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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To Milan Radovanović   [before 12 February 1878]

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Summary

Thanks for congratulations on his coming birthday. Has nothing special to say as a preface to S[erbian] edition [of Origin (1878)], except to hope it is in every way successful.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Milan Marinković (Milan) Radovanović
Date:  [before 12 Feb 1878]
Classmark:  DAR 202: 79
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10827

From R. T. Clarke   6 February [1878]

Summary

Sends curious, coloured pea seeds.

Author:  Richard Trevor Clarke
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  DAR 161: 169
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10832

From George Henslow   [c. 20 February 1878]

Summary

Discusses various authors’ interpretations of the structure of the embryo of grasses.

Author:  George Henslow
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 20 Feb 1878]
Classmark:  DAR 209.4: 431
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11219

From J. D. Hooker   [c. 20 February 1878]

Summary

Discusses the structure of grass embryos; states differing theories regarding which part of the seed corresponds to the cotyledon.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 20 Feb 1878]
Classmark:  DAR 209.4: 432
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11220

From Theodor von Heldreich   8 February 1878

Summary

Thanks for Forms of flowers.

Sends Greek translation of CD’s "Sketch of an infant".

Is working for Greek acceptance of Darwinism.

Author:  Theodor Heinrich Hermann (Theodor) von Heldreich
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Feb 1878
Classmark:  DAR 166: 136
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11335

From Asa Gray   3 February 1878

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Summary

AG’s review of Joseph Cook ["Lectures on biology", New Englander 37: 100–13].

Encourages CD to work at heliotropism.

Thinks Thomas Meehan is as "rattle-brained" as Joseph Cook.

[A damaged fragment cut from this letter is pinned to 11051.]

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Feb 1878
Classmark:  DAR 160: 169, DAR 165: 199
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11343

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   3 February [1878]

Summary

Thanks for letter. CD now has all the seeds and information he requires.

Value and origin of amphicarpic habit.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Date:  3 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Thiselton-Dyer, W. T., Letters from Charles Darwin 1873–81: 108–9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11344

To G. H. Darwin   3 February [1878]

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Summary

CD at first thought GHD should not answer Haughton [see 10689], but Hooker thinks if no correction is made Haughton’s error will be quoted for 20 years. CD is now inclined to agree.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Howard Darwin
Date:  3 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  DAR 210.1: 67
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11345

From E. A. Darwin   4 February 1878

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Summary

Sends CD’s and George’s tithes.

Author:  Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Feb 1878
Classmark:  DAR 105: B103
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11346

To Gaston de Saporta   4 February [1878]

Summary

The Permian fossil sent by GdeS has stirred up the Kew botanists. Hooker suggests it was a Ceratopteris.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Louis Charles Joseph Gaston (Gaston) de Saporta, comte de Saporta
Date:  4 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  Conry 1972, p. 118
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11347

From Ernst Haeckel   9 February 1878

Summary

Sends birthday wishes.

Discusses his work on the Challenger [expedition] Radiolaria.

Author:  Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Feb 1878
Classmark:  DAR 166: 71
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11348

To Martin Beckhard   10 February [1878]

Summary

Thanks him for works by Lazarus Geiger [probably Zur Entwickelungsgeschichte der Menschheit (1871)

and Der Ursprung der Sprache, 2d ed. (1878)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Martin Adolf (Martin) Beckhard
Date:  10 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  DAR 143: 73
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11349

To John Price   10 February [1878]

Summary

Thanks JP for congratulations on LL.D. [awarded by Cambridge University].

Comments on Rudolf Virchow’s book [Die Freiheit der Wissenschaft im modernen Staat (1877)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Price
Date:  10 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  DAR 147: 280
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11350

From Carl Kraus    10 February 1878

Summary

Thanks for photograph.

Sends birthday greetings.

Regrets CD has not lately published in Kosmos.

Requests photograph of CD’s family.

Author:  Carl (Charles) Kraus
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Feb 1878
Classmark:  DAR 169: 103
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11351

To Raphael Meldola   12 February [1878]

Summary

Thanks RM for his interesting paper ["Entomological notes bearing on evolution", Ann. & Mag. Nat. Hist. 5th ser. 1 (1878): 155].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Raphael Meldola
Date:  12 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History (Hope Entomological Collections 1350: Hope/Westwood Archive, Darwin folder)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11353

To Ernst Haeckel   12 February [1878]

Summary

Thanks EH for birthday greetings.

Mentions his work on movement of plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Date:  12 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A-Abt. 1: 1–52/44 [9897])
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11354

From W. D. Fox   12 February [1878]

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Summary

Congratulates CD on his birthday.

WDF has been suffering from bronchitis.

Author:  William Darwin Fox
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Feb [1878]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 202
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11355

From J. D. Hooker   14 February 1878

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Summary

Asks opinion of his proposal to Bartholomew Price to translate and publish C. K. Sprengel [Das entdeckte Geheimniss (1793)] and Hermann Müller [Die Befruchtung der Blumen (1873)] in one volume.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Feb 1878
Classmark:  DAR 104: 113
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11356

From G. M. Asher   14 February 1878

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Summary

Has forwarded CD’s request for wheat specimens to Mr Galkine-Wrasky, Governor of Saratoff in Russia. Asks CD to send his thanks to the Governor and to allow GMA to visit Down to explain the specimens when they arrive.

Author:  Georg Michael Asher
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Feb 1878
Classmark:  DAR 159: 119
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11357

To W. D. Fox   14 February 1878

Summary

CD and Frank Darwin hard at work on physiology of plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  14 Feb 1878
Classmark:  University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections (Pearce/Darwin Fox collection RBSC-ARC-1721-1-74)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-11358
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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: 23 hits

  • … Observers Women: Letter 1194 - Darwin to Whitby, M. A. T., [12 August …
  • … silkworm breeds, or peculiarities in inheritance. Letter 3787 - Darwin, H. E. to …
  • … 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 …
  • … Expression from her home in South Africa. Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L …
  • … Expression during a trip to Egypt. Letter 7223 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., …
  • … expression of emotion in her pet dog and birds. Letter 5817 - Darwin to Huxley, T. …
  • … is making similar observations for him. Letter 6535 - Vaughan Williams , M. S. …
  • … of a crying baby to Darwin's daughter, Henrietta. Letter 7179 - Wedgwood, …
  • … briefly on her ongoing observations of wormholes. Letter 8611 - Cupples, A. J. …
  • … expression of emotion in dogs with Emma Darwin. Letter 8676 - Treat, M. to Darwin, …
  • … birds, insects or plants on Darwin’s behalf. Letter 8683 - Roberts, D. to …
  • … of an angry pig and her niece’s ears. Letter 8701 - Lubbock, E. F . to Darwin, …
  • … that she make observations of her pet cats. Letter 8989 - Treat, M. to Darwin, [28 …
  • … father of plants and insects. Men: Letter 2221 - Blyth, E. to Darwin, [22 …
  • Letter 4436 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [26-27 March 1864] Darwin thanks Hooker for …
  • Letter 6815 - Scott, J. to Darwin, [2 July 1869] John Scott responds to Darwin’s …
  • Letter 6139  - Doubleday, H. to Darwin, [22 April 1868] Doubleday responds to Darwin’s …
  • Letter 8168 - Ruck, A. R . to Darwin, H., [20 January 1872] Amy Ruck reports the …
  • Letter 8224 - Darwin to Ruck, A. R., [24 February 1872] Darwin asks his …
  • … ridges. Letter 8169 - Wedgwood, L. to Darwin, [20 January, 1872] Darwin’s …
  • Letter 9606 - Harrison, L. C. to Darwin, [22 August 1874] Darwin’s niece, Lucy, …
  • Letter 4433  - Wright, Charles to Gray, A., [20, 25, 26 March & 1 April 1864] …

Darwin The Collector

Summary

Look at nature more closely and create and record your own natural collections.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities provide an introduction to Charles Darwin, how and why he collected so many specimens …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute

Summary

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: 10 hits

  • … sites in both France and Germany (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 336). In April 1860, Lubbock travelled …
  • … species such as the mammoth ( Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 4 May [1860] and n. …
  • … Galton.   In February 1863, Lubbock received a letter from Lyell, evidently in response …
  • … of errata’ that he may have seen, and then mentioned: 2 have struck out Galton …
  • … about Lyell’s failure to support him. In April 1863, in a letter to the Athenæum , he discussed a …
  • … transmutation; he also wrote to Lyell telling him about the letter to the Athenæum . 9 …
  • … and went on to say that he intended to make a copy of his letter to show to friends. 18 In …
  • … he reiterated his admiration for Lubbock’s book ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1865] ). A week …
  • … in the dispute. When Hooker pressed him for an opinion ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 July 1865 ), …
  • … with Huxley in June and July and had seen Huxley’s letter to Hooker about the affair, 24 he …

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: 21 hits

  • … his publishers, he warned that it was ‘dry as dust’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 9 September 1879 ). …
  • … turned out, alas, very dull & has disappointed me much’ ( letter to Francis Galton, 15 [June …
  • … home again’, he fretted, just days before his departure ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [after 26 …
  • … many blessings, was finding old age ‘a dismal time’ ( letter to Henry Johnson, 24 September 1879 ) …
  • … wrinkles one all over like a baked pear’ ( enclosure in letter from R. W. Dixon, 20 December 1879 …
  • … office to complete Horace’s marriage settlement ( letter from W. M. Hacon, 31 December 1879 ). …
  • … his wife sent birthday greetings and a photograph of their 2-year-old son named Darwin, who, they …
  • … but they were ‘as nice and good as could be’ ( letter from Karl Beger, [ c. 12 February 1879] ) …
  • … on your life’s work, which is crowned with glory’ ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 February 1879 ). …
  • … to wish Darwin a ‘long and serene evening of life’. This letter crossed with one from Darwin, …
  • … the statement ‘In the beginning was carbon’ ( letter from Hermann Müller, 14 February 1879 ). …
  • … as the ‘organ of “uncultivated materialism”’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 2 June 1879 ]). …
  • … up the glory & would please Francis’, he pointed out ( letter from E. A. Darwin, 13 March [1879 …
  • … wholly & shamefully ignorant of my grandfathers life’ ( letter to Ernst Krause, 14 March 1879 …
  • … known philosopher and poet’ ( Correspondence vol. 1, letter from Francis Beaufort to Robert …
  • … other than Darwin’s sister Caroline (who was around 2 years old at the time of Erasmus’s death). …
  • … these things with the when & the where, & the who—’ ( letter from V. H. Darwin, 28 May …
  • … ‘perfect in every way’ ( letter from E. A. Wheler, 25 March 1879 ). She suggested that Darwin …
  • … & always with pride’ ( letter from Reginald Darwin, 29 March 1879 ). It was from …
  • … ‘interfering with each other’ ( letter to Ernst Krause, 27 March 1879 ). Darwin’s aim was ‘to give …
  • … obstacles from the start, as he reported in a letter of 29 May . Sachs had changed his views on …

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: 24 hits

  • … The death of Hugh Falconer Darwin’s 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] ). …
  • … added, ‘I know it is folly & nonsense to try anyone’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] …
  • … ineffective, and Darwin had given it up by early July ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, [10 July 1865] …
  • … of anything, & that almost exclusively bread & meat’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 15 August [1865] …
  • … better, attributing the improvement to Jones’s diet ( see letter to T. H. Huxley, 4 October [1865] …
  • … he was ‘able to write about an hour on most days’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 22 December [1865] ). …
  • … others very forward, except the last & concluding one’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 March [1865] …
  • … my book will be ready for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In …
  • … however, ‘I am never idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was …
  • … abstract of the paper was read before the Linnean Society on 2 February, and in April Darwin wrote …
  • … 1864 ( Correspondence vol. 12, letter to Ernst Haeckel, 21 November [1864] ). Since it was, …
  • … to do any scientific work’ ( letter to Fritz Müller, 20 September [1865] ), he clearly read Müller …
  • … ( Correspondence vol. 9, letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 September [1861] ). Scott had …
  • … (see Correspondence  vol. 11, letter from John Scott, 21 September [1863] ), and wrote up his …
  • … suffering from sea-sickness ( letter from John Scott, 21 July 1865 ). This may have been unwise: …
  • … the work again when he had time ( letter from John Scott, 21 July 1865 ); at the time of writing, …
  • … 1867), and Darwin summarised them in  Variation  2: 106–7, concluding, ‘it follows from Mr. Scott …

3.3 Maull and Polyblank photo 2

Summary

Despite the difficulties that arose in relation to Maull and Polyblank’s first photograph of Darwin, another one was produced, this time showing him in three-quarter view. It was evidently not taken at the same session as the first, since he is differently…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … the publication of Origin in late November 1859. In his letter of spring 1862, Darwin’s brother …
  • … he expressed with it (if correctly identified) in his 1861 letter to Gray was shared by many readers …
  • … These shortcomings also explain why, as early as 1861-2, Darwin decided to go literally and …
  • … accession or collection number DAR 225.175 and DAR 257.2 (cropped) 
 copyright holder …
  • … print 
 references and bibliography Letter from Darwin to Hooker, 17 Dec. [1860], DCP-LETT …

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: 14 hits

  • … 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 …
  • … And … one 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] …
  • … that Mr Williams was ‘a cheat and an imposter’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 27 January 1874 ). …
  • … his, ‘& that he was thus free to perform his antics’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 29 January [1874 …
  • … Darwin had allowed ‘a spirit séance’ at his home ( letter from T. G. Appleton, 2 April 1874 ). …
  • … first edition, published in 1842 ( Correspondence  vol. 21, letter to Smith, Elder & Co., 17 …
  • … Hooker, and finally borrowed one from Charles Lyell ( letter to Smith, Elder & Co., 8 January …
  • … to take so sweetly all the horrid bother of correction’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 21 [March …
  • … sent an apology for misinterpreting Darwin on this point ( letter from J. D. Dana, 21 July 1874 ); …
  • … numbers and sex ratios among the Pitcairn islanders ( letter from William Dealtry, 16 January 1874 …

3.5 William Darwin, photo 2

Summary

Darwin’s son William, who had become a banker in Southampton, took the opportunity of a short visit home to Down House in April 1864 to photograph his father afresh. This half-length portrait was the first to show Darwin with a recently grown beard, and…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … ‘Insane’ and ‘Idiotic’. Darwin himself, in a letter of 1848, had jested that an acquaintance with a …
  • … (but this was a cause of later confusion). According to a letter from Darwin’s daughter Henrietta to …
  • … there, which is in the Jane Gray autograph collection, vol. 2, Clark-Green, call no. gra00084. …
  • … and Gray’s reply, 11 July 1864 (DCP-LETT-4558). Darwin’s letter to Hooker, 10 June [1864], enclosing …

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: 15 hits

  • … Stoke’s Library 1 Cambridge. Library 2 Royal Coll of Surgeons [DAR *119 …
  • … de l’Homme,” by Dr. Pierquin, published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4   …
  • … 1834–40]: In Portfolio of “abstracts” 34  —letter from Skuckard of books on Silk Worm …
  • … M rs  Fry’s Life [Fry 1847] Horace Walpoles letter to C t . of Ossory [Walpole 1848] …
  • … Asiatic Society ]—contains very little Macleay’s letter to D r  Fleming [Macleay 1830] …
  • … [Heer 1854].— Hooker has it.— Very important Hookers letter Jan. 1859 Yules Ava [Yule 1858] …
  • … of the material from these portfolios is in DAR 205, the letter from William Edward Shuckard to …
  • … ( Notebooks , pp. 319–28). 55  The letter was addressed to Nicholas Aylward Vigors …
  • … to William Jackson Hooker. See  Correspondence  vol. 3, letter to J. D. Hooker, [5 or 12 November …
  • … 119: 21b Broughton, William Grant. 1832.  A letter in vindication of   the principles of …
  • … by Bekhur to   Garoo and the Lake Manasarowara: with a letter from … J.   G. Gerard, Esq. …
  • … 1830. On the dying struggle of the dichotomous sytem. In a letter to N. A. Vigors.  Philosophical …
  • … *119: 8v., 22v.; *128: 165 ——. 1850a. Letter to the Rev. John Bachman, on the question of …
  • … art of improving the   breeds of domestic animals. In a letter addressed to the   Right Hon. Sir …
  • … 1820.  Remarks on the improvement of   cattle, &c. in a letter to Sir John Saunders Sebright, …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep

Summary

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: 20 hits

  • … Hooker, ‘or as far as I know any scientific man’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 December [1878] ). …
  • … or arched.… Almost all seedlings come up arched’ ( letter to Sophy Wedgwood, 24 March [1878–80] ). …
  • … in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering about the …
  • … when he finds out that he missed sensitiveness of apex’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [11 May 1878] …
  • … Darwin complained. ‘I am ashamed at my blunder’ ( letter to John Tyndall, 22 December [1878] ). …
  • … tomorrow to Wurzburg,’ Darwin wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 2 June , ‘& work by myself will be …
  • … accursed German language: Sachs is very kind to him’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 18 June …
  • … have nobody to talk to, about my work, I scribble to you ( letter to Francis Darwin, 7 [July 1878] …
  • … but it is horrid not having you to discuss it with’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 20 [July 1878] ). …
  • … determine whether they had chlorophyll, Francis reported ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 7 …
  • … ‘There is one machine we must have’, Francis wrote ( letter from Francis Darwin, [before 17 July …
  • … ‘He seems to me to jump to conclusions rather’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [before 3 August 1878] …
  • … the pot-plant every day & never the bedded out one’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 7 July …
  • … ‘I have borrowed Cieselski & read him,’ he reported ( letter from Francis Darwin, [22 June 1878 …
  • … books & red-wine which is here the cure for all evils’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [24 and 25 …
  • … is very sweet & pretty,’ he added a week later ( letter to Francis Darwin, 14 July [1878] ). …
  • … in a booboo, whereas I ought to have said a gee-gee’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, 17 July [1878] ). …
  • … animal instinct and intelligence. ‘Frank’s son, nearly 2 years old (& we think much of his …
  • … but he will always do so’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 20 August [1878] ). Darwin remarked that a …
  • … more expertly. ‘I conclude that a child—just under 2 years is inferior in intellect to a monkey.’ …

German poems presented to Darwin

Summary

Experiments in deepest reverence The following poems were enclosed with a photograph album sent as a birthday gift to Charles Darwin by his German and Austrian admirers (see letter from From Emil Rade, [before 16] February 1877). The poems were…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … Charles Darwin by his German and Austrian admirers (see letter from From Emil Rade , [before 16 …
  • … unaufhörlich ringen; Manch’ ein Eppur si muove! 2 klang Den dichten Nebel zu …
  • … shall be in eternal strife; Many an Eppur si muove! 2 was uttered To pierce the heavy …
  • … poet Ludovico Ariosto, first published in 1516. 2. Eppur si muove!: And yet it moves! …
  • … lift this veil, till I myself do raise it.) Letter from Emil Rade 1    …
  • … 5   Notes   1. This letter is published in vol. 25 of The …
  • … The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Emil Rade, 16 …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions

Summary

For such an iconic work, the text of Origin was far from static. It was a living thing that Darwin continued to shape for the rest of his life, refining his ‘one long argument’ through a further five English editions.  Many of his changes were made in…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … edition published, 1872   1 st to 2 nd editions I have …
  • … buried Darwin under a blizzard of letters (see especially letter to Charles Lyell, 11 October …
  • … getting permission to quote prominently from Kingsley’s letter in the revised summary: A …
  • … the voids caused by the action of His laws.” ( Origin 2d ed, p. 481).   2 nd …
  • … sufficiently acknowledged earlier work.  According to a letter to Asa Gray he had yet to start …
  • … an animal’s colour and its immunity to poison (see letter from Jeffries Wyman, [ c . 15] …
  • … “Origin” for the first time, for I am correcting for a 2 nd . French Edition; & upon my life, …
  • … hitherto slurred it over. In his Christmas Day letter to his old friend Joseph Hooker, …
  • … of population increase in elephants in response to a letter published in the Athenaeum by a …

Dates of composition of Darwin's manuscript on species

Summary

Many of the dates of letters in 1856 and 1857 were based on or confirmed by reference to Darwin’s manuscript on species (DAR 8--15.1, inclusive; transcribed and published as Natural selection). This manuscript, begun in May 1856, was nearly completed by…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … that point Darwin was ‘interrupted’, as he put it, by a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace which …
  • … nor was it recorded in Darwin's ‘Journal’. Chapter 2 is not extant but was recorded in Darwin& …
  • … [1] (not extant) 2 13 October 1856 …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick

Summary

Darwin made a famous comment about parallels between changes in language and species change. Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Leeds University, talks about the importance of the development of language to Darwin, what…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … to Darwin, how did language begin? 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? And …
  • … sense, a more developed moral sense, and so forth. 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? …
  • … conversion, not quite at the deathbed, but in 1881, a letter in which Darwin wrote to a friend of …
  • … into this a little bit further, and actually looking at the letter myself, I came to see that this …

Language: key letters

Summary

How and why language evolved bears on larger questions about the evolution of the human species, and the relationship between man and animals. Darwin presented his views on the development of human speech from animal sounds in The Descent of Man (1871),…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … whom he exchanged information and ideas. Letter 346: Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, C. S., 27 Feb …
  • … Caucasian languages separated from one stock.” Letter 2070: Wedgwood, Hensleigh to Darwin, …
  • … is the grinding down of former continents.” Letter 3054: Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 2
  • … former,—which I tell him is perfectly logical.” Letter 5605: Darwin, C. R. to Müller, J. F. …
  • … whilst young, do they scream & make loud noise?” Letter 7040: Wedgwood, Hensleigh to …
  • … speech from gradually growing to such a stage” Letter 8367: Darwin, C. R. to Wright, …
  • … & thus unconsciously altering the breed. Letter 8962: Darwin, C. R. to Max Müller, …
  • … judge of the arguments opposed to this belief[.]” Letter 10194: Max Müller, Friedrich to …
  • … want, at least in the Science of Language […]” Letter 9887: Dawkins, W. B. to Darwin, C. R. …
  • … hold that language is not a test of race […]” Letter 11074: Sayce, A. H. to Darwin, C. R., …
  • … of wanting to eat, for this movement makes a sound like the letter m.” “For some time past I have …

Darwin's Fantastical Voyage

Summary

Learn about Darwin's adventures on his epic journey.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … These activities explore Darwin’s life changing voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Using letters home, …

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

Summary

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: 20 hits

  • … that he was ‘unwell & must write briefly’ ( letter to John Scott, 31 May [1863] ), and in a …
  • … summer, and persevered with his work on Variation until 20 July, his letter-writing dwindled …
  • … diminished even further when he and his family departed on 2 September for more than a month at a …
  • … from ‘some Quadrumanum animal’, as he put it in a letter to J. D. Hooker of 24[–5] February [1863] …
  • … ‘I declare I never in my life read anything grander’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 26 [February 1863] …
  • … than  Origin had (see  Correspondence  vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860] ). …
  • … from animals like the woolly mammoth and cave bear ( see letter from Jacques Boucher de Perthes, 23 …
  • … leap from that of inferior animals made him ‘groan’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] ). …
  • … out that species were not separately created’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 17 March [1863] ). Public …
  • … book he wished his one-time mentor had not said a word ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 24[–5] February …
  • … I respect you, as my old honoured guide & master’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] ). …
  • … against stronger statements regarding species change ( letter from Charles Lyell, 11 March 1863 ). …
  • … thinking, while Huxley’s book would scare them off ( see letter from Asa Gray, 20 April 1863 ). In …
  • … answering Owen  unaided ’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [23 February 1863] ). Hugh Falconer was …
  • … being written by others’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [23 February 1863] ). Falconer published his …
  • … Falconer, 3 January [1863] , and letter to Hugh Falconer, 20 [January 1863] ). Aside from Owen’s …
  • … his and others’ attention ( see letter to J. D. Dana, 20 February [1863] , and letter to Charles …
  • … book on Foraminifera ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, [29 March 1863] , and Appendix VII). The …
  • … think of origin of matter.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [29 March 1863] ). Owen’s endorsement of …
  • … of  Antiquity of man  ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [23 February 1863] , and letter to  …

Home learning: 7-11 years

Summary

Do try this at home! Support your children’s learning by downloading our free and fun activities for those aged between 7-11 and 11-14 years, using Darwin’s letters.  

Matches: 2 hits

  • … More Detecting Darwin activities 2 Learn about Darwin and the Beagle …
  • … any thing worthy to be noted in Natural History’ ( Letter from J. S. Henslow, 24 August 1831 ) …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments

Summary

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: 22 hits

  • … but really I do think you have a good right to be so’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [15 and] 20 …
  • … species. Darwin attempted to dissuade him from this view ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 14 [January 1862 …
  • … partially sterile together. He failed. Huxley replied ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 20 January 1862 …
  • … and pronounced them ‘simply perfect’, but continued ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 18 December [1862] ) …
  • … resigned to their difference of opinion, but complained ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 28 December [1862 …
  • … letters, Darwin, impressed, gave him the commission ( see letter to John Scott, 11 December [1862] …
  • … protégé, telling Hooker: ‘he is no common man’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 [December 1862] ). …
  • … Towards the end of the year, he wrote to Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 [December 1862] ): …
  • … condition in  Primula ’, p. 92 ( Collected papers  2: 59)). Darwin later recalled: ‘no little …
  • … and added, ‘new cases are tumbling in almost daily’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 22 January [1862] ). In …
  • … hopeful, became increasingly frustrated, telling Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 March [1862] ) …
  • … on the problem: ‘the labour is great’, he told Gray ( letter to Asa Gray, 10–20 June [1862] ), ‘I …
  • … resulted from his ‘ enormous  labour over them’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 [October 1862] ; …
  • … Oliver: ‘I can see at least 3 classes of dimorphism’ ( letter to Daniel Oliver, 12 [April 1862] ), …
  • … result once out of four or five sets of experiments’ ( letter to M. T. Masters, 24 July [1862] ). …
  • … one species may be said to be generically distinct’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 14 July [1862] ). The …
  • … and determined to publish on  Linum  ‘at once’ ( letter to John Scott, 11 December [1862] ), …
  • … wonderfully complex case—’ ( letter to Daniel Oliver, 29 [July 1862] ). The three forms had …
  • … him ‘great pleasure to ride’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 22 January [1862] ). But he worried about the …
  • … selection through the back door ( letter to Asa Gray, 23[–4] July [1862] ). Moreover, it …
  • … opposition to the  Origin  ’ ( letter from Asa Gray, 2–3 July 1862 ). Henry Walter Bates …
  • … of their letters; Darwin remarked ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 [March 1862] ): ‘It is really …

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: 16 hits

  • … my grandfather’s character is of much value to me’ ( letter to C. H. Tindal, 5 January 1880 ). …
  • … have influenced the whole Kingdom, & even the world’ ( letter from J. L. Chester, 3 March 1880 …
  • … delighted to find an ordinary mortal who could laugh’ ( letter from W. E. Darwin to Charles and …
  • … to ‘expend much powder & shot’ ( Correspondence vol. 27, letter from Ernst Krause, 7 June …
  • … old and new was published). Butler wrote to Darwin on 2 January 1880 for an explanation: …
  • … modified; but now I much regret that I did not do so’ ( letter to Samuel Butler, 3 January 1880 ). …
  • … and ‘decided on laying the matter before the public’ ( letter from Samuel Butler, 21 January 1880 …
  • … and uncertain about what to do. He drafted two versions of a letter to the Athen æum , sending …
  • … in which he will have the last word’, she warned ( letter from H. E. Litchfield, [1 February 1880] …
  • … who will fight to the end’, added her husband Richard ( letter from R. B. Litchfield, 1 February …
  • … him & given him Darwinophobia? It is a horrid disease’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 February …
  • … squashing the ‘mosquito inflated to an elephant’ ( letter from Ernst Krause, 9 December 1880 ). …
  • … me is to hide the enlarged root, at least at first, beneath 2½ inches of soil as a protection …
  • … for Author or publisher?’ ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 20 July 1880 ). ‘I must take the risk & …
  • … must now lose some for science’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 21 July 1880 ). The worries were ill …
  • … differentiations’ ( letter from F. M. Balfour, [22 November 1880] ). George Romanes, who had …
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