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Darwin in letters, 1856-1857: the 'Big Book'

Summary

In May 1856, Darwin began writing up his 'species sketch’ in earnest. During this period, his working life was completely dominated by the preparation of his 'Big Book', which was to be called Natural selection. Using letters are the main…

Matches: 23 hits

  • On 14 May 1856, Charles Darwin recorded in his journal that heBegan by Lyells advice  writing
  • more for the sake of priority than anything elseDarwin was reluctant to squeeze his expansive
  • Natural selection . Determined as he was to publish, Darwin nevertheless still felt cautious
  • specialist in Madeiran entomology, Thomas Vernon Wollaston. Darwin also came to rely on the caustic
  • in London. Natural Selection Not all of Darwins manuscript on species has been
  • of information about his preoccupations during 1856 and 1857. They reveal little noticed aspects of
  • of pigeons, poultry, and other domesticated animals. As Darwin explained to Lyell, his studies, …
  • an illustration of how selection might work in nature ( letter from Charles Lyell, 12 May 1856, n. …
  • the real structure of varieties’, he remarked to Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 September [1856
  • can William Bernhard Tegetmeier continued to help Darwin acquire much of the material for
  • … ‘& I mean to make my Book as perfect as ever I can.’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 8 February [1857] …
  • plants, he asked Asa Gray, vary in the United States ( letter to Asa Gray, 2 May 1856 )? What
  • the alpine plants pretty effectuallycomplained Darwin in 1857 ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [2 May
  • acknowledged when told by his neighbour and young protégé John Lubbock that his method of
  • using a statistically valid method explained to him by Lubbock. The origin of sex Such
  • … ‘Darwin, an absolute & eternal hermaphrodite’ ( letter to to T. H. Huxley, 1 July [1856] ), …
  • experiments on plants through the summers of 1856 and 1857, particularly with garden vegetables like
  • Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette  in October 1857, to be followed by a second notice in 1858. …
  • …  not a bird be killed (by hawk, lightning, apoplexy, hail &c) with seeds in crop, & it would
  • which the bird had naturally eaten have grown well.’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 December [1856] …
  • Athenæum Club. Several letters touch on the publication of John Tyndalls theory concerning the
  • phenomenon of cleavage, still unresolved in 1856, with John Phillips and entered into a useful
  • and the preparation of his manuscript ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 1 May 1857 ) seem innocuous and

The "wicked book": Origin at 157

Summary

Origin is 157 years old.  (Probably) the most famous book in science was published on 24 November 1859.  To celebrate we have uploaded hundreds of new images of letters, bringing the total number you can look at here to over 9000 representing more than…

Matches: 10 hits

  • book appeared.   You can now see examples of letters to Darwin from nearly 250 different people, and
  • Lyell , and Joseph Hooker , the two men who arranged for Darwins and Wallaces ideas to be made
  • Asa Gray who was an important sounding board for Darwins emerging ideas, and Thomas Huxley
  • … ’s appearance, but there is a fascinating scrap from 1857 comparing his views on species to
  • the less well-known scientific collaborators who became Darwin's correspondents, Mary Treat
  • was co-opted as an observer in WalesLucy Wedgwood , Darwins neice, was one of those who
  • of fish , but also about the origins of languageJohn Brodie Innes , vicar of the Darwins’ …
  • of water thrown over me on rising William Darwin Fox , Charless cousin and another
  • W. T. Thiselton-Dyer George Cupples H. C. Watson J. J. Weir H. W. Bates
  • Alfred Newton Frederick Smith A. G. Butler John Lubbock R. I. Lynch J. …

Women’s scientific participation

Summary

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: 22 hits

  • … |  Editors and critics  |  Assistants Darwins correspondence helps bring to light a
  • community. Here is a selection of letters exchanged between Darwin and his workforce of women
  • Observers Women: Letter 1194 - Darwin to Whitby, M. A. T., [12 August
  • silkworm breeds, or peculiarities in inheritance. Letter 3787 - Darwin, H. E. to
  • observations of catsinstinctive behaviour. Letter 4258 - Becker, L. E. to Darwin, …
  • to artificially fertilise plants in her garden. Letter 4523 - Wedgwood, L. C. to
  • be made on seeds of Pulmonaria officinalis . Letter 5745 - Barber, M. E. to
  • Egypt. Letter 7223 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., [8 June 1867 - 72] Darwin
  • Henrietta. Letter 7179 - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, [5 May 1870] …
  • pig and her nieces ears. Letter 8701 - Lubbock, E. F . to Darwin, [1873] …
  • the wallpaper. Letter 5756 - Langton, E. & C. to Wedgwood S. E., [after 9
  • 6815 - Scott, J. to Darwin, [2 July 1869] John Scott responds to Darwins queries
  • Letter 1701 - Morris, M. H. to Prior, R. C. A., [17 June 1855] Margaretta Hare Morris
  • Lychnis diurna. Letter 8168 - Ruck, A. R . to Darwin, H., [20 January 1872] …
  • lawn. Letter 8224 - Darwin to Ruck, A. R., [24 February 1872] Darwin
  • Letter 1701  - Morris, M. H. to Prior, R. C. A., [17 June 1855] Margaretta Hare Morris
  • 2055  - Langton, E. to Darwin,  F., [21 February 1857] Darwins nephew, Edmund, …
  • Letter 2069  - Tenant, J. to Darwin, [31 March 1857] James Tenant, keeper of the
  • …  - Weir, J. J. to Darwin, [24 March 1868] John Weir describes experiments he is undertaking
  • garden ”. Letter 6083  - Casparay, J. X. R. to Darwin, [2 April 1868] …
  • J., [5 April 1859] Darwin asks his publisher, John Murray, to forward a manuscript copy of
  • writing. Letter 3001  - Darwin to Lubbock, J., [28 November 1860] Darwin

Scientific Networks

Summary

Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

Matches: 15 hits

  • … and colonial authorities. In the nineteenth-century, letter writing was one of the most important …
  • … when strong institutional structures were largely absent. Darwin had a small circle of scientific …
  • … in times of uncertainty, controversy, or personal loss. Letter writing was not only a means of …
  • … section contains two sets of letters. The first is between Darwin and his friend Kew botanist J. D. …
  • … and he is curious about Hooker’s thoughts. Letter 729 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., …
  • … to Hooker “it is like confessing a murder”. Letter 736 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D. …
  • … wide-ranging genera. Darwin and Gray Letter 1674 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, …
  • … species. Letter 1685 — Gray, Asa to Darwin, C. R., 22 May 1855 Gray recalled …
  • … flora in the USA. Letter 2125 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 20 July [1857] Darwin …
  • … Mentors Darwin's close relationship with John Stevens Henslow, the professor of botany …
  • … he mentored. The first is between Darwin and his neighbour, John Lubbock and the second is between …
  • Letter 1585 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John, [Sept 1854] Darwin sends Lubbock a beetle he …
  • Letter 1720 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John, 19 [July 1855] Darwin congratulates Lubbock on …
  • Letter 1979 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John, 27 Oct [1856] Darwin provides detailed …
  • … of the ephippium”, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 147 (1857): 79–100]. Darwin and Müller …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

Summary

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: 29 hits

  • In 1865, the chief work on Charles Darwins mind was the writing of  The variation of animals and
  • letters on climbing plants to make another paper. Darwin also submitted a manuscript of his
  • on a paper on  Verbascum (mullein) by CDs protégé, John Scott, who was now working in India. …
  • Argyll, appeared in the religious weeklyGood Words . Darwin received news of an exchange of
  • Butler, and, according to Butler, the bishop of Wellington. Darwins theory was discussed at an
  • in the  GardenersChronicleAt the end of the year, Darwin was elected an honorary member of
  • year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend of
  • also a serious dispute between two of Darwins friends, John Lubbock and Charles Lyell . These
  • The death of Hugh Falconer Darwins first letter to Hooker of 1865 suggests that the family
  • having all the Boys at home: they make the house jolly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] …
  • had failed to include among the grounds of the award ( see letter from Hugh Falconer to Erasmus
  • his letters to Darwin, and Darwin responded warmly: ‘Your letter is by far the grandest eulogium
  • may well rest content that I have not laboured in vain’ ( letter to Hugh Falconer, 6 January [1865] …
  • always a most kind friend to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] …
  • for our griefs & pains: these alone are unalloyed’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1865
  • gas.— Sic transit gloria mundi, with a vengeance’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1865] ). …
  • Appendix II). In May, he invited a new doctor, John Chapman, to Down and began a course of Chapmans
  • Variation . In March Darwin wrote to his publisher, John Murray, ‘Of present book I have 7
  • forward, except the last & concluding one’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 March [1865] ). In
  • will be ready for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In early
  • … ‘I am never idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not
  • Darwin had received a copy of Müllers bookFür Darwin , a study of the Crustacea with reference
  • … … inheritance, reversion, effects of use & disuse &c’, and which he intended to publish in
  • the end of May, the dispute between Charles Lyell and John Lubbock over alleged plagiarism by
  • in Correspondence vol. 13, Appendix V. In 1865, Lubbock published  Prehistoric times , …
  • He wrote to Hooker, ‘I doubt whether you or I or any one c d  do any good in healing this breach. …
  • Hookers behalf, ‘He asks if you saw the article of M r . Croll in the last Reader on the
  • How to manage it , a love-story set in the Indian Mutiny of 1857 to 1858 ( letter to J. D. Hooker, …
  • … ‘As for your thinking that you do not deserve the C[opley] Medal,’ he rebuked Hooker, ‘that I

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year

Summary

The year 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working on second editions of Coral reefs and Descent of man; the rest of the year was mostly devoted to further research on insectivorous plants. A…

Matches: 24 hits

  • 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working
  • dispute over an anonymous review that attacked the work of Darwins son George dominated the second
  • and traveller Alexander von Humboldts 105th birthday, Darwin obliged with a reflection on his debt
  • be done by observation during prolonged intervals’ ( letter to D. T. Gardner, [ c . 27 August
  • pleasures of shooting and collecting beetles ( letter from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such
  • Andone looks backwards much more than forwards’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 11 May [1874] ). …
  • was an illusory hope.— I feel very old & helpless’  ( letter to B. J. Sulivan, 6 January [1874] …
  • inferred that he was well from his silence on the matter ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October
  • in such rubbish’, he confided to Joseph Dalton Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 18 January [1874] …
  • Descent  was published in November 1874 ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874 ). Though
  • on subsequent print runs would be very good ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874 ). …
  • Quarterly Review  discussing works on primitive man by John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor. It
  • of anonymous reviews. Its proprietor was none other than John Murray, Darwins publisher. So
  • to review me in a hostile spirit’ ( letter to John Murray, 11 August 1874 ). Darwin was
  • number of the Review & in the same type’  ( letter from John Murray, 12 August 1874 ). George
  • anonymous reviews. While staying with Hooker over Christmas, John Tyndall, professor at and
  • the wooded land, which he had been renting from John Lubbock, led to a straining of relations with
  • with lawyers over a doubt that it may have been included in Lubbocks marriage settlements, the sale
  • in a few hours dissolve the hardest cartilage, bone & meat &c. &c.’ ( letter to W. D. …
  • whether at theclose of the putrefaction of flesh, skin &c, any substance is produced before
  • details of an Australian variety of sundew ( letter from T. C. Copland, 23 June 1874 ). …
  • printed appeal for funds, raising £860 ( Circular to John Lubbock, P. L. Sclater, Charles Lyell, W. …
  • Sharpe for promotion at the British Museum ( letter to R. B. Sharpe, 24 November [1874] ).  He
  • head that M r  Spencers terms of equilibration &c always bother me & make everything less

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

Summary

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: 25 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
  • … ‘I feel a very old man, & my course is nearly run’ ( letter to Lawson Tait, 13 February 1882 ) …
  • 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
  • fertility of crosses between differently styled plants ( letter from Fritz Müller, 1 January 1882
  • working at the effects of Carbonate of Ammonia on roots,’ Darwin wrote, ‘the chief result being that
  • contents, if immersed for some hours in a weak solution of C. of Ammonia’. Darwins interest in root
  • In January, Darwin corresponded with George John Romanes about new varieties of sugar cane produced
  • François Marie Glaziou (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter from Arthur de Souza Corrêa, 20
  • quite untirable & I am glad to shirk any extra labour’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 6 January
  • Quarterly Review , owned by Darwins publisher John Murray, carried an anonymous article on the
  • or later write differently about evolution’ ( letter to John Murray, 21 January 1882 ). The author
  • our homes, would in this case greatly suffer’ ( letter to C. A. Kennard, 9 January 1882 ). Kennard
  • judged, intellectually his inferior, please ( letter from C. A. Kennard, 28 January 1882 ). …
  • himself to so dreadful a man, as Huxley’ ( letter to John Collier, 16 February 1882 ). Collier had
  • dull aching in the chest’ (Emma Darwin to G. H. Darwin, [ c . 28 March 1882] (DAR 210.3: 45)). …
  • and admirers. One of the most touching was from John Lubbock, whose interest in natural history at
  • adjourned as a small tribute of respect’ (letter from John Lubbock to Francis Darwin, 20 April 1882
  • to some Estancia,’ wrote Hughes, ‘as the scenery &c. will amply repay your trouble’ ( letter
  • where he had witnessed an earthquake in 1835 ( letter from R. E. Alison, [MarchJuly 1835 ]). …
  • the Rock’ ( letter to E. W. V. Harcourt, 13 December [1857] ). In May 1857, Darwin wrote to
  • class with Lyell’ ( letter to William Sharpey, 22 May [1857] ). There are a few letters
  • will be months before I am able to work’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, [ c . 10 April 1864] ). To
  • Origin, a number of Darwins friends, Huxley, John Lubbock, and Charles Lyell, each addressed the

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: 24 hits

  • In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to
  • … (DAR 119) opens with five pages of text copied from Notebook C and carries on through 1851; the
  • 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
  • to be Read [DAR *119: Inside Front Cover] C. Darwin June 1 st . 1838
  • … [DAR *119: 2v.] Whites regular gradation in man [C. White 1799] Lindleys
  • 8 vo  p 181 [Latreille 1819]. see p. 17 Note Book C. for reference to authors about E. Indian
  • … [Reimarius 1760] The Highlands & Western Isl ds  letter to Sir W Scott [MacCulloch 1824
  • 183440]: In Portfolio ofabstracts34  —letter from Skuckard of books on Silk Worm
  • The Emigrant, Head [F. B. Head 1846] St. Johns Highlands [C. W. G. Saint John 1846] …
  • M rs  Frys Life [Fry 1847] Horace Walpoles letter to C t . of Ossory [Walpole 1848] …
  • B.M. 6. 6. Black Edin. Longman [Ramsay 1848] St. Johns Nat. Hist. of Sutherlanshire, Murray
  • … [Fellows 1839] Catherine 48 Life of Collins R.A. [Collins 1848] Phases of Faith
  • Liebigs Lectures on Chemistry [Liebig 1851]. Sir John Davies. China during the War and Peace
  • Asiatic Society ]—contains very little Macleays letter to D r  Fleming [Macleay 1830] …
  • … ] by looking at indexabout breeding of animalsSir J. Lubbock. member Ferguson on Poultry
  • 112 Jukes. “Students Manual of Geology” [Jukes 1857]— published a few years ago, good on
  • Lucas lHeredite Naturelle [Lucas 184750] 1857 Nov. 15. Andersson Lake Gnami
  • Thackeray English Humourists [Thackeray 1853] 1857 Jan. Cockburn life of Selby [ …
  • 1848Memoirs of the life of William   Collins, Esq., R.A.  2 vols. London.  *119: 23; 119: …
  • by Richard Owen.  Vol. 4 of  The works of John Hunter, F.R.S. with notes . Edited by James F. …
  • Robert. 1843Memoirs of the life of John   Constable, R.A., composed chiefly of his letters. …
  • Peacock, George. 1855Life of Thomas Young, M.D., F.R.S.  London.  *128: 172; 128: 21