The story of Charles Darwin’s involvement with the church is one that is told far too rarely. It shows another side of the man who is more often remembered for his personal struggles with faith, or for his role in large-scale controversies over the…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … supported Fegan’s work in the village, writing in 1880 or 1881: ‘your services have done more for …
  • … (letter to J. W. C. Fegan, [December 1880 – February 1881] ). Indeed, the Darwin family even …

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: 2 hits

  • … F. E. Abbot (1871-4), John Fordyce (1879), William Graham (1881)] How did Darwin act as a …
  • … Did Darwin believe in progress? [Lyell (1860, 1881), Hooker (1862), Lubbock (1865), Graham (1881)] …

Darwin’s Photographic Portraits

Summary

Darwin was a photography enthusiast. This is evident not only in his use of photography for the study of Expression and Emotions in Man and Animal, but can be witnessed in his many photographic portraits and in the extensive portrait correspondence that…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … beard’ in 1864. Image: Charles Darwin, 1881, Elliot and Fry, Dar 140.1:32, ©Cambridge …
  • … carte correspondence. Image: Charles Darwin, 1881, Barraud, Dar 257:6, ©Cambridge …

Science: A Man’s World?

Summary

Discussion Questions|Letters Darwin's correspondence show that many nineteenth-century women participated in the world of science, be it as experimenters, observers, editors, critics, producers, or consumers. Despite this, much of the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 13414 - Darwin to Harrison, L., [18 October 1881] Darwin advises his niece’s …

Women as a scientific audience

Summary

Target audience? | Female readership | Reading Variation Darwin's letters, in particular those exchanged with his editors and publisher, reveal a lot about his intended audience. Regardless of whether or not women were deliberately targeted as a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … 13547 - Tanner, M. H. to Darwin, [12 December 1881] Mary Tanner tells Darwin that …

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: 4 hits

  • … Origin  ( Letter 2577 ); by the time Darwin died in 1881 the book was in its sixth edition, and …
  • … an extra 500 to meet demand ( Letter 12862 ). In 1881 Darwin sent Murray the manuscript of  …
  • … sale of my book and utterly astonished’ ([after 25 October 1881?] Letter 13433 ). …
  • … his publisher, after Murray’s annual sale in the autumn of 1881, Darwin expressed his satisfaction …

Alfred Russel Wallace

Summary

Wallace was a leading Victorian naturalist, with wide-ranging interests from biogeography and evolutionary theory to spiritualism and politics. He was born in 1823 in Usk, a small town in south-east Wales, and attended a grammar school in Hertford. At the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … for a government pension, which Wallace received in 1881 (see Darwin’s letters to Wallace, 17 June …

Race, Civilization, and Progress

Summary

Darwin's first reflections on human progress were prompted by his experiences in the slave-owning colony of Brazil, and by his encounters with the Yahgan peoples of Tierra del Fuego. Harsh conditions, privation, poor climate, bondage and servitude,…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 13230 : Darwin to Graham, William, 3 July 1881 "I could show fight on natural …

Asa Gray

Summary

Darwin’s longest running and most significant exchange of correspondence dealing with the subjects of design in nature and religious belief was with the Harvard botanist Asa Gray.  Gray was one of Darwin’s leading supporters in America. He was also a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … consisting of about 300 letters written between 1854 and 1881, is now available for the first time. …

Marianne North

Summary

Marianne North was born in Hastings where her father became a Liberal MP. Her family supported Marianne’s attempts at singing and painting as suitable activities for a Victorian lady. After her parents died, Marianne sold the family home and began…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … she visit Australia. On her return she visited Down House in 1881, to show the Darwins her paintings …

British Association meeting 1860

Summary

Several letters refer to events at the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in Oxford, 26 June – 3 July 1860. Darwin had planned to attend the meeting but in the end was unable to. The most famous incident of the meeting was the verbal…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … (L. Huxley 1918, 1: 521–4); Charles Lyell (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 335–6); John Lubbock (Hutchinson …

Hermann Müller

Summary

Hermann (Heinrich Ludwig Hermann) Müller, was born in Mühlberg near Erfurt in 1829. He was the younger brother of Fritz Müller (1822–97). Following the completion of his secondary education at Erfurt in 1848, he studied natural sciences at Halle and Berlin…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … summer since 1853 in different parts of the Alps and in 1881 published Alpenblumen, ihre …

Darwin and Down

Summary

Charles and Emma Darwin, with their first two children, settled at Down House in the village of Down (later ‘Downe’) in Kent, as a young family in 1842.   The house came with eighteen acres of land, and a fifteen acre meadow.  The village combined the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … The formation of mould through the action of earthworms  (1881), was based on observations made …
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