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Darwin Correspondence Project

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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: 5 hits

  • … to make out this wonderfully complex case—’ ( letter to Daniel Oliver, 29 [July 1862] ). The three …
  • … the structure of almost every  flower’ ( letter to Daniel Oliver, 8 June [1862] ). I …
  • … to wait. ‘It is a very extraordinary  book!’, wrote Daniel Oliver on 14 May, and George Bentham …
  • … a new era in the science’ (A. Gray 1862b, p. 429). Oliver joined in the chorus, telling him: ‘Your …
  • … & most promising direction to our studies’ ( letter from Daniel Oliver, 14 May 1862 ). Darwin …

Insectivorous Plants

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Plants that consume insects Darwin began his work with insectivorous plants in the mid 1860s, though his findings would not be published until 1875. In his autobiography Darwin reflected on the delay that…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Selection. Letter 2951 - Charles Darwin to Daniel Oliver, 17 Oct [1860] Darwin …

Darwin in letters, 1864: Failing health

Summary

On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July 1864: ‘the venerable beard gives the look of your having suffered, and … of having grown older’.  Because of poor health, Because of poor health, Darwin…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … himself as ‘a broken-down brother-naturalist’, sent to Daniel Oliver, keeper of the herbarium at the …
  • … to J. D. Hooker, 2 June [1864] ). When Darwin asked Oliver whether the tendrils of  …
  • … than modified branches or leaves as most botanists thought, Oliver initially expressed reservations. …
  • … routinists regard in the light of axioms’ ( letter from Daniel Oliver, [17 March 1864] ). Though …

Floral Dimorphism

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Floral studies In 1877 Darwin published a book that included a series of smaller studies on botanical subjects. Titled The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species, it consisted primarily of…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … of his new Orchid book. Letter 3515 - Daniel Oliver to Darwin, 23 April 1862 …
  • … on a set of experiments carried out at Darwin’s request. (Oliver would later become a professor of …
  • … Cassia . He also mentions the ongoing work of his assistant Daniel Oliver. He reflects on the …

List of correspondents

Summary

Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … P. A. C. (2) Hanbury, Daniel (1) …
  • … J. F. (1) Mackintosh, Daniel (12) …
  • … Maynard, C. J. (1) McAlpine, Daniel (1) …
  • … Oldfield, H. A. (1) Oliver, Daniel (131) …
  • … E. A. S. (1) Sharpe, Daniel (8) …

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: 1 hits

  • … letters to the Linnean Society, Darwin enlisted the help of Daniel Oliver, a botanist at Kew, to …

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: 2 hits

  • … leaves, asking the professional botanists Gray, Hooker, and Daniel Oliver for references on …
  • … the family, to explaining the phenomenon ( see letter from Daniel Oliver, 17 February 1863 , …

Orchids

Summary

Why Orchids? Darwin  wrote in his Autobiography, ‘During the summer of 1839, and, I believe, during the previous summer, I was led to attend to the cross-fertilisation of flowers by the aid of insects, from having come to the conclusion in my…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … that of a more traditional botanist like Hooker. Writing to Daniel Oliver in October 1860, Darwin …
  • … sexes in Catasetum and Myanthus . In a letter to Daniel Oliver in December 1861, Darwin …
  • … Sales were slow, but the book had a positive reception. Daniel Oliver, who was professor of botany …

Darwin in letters, 1860: Answering critics

Summary

On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwin’s Origin of species, printing off another 3000 copies to satisfy the demands of an audience that surprised both the publisher and the author. It wasn't long, however, before ‘the…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … only of Hooker but also of a newly appointed Kew botanist, Daniel Oliver; his old friend and …
  • … selection. As the letters between Darwin, Hooker, and Oliver indicate, the novelty of this approach …
  • … (letters to Charles Lyell, 24 November [1860] , and to Daniel Oliver, 20 October [1860] ). …

Insectivorous plants

Summary

Darwin’s work on insectivorous plants began by accident. While on holiday in the summer of 1860, staying with his wife’s relatives in Hartfield, Sussex, he went for long walks on the heathland and became curious about the large number of insects caught by…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … Darwin roped in Hooker’s assistant at Kew Gardens, Daniel Oliver, to help him with his observations, …
  • … in the autumn of 1860 alone. Darwin started by asking Oliver to compare Drosera with Dionaea …
  • … without numerous & carefully repeated experiments ’. Oliver observed related plants in the …
  • … reaction of Drosera leaves to various substances. When Oliver got a reaction from gum which …

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: 1 hits

  • a photograph as a token of esteem by a colleague, such as Daniel Oliver at Kew, the image became

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: 1 hits

  • … Here are some of the other names to look for: Daniel Oliver W. T. Thiselton-Dyer …

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: 9 hits

  • … Dispatches [Wellesley 1834–9] Carlyles Oliver Cromwell [Carlyle 1845] (read) Keppells( …
  • … 1837–8]— read aloud April 12 th . Carlyles Oliver Cromwell [Carlyle 1845] May 5. Ray …
  • … . London. [Other eds.]  119: 13b ——. 1845.  Oliver Cromwell’s letters and speeches: with …
  • … 142–214.  *119: 21v.; 119: 18a Clarke, Edward Daniel. 1810–23.  Travels in various   …
  • … . 9 vols. Paris.  *128: 169 Defoe, Daniel. 1719.  The life and strange surprizing   …
  • … London.  *119: 23, 24; 128: 5 Ekmarck, Carl Daniel. 1781. On the migration of birds. In …
  • … G. H. Hodson. London.  128: 25 Hofacker, Johann Daniel. 1828.  Ueber die Eigenschaften   …
  • … Illustrated Library.) London.  *128: 157 Johnson, Daniel. 1822.  Sketches of field sports …
  • … *119: 4v.; 119: 13a Wilcke, Henricus Christianus Daniel. 1781. On the police of nature. In …

Darwin in letters, 1877: Flowers and honours

Summary

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: 1 hits

  • … evidence and renewing contact with correspondents such as Daniel Oliver, Friedrich Hildebrand, Fritz …

Darwin in letters, 1844–1846: Building a scientific network

Summary

The scientific results of the Beagle voyage still dominated Darwin's working life, but he broadened his continuing investigations into the nature and origin of species. Far from being a recluse, Darwin was at the heart of British scientific society,…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … expertise of William Hopkins and aroused the interest of Daniel Sharpe, whose subsequent work led to …

Darwin in letters,1866: Survival of the fittest

Summary

The year 1866 began well for Charles Darwin, as his health, after several years of illness, was now considerably improved. In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of  Origin. Darwin got the fourth…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … when the young daughter of Hooker’s colleague at Kew, Daniel Oliver, died suddenly. ‘How grieved I …