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Darwin in letters, 1882: Nothing too great or too small


In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the previous October, and for the first time in decades he was not working on another book. He remained active in botanical research, however. Building on his recent studies in plant…

Matches: 26 hits

  • In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the previous
  • for scientific colleagues or their widows facing hardship. Darwin had suffered from poor health
  • is nearly run’ ( letter to Lawson Tait, 13 February 1882 ). His condition worsened in March. …
  • of his scientific friends quickly organised a campaign for Darwin to have greater public recognition
  • Botanical observation and experiment had long been Darwins greatest scientific pleasure. The year
  • styled plants ( letter from Fritz Müller, 1 January 1882 , and letter to Fritz Müller, 4 January
  • working at the effects of Carbonate of Ammonia on roots,’ Darwin wrote, ‘the chief result being that
  • for some hours in a weak solution of C. of Ammonia’. Darwins interest in root response and the
  • London on 6 and 16 March, respectively. In January, Darwin corresponded with George John
  • letter from Arthur de Souza Corrêa, 28 December 1881 ). Darwin had a long-running interest in such
  • … & I am glad to shirk any extra labour’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 6 January 1882 ). The
  • effects on chlorophyll ( letter to Joseph Fayrer, 30 March 1882 ). He received a specimen of
  • one plant or animal!’ ( letter to Henry Groves, 3 April 1882 ). He wrote to an American in Kansas
  • experimentising on them’ ( letter to J. E. Todd, 10 April 1882 ). While enthusiasm drove him, …
  • affects my heart’ ( letter to Henry Groves, 3 April 1882 ). Earthworms and evolution
  • Murray, carried an anonymous article on the book in January 1882. The reviewers assessment was
  • researches themselves’ ( Quarterly Review , January 1882, p. 179). Darwin commented at length on
  • to have rather the best of the fight’ ( letter from G. F. Crawte, 11 March 1882 ). The battle
  • depressed about himself’ (letter from H. E. Litchfield to G. H. Darwin, 17 March 1882 (DAR 245: 319) …
  • plagued with dull aching in the chest’ (Emma Darwin to G. H. Darwin, [ c . 28 March 1882] (DAR 210
  • pain entirely yesterday’ (letter from Emma Darwin to G. H. Darwin, 6 April 1882 (DAR 210.3: 46)). …
  • she has cried a little’ (letter from H. E. Litchfield to G. H. Darwin, [19 April 1882] (DAR 245: 320
  • Natural History, that I went as Naturalist on the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle round the World & …
  • I cannot tell how or where to begin’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 21 [January 1860] ). Darwins
  • of Darwinian theory to flowers and flower-visiting insects; H. Müller 1869)). Darwin was full of
  • point from its graduated nature: some time ago my son, Mr G. Darwin, advocated that lunacy should at

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: 9 hits

  • we were very pleased to welcome Terry Molloy back to the Darwin Correspondence Project for a
  • The Archers , previously worked with us playing Charles Darwin in a dramatisation of the
  • to life with his masterful characterisation of Charles DarwinIt was a long and full day at the
  • A significant proportion of the selection comprised Darwins letters to women correspondents, who
  • Other female correspondents asked Darwin questions about the spiritual implications of his theories
  • voyage, to a letter to C. A. Kennard written on 9 January 1882 , only shortly before Darwins
  • from the youthful exuberance of the Beagle letters (e.g. letter to Caroline Darwin, 29 April
  • in interpreting  particular letters. How should one read Darwins politely worded rebuke to St G. J. …
  • was proofreading a draft chapter of Descent (letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ). …

Diagrams and drawings in letters


Over 850 illustrations from the printed volumes of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin have been added to the online transcripts of the letters. The contents include maps, diagrams, drawings, sketches and photographs, covering geological, botanical,…

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  • … theory,  [25 February 1846] E. A. Darwin's calculations on the structure of bees’ …
  • … , and their geometry,  [19 June 1858] . W. E. Darwin's observations on  Pulmonaria , …
  • … enclosures containing bud samples,  12 May 1878 G. H. Darwin's drawings of  Thalia …
  • … plants",  Collected papers  2: 236–56],  22 February 1882

Darwin in letters, 1881: Old friends and new admirers


In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began writing about all the eminent men he had met. He embarked on this task, which formed an addition to his autobiography, because he had nothing else to do. He had…

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  • In May 1881, Darwin, one of the best-known celebrities in England if not the world, began
  • a very old man, who probably will not last much longer.’ Darwins biggest fear was not death, but
  • sweetest place on this earth’. From the start of the year, Darwin had his demise on his mind. He
  • provision for the dividing of his wealth after his death. Darwins gloominess was compounded by the
  • and new admirers got in touch, and, for all his fears, Darwin found several scientific topics to
  • Evolution old and new when revising his essay on Erasmus Darwins scientific work, and that Darwin
  • memory in November 1880 and in an abusive letter about Darwin in the St Jamess Gazette on 8
  • in a review of Unconscious memory in Kosmos and sent Darwin a separate letter for
  • Butler wished to boast publicly that his quarrel was with Darwin, agreed. Unsure how to address
  • gone mad on such a small matter’. The following day, Darwin himself wrote to Stephen, admitting that
  • a slap in the face as he would have cause to remember’. Darwin was enormously relieved. ‘Your note
  • wrote such a savage review of Unconscious memory that Darwin feared he had redirected Butlers
  • decided to print500 more, making 2000’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January 1881 ). Unlike
  • learnt from its own individual experience ( letter from G. J. Romanes, 7 March 1881 ). The
  • him ( letter from C. E. Södling, 14 October 1881 ), while H. M. Wallis, who sent observations of
  • vol. 30, letter to C. A. Kennard, 9 January 1882 ). ‘I sometimes receive so many
  • … & to acknowledge any criticism’ ( letter to C. G. Semper, 19 July 1881 ). He continued his
  • … , which he thoughtan excellent Journal’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 4 July [1881] ). In these
  • so atrocious a manner on all physiologists’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 18 April 1881 ). A letter
  • to bear thewear & tear of controversy’ ( letter to G. R. Jesse, 23 April 1881 ). Later in
  • they would be with a less intelligent man’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, 1 July [1881] ). Despite
  • Nature published the day after Darwins death in April 1882. Deaths, gifts and legacies

Women as a scientific audience


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…

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  • … Female readership | Reading Variation Darwin's letters, in particular those …
  • … a broad variety of women had access to, and engaged with, Darwin's published works. A set of …
  • … women a target audience? Letter 2447 - Darwin to Murray, J., [5 April 1859] …
  • … that his views are original and will appeal to the public. Darwin asks Murray to forward the …
  • … and criticisms of style. Letter 2461 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [11 May 1859] …
  • … typically-male readers. Letter 7124 - Darwin to Darwin, H. E., [8 February 1870] …
  • … Letter 13650 Kennard, C. A. to Darwin, [28 January 1882] Caroline Kennard responds …

Animals, ethics, and the progress of science


Darwin’s view on the kinship between humans and animals had important ethical implications. In Descent, he argued that some animals exhibited moral behaviour and had evolved mental powers analogous to conscience. He gave examples of cooperation, even…

Matches: 23 hits

  • Darwins view on the kinship between humans and animals had important ethical
  • a live worm on a hook (‘Recollections’, pp. 358, 388). Darwins concern for animals aligned with
  • and an integral part of medical and veterinary training. Darwin was clearly disturbed by the
  • to E. R. Lankester, 22 March [1871] ). In Descent , Darwin described an animal enduring a
  • to the last hour of his life’ ( Descent 1: 40). Darwins closest encounter with
  • on rabbits. The investigation was partly aimed at testing Darwinshypothesis of pangenesis’, which
  • of different breeds together. Galton reported regularly to Darwin on the results (all negative). He
  • Society, calling into question the theory of pangenesis. Darwin was taken aback, and swiftly replied
  • no longer look after the rabbits (many died from the cold), Darwin offered to give the poor
  • results were promising, but inconclusive (see letter from G. J. Romanes, 14 July 1875 ). …
  • more influenced by experiments on animals than on plants’, Darwin conceded. ‘I think a large number
  • work; & I suppose birds can be chloroformed (letter to G. J. Romanes, 27 December 1874 ). …
  • were analogous to those performed on dogs and other animals. Darwins work on insectivorous plants
  • an acquaintance of the Darwins, and had corresponded with Darwin cordially about his moral theory, …
  • … ( letter to F. B. Cobbe, [14 January 1875] ). Darwins involvement in the vivisection
  • in regard to health &c, I look at as puerile. Darwin saw a need for regulation (licensing
  • with costly equipment, a supply of animals, etc.. Darwin was concerned thatprivate menwould be
  • view I have rejoiced at the present agitation. ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January [1875] ) …
  • as doomed to death in this country. ( letter To T. H. Huxley, 14 January 1875 ) Legislation
  • the total abolition of the practice. ‘It seems to me’, Darwin remarked to George Romanes, ‘that
  • organised defence. To bring more solidarity to the field, Darwins son Francis, and a number of his
  • in general’ ( letter from T. L. Brunton, 12 February 1882 ). Darwin declined the offer to be
  • 1881 ). The organization had its first meeting on 20 April 1882, the day after Darwins death. …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album


Here is a list of people that appeared in the photograph album Darwin received for his birthday on 12 February 1877 from scientific admirers in the Netherlands. Many thanks to Hester Loeff for identifying and researching them. No. …

Matches: 5 hits

  • … list of people that appeared in the  photograph album Darwin received for his birthday on 12 …
  • … 13 july 1835 Didam 11 august 1882   6 Asperen …
  • … 18 fenruary 1808 Workum 15 may 1882  Lemmer 12 …
  • … 25 march 1815 Goes 22 oktober 1882 Wolphaartsdijk 153 …
  • … 8 october 1838 Deventer 10 march 1882 Amersfoort 178 …

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: 29 hits

  • lessen injury to leaves from radiation In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to
  • in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of experiments to
  • plant laboratories in Europe. While Francis was away, Darwin delighted in his role as
  • from botanical research was provided by potatoes, as Darwin took up the cause of an Irish
  • would rid Ireland of famine. Several correspondents pressed Darwin for his views on religion, …
  • closed with remarkable news of a large legacy bequeathed to Darwin by a stranger as a reward for his
  • birthday ( letter to Ernst Haeckel, 12 February [1878] ), Darwin reflected that it wasmore
  • Expression ), and the final revision of Origin (1872), Darwin had turned almost exclusively to
  • Movement in plants In the spring of 1878, Darwin started to focus on the first shoots and
  • were enrolled as researchers, as were family members. Darwin asked his niece Sophy to observe
  • … ( letter to Sophy Wedgwood, 24 March [187880] ). While Darwin was studying the function of
  • on one side, then another, to produce movement in the stalk. Darwin compared adult and young leaves
  • after growth has ceased or nearly ceased.’ Finally, Darwin turned to plant motion below the
  • precision the lines of least resistance in the ground.’ Darwin would devote a whole chapter to the
  • that he missed sensitiveness of apex’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [11 May 1878] ). Having
  • moisture, and various chemical and nutritive substances, Darwin next considered sound. He explained
  • instrument to various plants. To confirm the results, Darwin borrowed a siren from Tyndall, who had
  • ill-luck to them, are not sensitive to aerial vibrations’, Darwin complained. ‘I am ashamed at my
  • down on the object, but he will always do so’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 20 August [1878] ). …
  • deaf-mute, a monkey & a baby in your house!’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 2 September [1878] ). …
  • who was delighted, and eventually published them in his 1882 book Animal intelligence . ‘Like the
  • I want to play the part of a thieving wasp’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, 21 June 1878 ). An
  • god with theeternity of matter’ ( letter from H. N. Ridley, [before 28 November 1878] ). Darwin
  • myself about such insoluble questions’ ( letter to H. N. Ridley, 28 November 1878 ). Darwin
  • of adding a new member to society’ ( letter from G. A. Gaskell, 13 November 1878 ). Darwin hoped
  • for the future history of the world’ ( letter to G. A. Gaskell, 15 November 1878 ). Rarely
  • criticize without utterly demolishing it’ ( letter from G. H. Darwin, 28 January 1878 ). The
  • seminal generations’ ( enclosure to letter to T. H. Farrer, 7 March 1878 ). In the end, the
  • vanish like the chaos before the wind’ ( letter from T. H. Noyes, 19 November 1878 ). A

Darwin in letters, 1877: Flowers and honours


Ever since the publication of Expression, Darwin’s research had centred firmly on botany. The year 1877 was no exception. The spring and early summer were spent completing Forms of flowers, his fifth book on a botanical topic. He then turned to the…

Matches: 29 hits

  • Ever since the publication of Expression , Darwins research had centred firmly on botany. The
  • of these projects would culminate in a major publication. Darwins botany was increasingly a
  • assisted his fathers research on movement and bloom, and Darwin in turn encouraged his sons own
  • The year 1877 was more than usually full of honours. Darwin received two elaborate photograph albums
  • from Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands. Closer to home, Darwin received an honorary Doctorate of
  • sites for possible earthworm activity. Now in his 69th year, Darwin remained remarkably productive, …
  • no controversy. In his autobiographical reflections, Darwin remarked: ‘no little discovery of
  • … (‘Recollections’, p. 419). During the winter and spring, Darwin was busy preparing the manuscript of
  • and presented to the Linnean Society of London. In the book, Darwin adopted the more recent term
  • as dimorphic without comparing pollen-grains & stigmas’, Darwin remarked to Joseph Dalton
  • measurements of the size and number of pollen-grains, Darwin compared the fertility of individual
  • primrose and purple loosestrife. In the course of his work, Darwin found a number of other
  • dreadful work making out anything about dried flowers’, Darwin complained to Asa Gray on 8 March
  • which include heterstyled species. This pleases me.’. Darwin dedicated the book to Gray, ‘as a small
  • separate publications together into a larger whole enabled Darwin to advance more speculative views
  • both pollen and seeds’ ( Forms of flowers , p. 344). Darwin was typically pessimistic about the
  • be sold’. His publisher knew from previous experience that Darwin was a poor judge of sales, and
  • after completing his manuscript of Forms of flowers , Darwin took up the problem ofbloomin
  • characteristic whose purpose was little understood. Darwin had begun studying bloom in August 1873, …
  • exchanged between Down and Kew over the next six months. Darwin corresponded most often with the
  • been for your kindness, we sh d . have broken down’, Darwin wrote back on 5 September . ‘As it
  • injury from pure water resting on leaves’. In the end, Darwin did not publish on the subject, but
  • on leaves and the distribution of the stomata’ (F. Darwin 1886). Alongside his work on bloom, …
  • closely to the leaves and required a tolerable shake’. Darwin gained another valuable observer in
  • Die Seele des Kindes (The mind of the child; Preyer 1882), based partly on observations of his son
  • with wicked imprecations’ (Trollope 1867; letter to G. J. Romanes, [1 and 2 December 1877] ). …
  • up to the mark hereafter is another question’ ( letter to G. H. Darwin, 30 May [1877] ). In the
  • by, or could contain, any earth worms’ ( letter from J. G. Joyce, 15 November 1877 ). Even at
  • between sagging of pavemts & castings’ ( letter to G. H. Darwin, 21 November [1877] ). It is

People featured in the Dutch photograph album


List of people appearing in the photograph album Darwin received from scientific admirers in the Netherlands for his birthday on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Hester Loeff for providing this list and for permission to make her research available.…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … List of people appearing in the  photograph album Darwin received from scientific admirers in …
  • … 13 July 1835 Didam 11 August 1882     6 …
  • … 18 February 1808 Workum 15 May 1882  Lemmer …
  • … Died just a few months after the album was sent to Charles Darwin at the age of 53 …
  • … Geologist, Economist an Darwinist. Corresponded with Darwin and translated The descent of Man in …
  • … 25 March 1815 Goes 22 October 1882 Wolphaartsdijk …
  • … 8 October 1838 Deventer 10 March 1882 Amersfoort   …

Darwin’s hothouse and lists of hothouse plants


Darwin became increasingly involved in botanical experiments in the years after the publication of Origin. The building of a small hothouse - a heated greenhouse - early in 1863  greatly increased the range of plants that he could keep for scientific…

Matches: 24 hits

  • Towards the end of 1862, Darwin resolved to build a small hothouse at Down House, forexperimental
  • hothouse early in 1863 marked something of a milestone in Darwins botanical work, since it greatly
  • …  vol5, letter to JD. Hooker, 19 April [1855] ). Darwin became increasingly involved in
  • Though his greenhouse was probably heated to some extent, Darwin found himself on several occasions
  • make observations and even experiments on his behalf. Darwins decision to build a hothouse
  • Hooker, 12 [December 1862] and n13). Initially, Darwin purchased for this purpose a glass
  • of 24 December [1862] ( Correspondence  vol10) Darwin told Hooker: I have
  • Encyclopedia of gardening  (Loudon 1835), a copy of which Darwin signed in 1841 (see the copy in
  • of heat’ (p1100). The latter was the sense in which Darwin used the word. The building of
  • accounts (Down House MS)). When it was completed, Darwin told Turnbull that without Horwoods aid he
  • he wouldprobably have made a mess of it’ (letter to GH. Turnbull, [16? February 1863] ). …
  • plants’ (letter to JD. Hooker, 13 January [1863] ). Darwin apparently refers to the catalogues
  • whom he had dealt over many years. In his letter to Hooker, Darwin mentioned that he hoped to be
  • … (letter from JD. Hooker, [15 January 1863] ). Darwin agreed to send Hooker his list of
  • … (letter to JD. Hooker, 30 January [1863] ). Darwin probably gave his list of plants to
  • … [1863] ). On 20 February, the plants from Kew had arrived. Darwin was delighted, telling Hooker: ‘I
  • moss, peat, and charcoal (see the letter from Henrietta Emma Darwin to William Erasmus Darwin, [22
  • … (see letter from JD. Hooker, [6 March 1863] ). Darwin derived enormous pleasure from his
  • … (letter to JD. Hooker, 24[–5] February [1863] ). Darwins aesthetic appreciation of the
  • the tropics. Even before he left on the Beagle  voyage, Darwin used the hothouses in the
  • … (see  Correspondence  vol1, letter to Caroline Darwin, [28 April 1831] ), and when, on the  …
  • again’ ( Correspondence  vol1, letter to Catherine Darwin, MayJune [1832] ). Years later, …
  • many botanical experiments (see, for example, A. de Candolle 1882, p495). The greenhouses were, …
  • a single heading in the list, such asMelastomaceæ (Sin[g]apore)’ orCatasetum species?’. However, …

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…

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  • 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
  • 1820] in Geolog. Soc. F. Cuvier on Instinct [F. G. Cuvier 1822] read Flourens Edit [Flourens
  • 1830]— account of wild cattle Montagu on birds [G. Montagu 180213]— facts about close
  • Davy 1828] 31 An analysis of British Ferns. G. W. Francis 4 s  [Francis 1837]— …
  • Hist of Music [Hogarth 1835] Wilkinson Ægyptian [J. G. Wilkinson 183741] read [DAR
  • dConsiderations generales sur les Mammif. Isid. G. St. Hilaire. 1826? [I. Geoffroy Saint
  • Head [F. B. Head 1846] St. Johns Highlands [C. W. G. Saint John 1846] History of
  • Naturelle” (Cuvier Paper on Domestication) [F. G. Cuvier 1825] Agricolas Husbandry (to see
  • … (Gerard Hybrids [Gérard 1844]) Bought (read) G. St. Hilaire Progress de un Naturalist
  • 1724] Life of Wilkie [Cunningham 1843] & Chantry [G. Jones 1849]. Grotes History
  • Lettres philosop. sur lintelligence des animaux C. G. Leroy Paris 1802 [Leroy 1802]. (worth reading
  • 8] 1854 Jan 15. Seemans Narrative of H.M.S. Herald [Seeman 1853]. Feb 6. …
  • never read his works ( Calendar  no. 11875). In February 1882, however, after reading the
  • Belcher, Edward. 1848Narrative of the voyage of H.M.S.   Samarang during the years 184346; …
  • Narrative of a voyage round the world, performed in H.M.S.   Sulphur,   183642 . 2 vols. …
  • … . Pt 1 of  The botany of the   Antarctic voyage of H.M. Discovery Ships   Erebus and Terror in
  • Beete. 1847Narrative of the surveying voyage   of H.M.S. Flyin the Torres Strait, New
  • Keppel, Henry. 1846The expedition to Borneo of H.M.S.   Dido for the suppression of piracy; …
  • … ——. 1853A visit to the Indian Archipelago, in H.M.S.   Mæander, with portions of the private
  • Macgillivray, John. 1852Narrative of the voyage of   H.M.S. Rattlesnake, commanded by the late
  • … … Together with a narrative of the operations of   H.M.S. Iris.  2 vols. London.  *119: 22
  • shores of Africa, Arabia and Madagascar;   performed in H.M. Ships Leven and Barracouta . Edited

People featured in the German and Austrian photograph album


Biographical details of people from the Habsburg Empire that appeared in the album of German and Austrian scientists sent to Darwin on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Johannes Mattes for providing these details and for permission to make his…

Matches: 7 hits

  • in the album of German and Austrian scientists sent to Darwin on 12 February 1877. We are
  • Gesellschaft in Wien 65, 1915. p. 321328. G. B. de Toni: Albert Grunow. In: Annalen des
  • Akademie  in Vienna and published the booksDarwin und der Darwinismus” (1869) andLeitfaden der
  • See name register .   Jeitteles, L. H. See  name register . …
  • Tagblatt 335 (6 th  December) 1924. p. 9H. Leitner: Bericht des Generalsekretärs in
  • Naturhistoriker. In: Das Vaterland 321 (20 th  November) 1882. p. 3. N.N.: Der Akademische
  • …  of the Imperial Geological Survey. F. v. Hauer (1882): Heinrich Wolf. Verhandlungen der k