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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),…

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  • … on the development of language was written to his sister Caroline shortly before he set off on his …

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,…

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  • … William (4) Shuttleworth, Caroline (1) …

Henrietta Darwin's diary

Summary

Darwin's daughter Henrietta kept a diary for a few momentous weeks in 1871. This was the year in which Descent of Man, the most controversial of her father's books after Origin itself, appeared, a book which she had helped him write. The small…

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  • … and attended by Henrietta’s friend and relative Emily Caroline (Lena) Langton, was advertised in a …
  • … on the expression of emotion (see letters from F. J. Wedgwood to H. E. and C. R. Darwin, [1867–72], …
  • … Edmund Langton was Henrietta’s cousin; his wife, Emily Caroline , was nicknamed Lena. …

Dining at Down House

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Dining, Digestion, and Darwin's Domestic Life While Darwin is best remembered for his scientific accomplishments, he greatly valued and was strongly influenced by his domestic life. Darwin's…

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  • … Down House Letter 259 —Charles Darwin to Caroline Darwin, 13 October 1834 …
  • … geography, flora and fauna) Darwin complains to his sister Caroline of the effects of some sour wine …

Darwin in letters, 1837–1843: The London years to 'natural selection'

Summary

The seven-year period following Darwin's return to England from the Beagle voyage was one of extraordinary activity and productivity in which he became recognised as a naturalist of outstanding ability, as an author and editor, and as a professional…

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  • … by Darwin from a suggestion made by his uncle, Josiah Wedgwood II, during one of Darwin’s visits to …
  • … 1961, p. 53). Marriage Darwin married Emma Wedgwood in January 1839. His hopes and …
  • … several months (See  Correspondence  vol. 1, letter to Caroline Darwin, 13 October 1834 , and …

Darwin and Gender Projects by Harvard Students

Summary

Working in collaboration with Professor Sarah Richardson and Dr Myrna Perez, Darwin Correspondence Project staff developed a customised set of 'Darwin and Gender' themed resources for a course on Gender, Sex and Evolution first taught at Harvard…

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  • … correspondence. She also focuses on Darwin’s letters to Caroline Kennard, and argues that Darwin’s …
  • … project, follow the links below: Charles Darwin to Caroline Wedgwood: http://www …
  • … Charles Darwin to Caroline Kennard: http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-13607 Caroline

Darwin and the Church

Summary

The story of Charles Darwin’s involvement with the church is one that is told far too rarely. It shows another side of the man who is more often remembered for his personal struggles with faith, or for his role in large-scale controversies over the…

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  • … and various dissenting establishments. In the Darwin and Wedgwood households, formal adherence to …
  • … returning to his religious studies, and wrote to his sister Caroline: ‘I find I steadily have a …
  • … I can see it even through a grove of Palms.—’ (letter to Caroline Darwin, 25–6 April [1832] ). …

Science: A Man’s World?

Summary

Discussion Questions|Letters Darwin's correspondence show that many nineteenth-century women participated in the world of science, be it as experimenters, observers, editors, critics, producers, or consumers. Despite this, much of the…

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  • … Kennard, C. A., [9 January 1882] Darwin responds to Caroline Kennard’s enquiry about …

About Darwin

Summary

To many of us, Darwin’s name is synonymous with his theory of evolution by natural selection.  But even before the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, he was publicly known through his popular book about the voyage of the Beagle, and he was…

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  • up in Shrewsbury along with three older sistersMarianneCaroline and Susan, an older brother, …
  • to be a devoted family manHe married his cousin Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and they had ten children.  …

About Darwin

Summary

To many of us, Darwin’s name is synonymous with his theory of evolution by natural selection.  But even before the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, he was publicly known through his popular book about the voyage of the Beagle, and he was…

Matches: 2 hits

  • up in Shrewsbury along with three older sistersMarianneCaroline and Susan, an older brother, …
  • to be a devoted family manHe married his cousin Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and they had ten children.  …

Darwin in public and private

Summary

Extracts from Darwin's published works, in particular Descent of man, and selected letters, explore Darwin's views on the operation of sexual selection in humans, and both his publicly and privately expressed views on its practical implications…

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  • … Kennard, C. A., [9 January 1882] Darwin responds to Caroline Kennard’s enquiry about …

Women as a scientific audience

Summary

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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  • … Kennard, C. A. to Darwin, [28 January 1882] Caroline Kennard responds critically to Darwin …

Capturing Darwin’s voice: audio of selected letters

Summary

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…

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  • … making observations, as exemplified by the letters to his Wedgwood nieces, Lucy ( [before 25 …
  • … exuberance of the Beagle letters (e.g. letter to Caroline Darwin, 29 April 1836 ) to the more …

Journal of researches

Summary

Within two months of the Beagle’s arrival back in England in October 1836, Darwin, although busy with distributing his specimens among specialists for description, and more interested in working on his geological research, turned his mind to the task of…

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  • … ’. In contrast, when Darwin’s cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood and his wife Fanny read the …
  • … length of the journal kept during the voyage, while another Wedgwood cousin continued to encourage …
  • … attending the renowned Birmingham Music Festival with his Wedgwood cousins. ‘ To write a book, I do …
  • … Deluge Chapter’, Darwin wrote to his sister Caroline, adding that Charles Lyell ‘ says it beats all …

Darwin in letters, 1876: In the midst of life

Summary

1876 was the year in which the Darwins became grandparents for the first time.  And tragically lost their daughter-in-law, Amy, who died just days after her son's birth.  All the letters from 1876 are now published in volume 24 of The Correspondence…

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  • … to Down. In the same month, Darwin heard that his sister Caroline Wedgwood continued to languish in …
  • … the Darwins were organising a special train carriage to get Caroline home, they had experienced a …

Darwin's health

Summary

On 28 March 1849, ten years before Origin was published, Darwin wrote to his good friend Joseph Hooker from Great Malvern in Worcestershire, where Dr James Manby Gully ran a fashionable water-cure establishment. Darwin apologised for his delayed reply to…

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  • … stomach troubles, see Correspondence vol. 2, letter to Caroline Wedgwood, [May 1838] , and …

Darwin’s first love

Summary

Darwin’s long marriage to Emma Wedgwood is well documented, but was there an earlier romance in his life? How was his departure on the Beagle entangled with his first love? The answers are revealed in a series of flirtatious letters that Darwin was…

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  • … Darwin’s long marriage to Emma Wedgwood is well documented, but was there an earlier romance in his …
  • … Although Fanny seemed ‘happy & attached to M r.  B’, Caroline Darwin couldn’t help thinking, …

Darwin’s observations on his children

Summary

Charles Darwin’s observations on the development of his children, began the research that culminated in his book The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, published in 1872, and his article ‘A biographical sketch of an infant’, published in Mind…

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  • … the next paragraph were written by Emma Darwin. [29] Caroline Sarah Wedgwood, Elizabeth …

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…

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  • … or garden, taking notes by dictation. His niece Lucy Caroline Wedgwood sent observations of  …

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…

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  • … London. [Other eds.] 119: 22b Gray, Elizabeth Caroline. 1840.  Tour to the sepulchres of …