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Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?


Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 27 hits

  • evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost
  • … (1875) and  Cross and self fertilisation  (1876). Darwins son Francis became increasingly
  • career to become his fathers scientific secretary. Darwin had always relied on assistance from
  • Franciss decision. A large portion of the letters Darwin received in 1873 were in response
  • the previous year. As was typical, readers wrote to Darwin personally to offer suggestions, …
  • some of which were incorporated in a later edition. Darwin also contributed to discussions in the
  • Francis Galtons work on inherited talent, which prompted Darwin to reflect on the traits and
  • Station at Naples. Plants that eat and feel? Darwin had resumed experiments on the
  • 12 January [1873] ).  Drosera  was the main focus of Darwins study of insectivorous plants, a
  • and alkaloids, and even electrical stimulation. On sending Darwin a specimen of the carnivorous  …
  • … ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 January 1873 ). Darwin found that the glandular hairs on the
  • to bend inward, so that the plant closed like a fist. Darwin was fascinated by this transmission of
  • plants , p. 63). The plants secreted a viscid fluid, which Darwin suspected attracted insects by
  • but not in others. He encouraged research by Thomas Henry Farrer on a complex floral structure in
  • … “You are the man to conquer Coronilla”, he wrote to Farrer, “One may feel sure that primordially
  • flower would become modified & correlated” ( letter to T. H. Farrer, 14 August 1873 ). …
  • throat like a bulldog” ( letter from L. M. Forster to H. E. Litchfield, 20 February 1873 ). The
  • without instruction or previously acquired knowledge” (A. R. Wallace 1870, p. 204). Moggridge
  • could be transmitted to its offspring ( letter from J. T. Moggridge, 1 February 1873 ). …
  • it would offend his father ( enclosure to letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 December 1873 ).  In
  • happiness to us to the last day of our lives” ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 23 April 1873 ). Huxley
  • been without energy & without hope” ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 24 April 1873 ). He accepted
  • believes whether or not they are sound” ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 17 November 1873 ). But no
  • to starve sweat & purge it away” ( letter from G. H. Darwin, [1 October 1873] ). He also
  • vicar, George Sketchley Ffinden, who had been appointed in 1871. Darwin had usually been on good
  • unorthodoxy, troubling and potentially undermining (J. R. Moore 1985, pp. 4712). A courted
  • a personification of Natural Filosofy” ( letter from J. C. Costerus and N. D. Doedes, 18 March 1873

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex


The quantity of Darwin’s correspondence increased dramatically in 1868 due largely to his ever-widening research on human evolution and sexual selection.Darwin’s theory of sexual selection as applied to human descent led him to investigate aspects of the…

Matches: 25 hits

  • …   On 6 March 1868, Darwin wrote to the entomologist and accountant John Jenner Weir, ‘If any
  • he ought to do what I am doing pester them with letters.’ Darwin was certainly true to his word. The
  • and sexual selection. In  Origin , pp. 8790, Darwin had briefly introduced the concept of
  • process. In a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace in 1864, Darwin claimed that sexual selection wasthe
  • to the stridulation of crickets. At the same time, Darwin continued to collect material on
  • his immediate circle of friends and relations. In July 1868 Darwin was still anticipating that his
  • which was devoted to sexual selection in the animal kingdom. Darwin described his thirst for
  • Murray to intervene, complaining on 9 January , ‘M r . Dallasdelayis intolerableI am
  • it was by Gray himself, but Darwin corrected him: ‘D r  Gray would strike me in the face, but not
  • … . It is a disgrace to the paper’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 24 February [1868] ). The review was
  • April 1868 . The letter was addressed tothe Rev d  C. Darwin M.d’; Binstead evidently assumed
  • I did not see this, or rather I saw it only obs[c]urely, & have kept only a few references.’ …
  • classes, a dim ray of light may be gained’ ( letter to H. T. Stainton, 21 February [1868] ). From
  • as life he wd find the odour sexual!’ ( letter to A . R. Wallace, 16 September [1868] ). Francis
  • south of France to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood on 9 Novembe r, describing sphinx moths that were
  • question of theOrigin of Species”’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 4 October 1868 ). …
  • hands of the enemies of Nat. Selection’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 8 [April] 1868 ). …
  • of her two-month old daughter Katherine ( letter from C. M. Hawkshaw to Emma Darwin, 9 February
  • began a long correspondence on orchids with Thomas Henry Farrer, permanent secretary to the Board of
  • of the caudicle of  Ophrys muscifera  (letters from T. H. Farrer, 17 May 1868 and 18 May
  • sacrificed to Public life.’ Farrer replied: ‘You dont know how kind I think your note. This
  • rest mostly on faith, and on accumulation of adaptations, &c) … Of course I understand your
  • induced him to stay away ( letter from S. J. OH. Horsman, 2 June [1868] ). But if Horsman
  • life timeI am preparing to go into oppositionI cant stand it’. Diplomas and honorary
  • at the shrine of D r . Darwin’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 20 July 1868 ). Darwin received a

Darwin in letters, 1869: Forward on all fronts


At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  Origin. He may have resented the interruption to his work on sexual selection and human evolution, but he spent forty-six days on the task. Much of the…

Matches: 24 hits

  • At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  …
  • appeared at the end of 1866 and had told his cousin William Darwin Fox, ‘My work will have to stop a
  • material on emotional expression. Yet the scope of Darwins interests remained extremely broad, and
  • plants, and earthworms, subjects that had exercised Darwin for decades, and that would continue to
  • Carl von  Nägeli and perfectibility Darwins most substantial addition to  Origin  was a
  • a Swiss botanist and professor at Munich (Nägeli 1865). Darwin had considered Nägelis paper
  • principal engine of change in the development of species. Darwin correctly assessed Nägelis theory
  • now see is possible or probable’ (see also letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 January [1869] , and
  • would no doubt do if we had proper data to go by, but dont think we have got that yet’ ( letter
  • been less deferential towards [Thomson]’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 19 March [1869] ). …
  • of information which I have sent prove of any service to M r . Darwin I can supply him with much
  • … & proximate cause in regard to Man’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ).  More
  • and the bird of paradise  (Wallace 1869a; letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 March [1869] ), and
  • an injustice & never demands justice’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ). …
  • and fossil discoveries in Patagonia and Wales ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 7 May 1869 , letter
  • species that Darwin had investigated in depth ( letter from C. F. Claus, 6 February 1869 ). In a
  • genus that he had studied in the early 1860s ( letter to W. C. Tait, 12 and 16 March 1869 ). This
  • Sweetland Dallass edition of Fritz Müllers  Für Darwin  (Dallas trans. 1869). The book, an
  • whole meeting was decidedly Huxleys answer to D r  M c Cann. He literally poured boiling oil
  • greater fools of themselves than they did’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 28 September 1869 ). …
  • criticism was noted in a letter from Thomas Henry Farrer, who had been reading some of Delpinos
  • into whichI do not care to follow him’ ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 9 October 1869 ). Farrer
  • Freedom and Will and High Design—’ (letter from T. H. Farrer, 13 October 1869). …
  • to set foot on summit of a mountain.—’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 9 July [1869] ).  Earlier

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year


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: 22 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
  • by observation during prolonged intervals’ ( letter to D. T. Gardner, [ c . 27 August 1874] ). …
  • from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such reminiscences led Darwin to the self-assessment, ‘as for one
  • Mr Williams wasa cheat and an imposter’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 27 January 1874 ). Darwin
  • that he was thus free to perform his antics’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 29 January [1874] ). This
  • alloweda spirit séanceat his home ( letter from T. G. Appleton, 2 April 1874 ). Back
  • sweetly all the horrid bother of correction’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 21 [March 1874] ). The
  • and disease in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii; letters from T. N. Staley, 12 February 1874 and
  • that I have pounded the enemy into a jelly’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 14 April 1874 ). The
  • and never mind where it goes’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 16 April 1874 ). The second
  • on subsequent print runs would be very good ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874 ). …
  • conciseness & clearness of your thought’ ( letter from G. H. Darwin, 20 April 1874 ). …
  • the spread of various mental and physical disorders (G. H. Darwin 1873b). In July 1874, an anonymous
  • fourth son, Leonard, who had joined the Royal Engineers in 1871, went to New Zealand as photographer
  • 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 ). …
  • Sharpe for promotion at the British Museum ( letter to R. B. Sharpe, 24 November [1874] ).  He
  • doIt is enough to kill anyone’, and asked Thomas Henry Farrer to attempt to influence the
  • head that M r  Spencers terms of equilibration &c always bother me & make everything less