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To ?   28 April [1863?]


Discusses exchange of photographs with Édouard Claparède, "for whom I feel the highest respect".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  28 Apr [1863?]
Classmark:  Christie’s (dealers) (6 August 1975, item 176)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13866

To Charles Turner   [1 April – 16 June 1863?]


Asks correspondent whether, when growing hollyhocks, he finds it necessary to space out the different varieties to prevent crossing and thus to obtain true seed [see Variation 2: 108].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Turner
Date:  [1 Apr – 16 June 1863?]
Classmark:  DAR 96: 12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3886

From Richard Trevor Clarke   [April? 1863]


Encloses strawberry blossoms used in his crossing experiments.

Author:  Richard Trevor Clarke
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Apr? 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 161: 164
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4070

From James Anderson   1 April 1863


Sends CD seeds of Cattleya crispa as requested [see Collected papers 2: 77–8].

Anticipates success for his attempts to cross orchids artificially. Has not had a single seed germinate from a pod that was not produced by artificial crossing.

Author:  James Anderson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Apr 1863
Classmark:  DAR 159: 59
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4071

From Arthur Rawson   1 April [1863]


Conducted crosses on Gladiolus varieties exactly according to CD’s letter. Flowers of same variety are self-sterile, whether from the same plant or not.

Author:  Arthur Rawson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Apr [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 176: 22
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4072

To Arthur Rawson   2 April [1863]


Discusses unusual primula flowers and asks for details of Rawson’s experiments with gladioli. Asks for loan of Cypripedium but admits he will probably mutilate it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Arthur Rawson
Date:  2 Apr [1863]
Classmark:  Sotheby’s (dealers) (10 December 2013); Xiling Yinshe Auction Company (dealers) (Autumn 2017 lot 2184)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4072F

From John Scott   [1–11] April [1863]


Studying self-sterility, particularly in Oncidium, where abortion occurs consistently but stigma functions normally. His hybrid orchid crosses show sterility occurs capriciously. Thus it is not a "special endowment".

Disputes Asa Gray’s and Hermann Crüger’s view of rostellar germination.

Doubts absolute sterility of Catasetum.

Disappointed by results with homomorphic cowslips.

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [1–11] Apr [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 108: 183, DAR 177: 86 (fragile)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4073

From Arthur Rawson   [6 April 1863]


Provides evidence of self-sterility in Gladiolus.

Has observed three seed-leaves in some Dianthus seedlings.

Cannot cross, or grow from seed, Dielytra spectabilis.

Author:  Arthur Rawson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [6 Apr 1863]
Classmark:  DAR 176: 23
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4074

To the chairman of Bromley District Highway Board from the parishioners of Down, Kent   3 April 1863


Testimony by the parishioners of Down, Kent, to the moral character and integrity of George Snow, District Surveyor. Signed by nearly fifty local residents, including CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Chairman of Highway Board
Date:  3 Apr 1863
Classmark:  Sotheby, London (24 July 1995)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4074F

To John Lubbock   5 April [1863]


JL’s review of Lyell’s Antiquity of man (1863) [Nat. Hist. Rev. n.s. 3 (1863): 211–19].

Owen’s review of W. B. Carpenter in Athenæum [28 Mar 1863, pp. 417–19].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  5 Apr [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 263: 57
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4075

To Maxwell Tylden Masters   6 April [1863]


Comments on MTM’s article ["On the existence of two forms of peloria", Nat. Hist. Rev. n.s. 3 (1863): 258–62]. Cites interesting case of peloric flower.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Maxwell Tylden Masters
Date:  6 Apr [1863]
Classmark:  Catherine Barnes (dealer) (January 2002)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4076

From John Lubbock   7 April 1863


JL is off to visit Scotch "kjökken möddings".

Hopes Lyell is not really vexed by his article.

Author:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Apr 1863
Classmark:  DAR 170: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4077

From Edward Blyth   7 April 1863


Has seen some curious hybrid ducks and geese of Bartlett’s. Bartlett will do experiments suggested by CD when he has time.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Apr 1863
Classmark:  DAR 160: 205
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4078

From H. W. Bates   8 April 1863


Preparations under way to move to London account for delay in thanking CD for his review [Collected papers 2: 87–92].

His book is finished, and he is sending a copy to CD; owing to the great expense few copies will be sent to reviewers.

Author:  Henry Walter Bates
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Apr 1863
Classmark:  DAR 160: 74
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4079

To H. W. Bates   9 April [1863]


Thanks HWB for his book [Naturalist on the river Amazons]. Feels sure it will often be alluded to in other works.

Asa Gray is fascinated by the "Butterfly paper" ["Contributions to an insect fauna of the Amazon valley", Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 23 (1862): 495–566].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Walter Bates
Date:  9 Apr [1863]
Classmark:  Yale University: Beinicke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (GEN MSS MISC Group 1559 F-1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4080

From Asa Gray   11 April 1863


The war is nearly finished, "rebeldom is ""gone up"" ".

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  11 Apr 1863
Classmark:  DAR 165: 132
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4081

To Daniel Oliver   [12 April 1863]


Working on monstrous Primula. Is ovule anatropous as Asa Gray says, or amphitropous? Does he know natural path of pollen tubes in Primula. Can the tube enter the ovule by the chalaza?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  [12 Apr 1863]
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4083

To John Scott   12 April [1863]


Encourages JS to publish on sterility of orchids and to experiment on Passiflora.

Doubted Hooker’s poppy case.

Describes case of primrose with three pistils: when pulled apart allowed pollen to be placed directly on ovules. This supports JS’s explanation of H. Crüger’s case.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott
Date:  12 Apr [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 93: B59, B77–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4084

From John Scott   [after 12] April [1863]


Thanks for CD’s Linum paper [Collected papers 2: 93–105].

Has not published much because he would be ignored as a gardener; hence he is looking for a foreign appointment.

Has prepared orchid sterility paper at CD’s suggestion [Trans. Bot. Soc. Edinburgh 7 (1863): 543–50].

Author:  John Scott
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 12] Apr [1863]
Classmark:  DAR 177: 87
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4087

From David Thomas Ansted   13 April 1863


Is ready to make some arrangement to repay CD’s bond. Has written to F. Ransome to help arrange repayment and wants CD to write his opinion of a fair scheme.

Author:  David Thomas Ansted
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  13 Apr 1863
Classmark:  DAR 159: 74
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4088
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in keywords
106 Items
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Darwin’s queries on expression


When Darwin resumed systematic research on emotions around 1866, he began to collect observations more widely and composed a list of queries on human expression. A number of handwritten copies were sent out in 1867 (see, for example, letter to Fritz Muller…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … The Scottish botanist John Scott wrote from Calcutta, 4 May 1868 : “Shame is … expressed by an …
  • … Foster, Michael 4 June [1871] Trinity College, …
  • … Geach, F.F. 4 July 1868 Johore, Malaysia …
  • … Haast, J.F.J. von 4 Dec 1867 Christchurch, New …

Detecting Darwin


Who was Charles Darwin? What is he famous for? Why is he still important?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Pupils act as Darwin detectives, exploring clues about Darwin’s life and work. No prior knowledge …

Darwin And Evolution


What is evolution? What did Darwin discover and how did he come to his conclusions?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities give an introduction to Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Specimens brought …

Darwin's Fantastical Voyage


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, …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick


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: 2 hits

  • … Could you tell us a bit more about that? 4. How did you use Darwin’s …
  • … between him and us, however uncomfortable. 4. How did you use Darwin’s correspondence to re …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments


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: 6 hits

  • … improvement to Jones’s diet ( see letter to T. H. Huxley, 4 October [1865] ). It was not until …
  • … for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In early June, he wrote to …
  • … from the Linnean Society ( letter to [Richard Kippist], 4 June [1865] ). The paper was published …
  • … to high scientific account’ (A. Gray 1865–6, pp. 273-4). Darwin had also written to Gray on 19 …
  • … for him to read attentively ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1865] ). The fact that …
  • … do it if it ever can be done’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1865] ); the hard work of …

Teachers notes: Offer of a lifetime


The Offer of a Lifetime?  Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he received an exciting and unique opportunity to join HMS Beagle. The voyage changed his life but the letters show how close he came to not going at all! …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he received an exciting and …

Darwin’s reading notebooks


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

  • … published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4  [Pierquin de Gembloux 1839]. Said to …
  • … et anim: on sleep & movements of plants  £ 1 ..s  4. [Dutrochet 1837] Voyage aux …
  • … observations on increase & decrease of different diseases 4 to . 1801 [Heberden 1801] quoted …
  • … worth reading [Dampier 1697] Sportsman’s repository 4 to . [W. H. Scott 1820]— contains …
  • … Audubons Ornithol: Biography [Audubon 1831–9]— 4 Vols. well worth reading [DAR *119: 4v.] …
  • … 31 An analysis of British Ferns. G. W. Francis 4 s  [Francis 1837]— plates of every …
  • … of Rural Sports [Blaine 1840] (at Athenæum?) Book II Chapt. 4 on variation by  Blaine .— & on …
  • … Yak.— Steudel Botan. Nomenclature [Steudel 1821–4]. Synonym of every plant & country— …
  • … Paper on transmutation of shells [Haldeman 1843–4] already (1844) VI. vols. published Lib. …

Darwin and vivisection


Darwin played an important role in the controversy over vivisection that broke out in late 1874. Public debate was sparked when the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals brought an unsuccessful prosecution against a French physiologist who…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … on the Trichinae’ (letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January [1875] ). Darwin also worried that any …
  • … a new sketch for a petition (letter from T. H. Huxley, [4 April 1875] ). This was evidently …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute


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: 4 hits

  • … mammoth ( Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 4 May [1860] and n. 3; Hutchinson 1914, …
  • … partly inspired by the controversies associated with it. 4 One area of controversy centred …
  • … admiration for Lubbock’s book ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1865] ). A week later he sent …
  • … of the situation was succinct. In his letter to Hooker of [4 June 1865] he warned that no one …

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest


The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression.…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … of  Descent , he wrote to Philip Lutley Sclater on 4 January , ‘Heaven knows, whether the book …
  • … produce physiological changes ( letter from Michael Foster, 4 June [1871] ). Pangenesis …
  • … can hardly sit up, so no more’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 4 August [1871] ). On 23 September he …
  • … good as twice refined gold’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 September [1871] ). The months …

Darwin in letters, 1876: In the midst of life


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…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … curs in London’ ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, [4 February 1876] ). 'The heat of …
  • … as stemming a torrent with a reed’, he told Romanes on 4 June , but added, ‘Frank … who sputters …
  • … the previous year ( letter to G. H. Darwin, [after 4 September 1876] ). ...all sorts of …
  • … say is do not commit suicide’ ( letter to G. H. Darwin, [4 June 1876] ). By midsummer, Darwin …
  • … size of pollen grains & state of stigma’, he told Gray on 4 December. Darwin also adopted …

Dramatisation script


Re: Design – Adaptation of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Asa Gray and others… by Craig Baxter – as performed 25 March 2007

Matches: 2 hits

  • … except that of vigorous health… DARWIN:  4   My confounded stomach. GRAY: …

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings


‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … He expressed his views to his daughter Henrietta on 4 January : ‘I wd gladly punish severely …
  • … eyes of one variety into another ( Variation 2d ed. 1: 420–4, 2: 360). Darwin had encouraged …
  • … become wholly white’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [before 4 November 1874] ).   Testing …
  • … am very glad indeed of your work,’ Darwin replied on 4 November , ‘though I cannot yet follow all …
  • … occasions and finally arranged a visit to Down House on 4 May, but was not content with just one …

Darwin in letters,1866: Survival of the fittest


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: 4 hits

  • … [1866] ). Darwin began riding the cob, Tommy, on 4 June 1866, and in a letter to his …
  • … before the season is over’ ( letter from John Lubbock, 4 August 1866 ). More predictably, however, …
  • … is known on the subject’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 and 4 August [1866] ). And on the next day: …
  • … he had sounded the charge’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [4 September 1866] ). 'Natural …

German poems presented to Darwin


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: 3 hits

  • … “Es hebt ihn keiner, bis ich selbst ihn hebe!” 4 O schlauer Spruch! Wann hätte je der Gott …
  • … “You may not lift it, till I myself shall lift it!” 4 O what a wise saying! When did God …
  • … poem of the same name by Friedrich von Schiller. 4. This is a partial quotation from …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions


Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, with full debunking below...

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, …

Darwin in letters, 1847-1850: Microscopes and barnacles


Darwin's study of barnacles, begun in 1844, took him eight years to complete. The correspondence reveals how his interest in a species found during the Beagle voyage developed into an investigation of the comparative anatomy of other cirripedes and…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … write the chapter on geology ( letter to J. F. W. Herschel, 4 February [1848] ). Letters between …
  • … into a sessile, adult organism ( Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix II). One particular aspect of …
  • … affinities of the cirripedes ( Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix II). In some cases he felt he …

Interview with Tim Lewens


Dr Tim Lewens is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Organisms and artifacts (2004), which examines the language and arguments for design in biology and philosophy, and of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … inherent in Darwin’s work. 4. The expanding scope of biology …

Suggested reading


  Contemporary writing Anon., The English matron: A practical manual for young wives, (London, 1846). Anon., The English gentlewoman: A practical manual for young ladies on their entrance to society, (Third edition, London, 1846). Becker, L. E.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … species : A b iography , (London, 2006),  chapter 4: Controversy , pp. 84 – 117.  …
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