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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: 18 hits

  • … In May 1865 a dispute arose between John Lubbock and Charles Lyell when Lubbock, in his book …
  • … some of whom took immediate action to mediate a solution. Charles Darwin had close ties with both …
  • … his views were generally derided. 1  In 1859, Lyell visited several sites in France …
  • … belief that these were indeed implements of early humans (C. Lyell 1859). In September 1860 he …
  • … species such as the mammoth ( Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 4 May [1860] and n. …
  • … the age of the human species. The visits by both Lyell and Lubbock reflected the growing interest, …
  • … to establish the age of the human race.  In 1861, Lubbock joined Thomas Henry Huxley, Busk, …
  • … recent geologico-archaeological researches in Denmark’ (Lubbock 1861) for the October 1861 issue. …
  • … (kitchen-middens) of ancient Danish settlements. Lubbock reviewed the literature on the topic and …
  • … also added the following note on page 11: *Mr. John Lubbock published, after these sheets …
  • … Galton.   In February 1863, Lubbock received a letter from Lyell, evidently in response …
  • … about Lyell’s failure to support him. In April 1863, in a letter to the Athenæum , he discussed a …
  • … wrote to Henrietta Emma Darwin, ‘whereas after talking to John, he thought him not wrong, after …
  • … avoiding any mention of the note in the preface (letter to John Lubbock, 11 June [1865] ). No …
  • … on page 11, C. Lyell 1863c (original version) *Mr. John Lubbock published, after these sheets …
  • … on page 11, C. Lyell 1863c (revised version) *Mr. John Lubbock published, in the October …
  • … Van Riper 1993. 2. Letter from Charles Lyell to John Lubbock, 20 February 1863 (British …
  • … 1863b, p. 214). 12. Letter from Hugh Falconer to John Lubbock, 24 May [1864], in (British …

John Lubbock

Summary

John Lubbock was eight years old when the Darwins moved into the neighbouring property of Down House, Down, Kent; the total of one hundred and seventy surviving letters he went on to exchange with Darwin is a large number considering that the two men lived…

Matches: 22 hits

  • John Lubbock was eight years old when the Darwins moved into the neighbouring
  • two men lived as close neighbours for most of their lives.  Lubbock's fatherJohn William
  • banking family, and the family seat of High Elms, which Lubbock inherited in 1865, was at the heart
  • and wide-ranging studies in anthropology and prehistory, John Lubbocks childhood interest in
  • mountain must come some Sunday to Mahomet.   ( to John Lubbock, 26 March [1867] ) …
  • meetings leave in the documentary record, it is clear that John Lubbock played a significant part in
  • and strategist.  As early as 1857 Darwin wrote to thank Lubbock for saving him from a ' …
  • on variationDarwin made constant requests of Lubbock, bombarding him with questions and
  • with me on general issue, or against me. ( to John Lubbock, 14 December [1859] ) …
  • In the weeks immediately after publication, Darwin wrote to Lubbock not once but twice demanding to
  • … , ‘but for the opinion of men like you & Hooker & Huxley & Lyell’. Lubbock spoke
  • Darwin's supporters) in 1864. Pre-historic Times (1865), Lubbock's account of human
  • to humans.  After his election as MP for Maidstone in 1870, Lubbock tried at Darwins request to
  • such as James Torbitt's research into potato blight. Lubbock was one of those consulted on
  • Descent In Descent of man , Darwin referred to Lubbocks published work on the secondary
  • much interest for the good of my internal viscera’ ( to John Lubbock, 21 July [1870] ). It seems
  • a daughter? or scrupled to carry off anothers wife? ( from John Lubbock, 18 March [1871] ). …
  • complained that he remained 'not a little in the dark' ( to John Lubbock, 26 March [1867] …
  • William, up in a banking career, and Darwin's last known letter to John Lubbock, sent
  • children were strained.  ‘I am afraid our feeling to Sir JohnFrancis Darwin later wrotedid not
  • He signed himself, with unusual formality, “My dear Sir John, yours sincerely”. By this stage
  • down.”   In the last year of his life Darwin provided a letter of introduction for Lubbock's

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: 21 hits

  • At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of  The variation of
  • that he wasunwell & must write briefly’ ( letter to John Scott, 31 May [1863] ), and in a
  • persevered with his work on Variation until 20 July, his letter-writing dwindled considerably. The
  • by the publication in February of books by his friends Charles Lyell, the respected geologist, and
  • fromsome 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] …
  • Britains scientific circles following the publication of Lyells and Huxleys books. Three
  • Origin had (see  Correspondence  vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860] ). In the
  • that of inferior animals made himgroan’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] ). Darwin
  • out that species were not separately created’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 17 March [1863] ). Public
  • you, as my old honoured guide & master’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] ). …
  • were himself, Hooker, Huxley, Alfred Russel Wallace, and John Lubbock. Honours abroad
  • of the Royal Society ( see letter from Edward Sabine to John Phillips, 12 November 1863 ). …
  • year with the Hertfordshire nurseryman Thomas Rivers. John Scott Darwin had found a
  • of hybridity and sterility at the end of the previous year. John Scott, a gardener at the Royal
  • the results of which were published in 1868 ( see letter to John Scott, 25 and 28 May [1863] ). …
  • hoped would counteract Huxleys criticism ( letter from John Scott, 23 July [1863] ). Darwin
  • Darwin had also encouraged him to write ( see letter to John Scott, 12 April [1863] ). In this
  • that your paper will have permanent value’ ( letter to John Scott, 31 May [1863] ). Scott received
  • theOriginis not at all palatable!’ ( letter from John Scott, [3 June 1863] ). Darwins
  • a position offered in Darjeeling, India ( see letter from John Scott, 22 May 1863 , and letter

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: 21 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 …
  • … of sterility between varieties of  Verbascum . When John Scott, foreman of the propagating …
  • … Darwin, impressed, gave him the commission ( see letter to John Scott, 11 December [1862] ). …
  • … to publish on  Linum  ‘at once’ ( letter to John Scott, 11 December [1862] ), writing up his …
  • … buy it. When he submitted the manuscript to his publisher, John Murray, he boasted: ‘I can say with …
  • … in the least , whether the Book will sell’ ( letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862] ). To his …
  • … paper for the  Natural History Review  ( see letter to John Lubbock, 16 [December 1862] ). Aware …
  • … in the preparation of translations of his books. When Charles Edouard Brown-Séquard informed him …
  • … also sent presentation copies of his botanical studies to Charles Naudin, a botanist at the Muséum d …
  • … of the old  Beagle  crew, Bartholomew James Sulivan, John Clements Wickham, and Arthur Mellersh, …
  • … of this, he prescribed strict conditions for a meeting with John Lubbock: ‘if you could … let me go …
  • … at 9 o clock I do not think it would hurt me’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 23 October [1862] ). …
  • … on botany. Even at the start of their correspondence he told John Scott: ‘Botany is a new subject to …
  • … odds & ends of botany & you know far more’ ( letter to John Scott, 19 November [1862] ). …
  • … Darwin was glad that Glen Roy was ‘settled’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 22 August [1862] ), he …
  • … of Darwin’s circle was in Switzerland in the summer: John Lubbock briefly met up with Tyndall and …
  • … palaeontologist who believes in immutability’, he told Lyell ( letter to Charles Lyell, 1 October …

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: 23 hits

  • On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwins  Origin of species , …
  • learn that the book was on sale even in railway stations ( letter to Charles Lyell, 14 January
  • the book, thinking that it would be nice easy reading.’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 22 May [1860] ). …
  • he told Hooker, did not at all concern his main argument ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1860] …
  • his theory would have beenutterly  smashed’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). (A
  • from right principles of scientific investigation.—’ ( letter to J. S. Henslow, 8 May [1860] ). …
  • a theory solely by explaining an ample lot of facts.’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 18 February [1860] ). …
  • phenomena it comes in time to be admitted as real.’ ( letter to C. J. F. Bunbury, 9 February [1860] …
  • … . Fawcett asserted that Darwins theory accorded well with John Stuart Mills exposition of the
  • current knowledge could not illuminate thismystery’. Charles Lyell worried, among other things, …
  • did not necessarily lead to progression ( letter to Charles Lyell, 18 [and 19 February 1860] ). To
  • of reasoning about global change. Darwin also knew that Lyell was a powerful potential ally. Indeed, …
  • plant species and varieties than from animal breeding. With Lyell also questioning how interbreeding
  • is in same predicament with other animals’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860] )— he and
  • to hear Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop of Oxford, reply to John William Drapers paper giving a
  • Darwin about further, less dramatic incidents, including John Lubbocks retort to Wilberforce on the
  • of the scientifically literate clergymen Baden Powell and Charles Kingsley attested. Moreover, …
  • … (like Lyell) to retract their support altogether (letters to Charles Lyell, 1 June [1860] and
  • different opposers view the subject’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 15 February [1860] ); later he
  • better fun observing is than writing.—’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 12 September [1860] ). Despite
  • I shall improve the Book considerably.—’ ( letter to John Murray, 5 December [1860] ). Although he
  • to convert people under 20 year,’ he told his friend John Innes, ‘though firmly convinced  now
  • good judge coming some little way with me.’ ( letter to John Innes, 28 December [1860] ). …

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

  • In 1865, the chief work on Charles Darwins mind was the writing of  The variation of animals and
  • on a paper on  Verbascum (mullein) by CDs protégé, John Scott, who was now working in India. …
  • also a serious dispute between two of Darwins friends, John Lubbock and Charles Lyell . These
  • The death of Hugh Falconer Darwins 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] …
  • claimed, important for his enjoyment of life. He wrote to Charles Lyell on 22 January [1865] , …
  • Appendix II). In May, he invited a new doctor, John Chapman, to Down and began a course of Chapmans
  • Variation . In March Darwin wrote to his publisher, John Murray, ‘Of present book I have 7
  • forward, except the last & concluding one’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 March [1865] ). In
  • will be ready for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In early
  • … ‘I am never idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not
  • questions and suggesting new lines of research. John Scott A similar, though not so
  • effort took place in the beginning of the year when John Scott, a protégé of Darwins whom Darwin
  • varieties (see  Correspondence  vol. 10, letter to John Scott, 19 November [1862] ). Darwin had
  • in 1863 (see Correspondence  vol. 11, letter from John Scott, 21 September [1863] ), and wrote
  • 1864, despite suffering from sea-sickness ( letter from John Scott, 21 July 1865 ). This may have
  • and those of Georges Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, and Charles Bonnet; Darwin wrote back: ‘I do
  • the Royal Society of Edinburgh criticising Origin . Like Charles Lyell, who wrote to Darwin on
  • for existence (ibid., pp. 27681). Darwin responded to Lyells account in some detail ( see letter
  • At the end of May, the dispute between Charles Lyell and John Lubbock over alleged plagiarism by
  • in Correspondence vol. 13, Appendix V. In 1865, Lubbock published  Prehistoric times , …

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: 21 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
  • Andone 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
  • at Erasmuss house. The event was led by the medium Charles E. Williams, and was attended by George
  • friend Joseph Dalton Hooker, and finally borrowed one from Charles Lyell ( letter to Smith, Elder
  • at a much reduced price of nine shillings, in line with Charles Lyells  Students elements of
  • Quarterly Review  discussing works on primitive man by John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor. It
  • of anonymous reviews. Its proprietor was none other than John Murray, Darwins publisher. So
  • to review me in a hostile spirit’ ( letter to John Murray, 11 August 1874 ). Darwin was
  • number of the Review & in the same type’  ( letter from John Murray, 12 August 1874 ). George
  • anonymous reviews. While staying with Hooker over Christmas, John Tyndall, professor at and
  • asthe natural outflow of his character’ ( letter from John Tyndall, 28 December 1874 ). …
  • to purchase the wooded land, which he had been renting from John Lubbock, led to a straining of
  • with lawyers over a doubt that it may have been included in Lubbocks marriage settlements, the sale
  • for about a week ( letter from E. E. Klein, 14 May 1874 ). John Burdon Sanderson sent the results
  • of other insect-eating plants. The surgeon and botanist John Ralfs sent  Utricularia  from
  • printed appeal for funds, raising £860 ( Circular to John Lubbock, P. L. Sclater, Charles Lyell, W. …
  • 24 November [1874] ).  He wrote in admiration of Charles Lyells plan to leave a bequest to the
  • Tyndall, 12 August [1874] ). Hooker reported thatLubbocks Lecture went off admirablybut

Darwin in letters, 1856-1857: the 'Big Book'

Summary

In May 1856, Darwin began writing up his 'species sketch’ in earnest. During this period, his working life was completely dominated by the preparation of his 'Big Book', which was to be called Natural selection. Using letters are the main…

Matches: 20 hits

  • On 14 May 1856, Charles Darwin recorded in his journal that heBegan by Lyells advice  writing
  • by the preparation of this manuscript. Although advised by Lyell to publish only a brief outline
  • material into such a small compass and soon abandoned Lyells idea in favour of a full-length work
  • this process. Still prominent in his immediate circle were Charles Lyell and Joseph Dalton Hooker, …
  • and other domesticated animals. As Darwin explained to Lyell, his studies, particularly those on
  • the real structure of varieties’, he remarked to Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 September [1856
  • … ‘& I mean to make my Book as perfect as ever I can.’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 8 February [1857] …
  • plants, he asked Asa Gray, vary in the United States ( letter to Asa Gray, 2 May 1856 )? What
  • plants pretty effectuallycomplained Darwin in 1857 ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [2 May 1857] ). …
  • acknowledged when told by his neighbour and young protégé John Lubbock that his method of
  • using a statistically valid method explained to him by Lubbock. The origin of sex Such
  • … ‘Darwin, an absolute & eternal hermaphrodite’ ( letter to to T. H. Huxley, 1 July [1856] ), …
  • which the bird had naturally eaten have grown well.’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 December [1856] …
  • to William Erasmus Darwin, [26 February 1856] and to Charles Lyell, 3 May [1856] ). …
  • 21 [July 1857] ). The problem of careers for his six boys (Charles Waring Darwin, the sixth and
  • Athenæum Club. Several letters touch on the publication of John Tyndalls theory concerning the
  • phenomenon of cleavage, still unresolved in 1856, with John Phillips and entered into a useful
  • writing in part to establish his priority in this area, for Charles Lyell thought that Wallaces
  • given on an occasion other than the one previously supposed. Charles and Mary Elizabeth Lyell
  • up to London to see Lyell to discuss it further ( letter to Charles Lyell, 3 May [1856] ). It was

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: 17 hits

  • The year 1866 began well for Charles Darwin, as his health, after several years of illness, was now
  • of scientific admirers at Down, among them Robert Caspary, John Traherne Moggridge, and Ernst
  • Pound foolish, Penurious, Pragmatical Prigs’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [29 December 1866] ). But
  • able to write easy work for about 1½ hours every day’ ( letter to H. B. Jones, 3 January [1866] ). …
  • once daily to make the chemistry go on better’ ( letter from H. B. Jones, 10 February [1866] ). …
  • regime led to Darwins being teased by his neighbour, John Lubbock, about the prospect of riding to
  • On 21 February Darwin received notification from John Murray that stocks of the third edition of  …
  • Henry Walter Batess article on mimetic butterflies, Lubbocks observations of diving Hymenoptera
  • in correspondence throughout the year, as in his remark to Lyell, ‘I quite follow you in thinking
  • in this volume), drawing Darwin, Hooker, and the botanist Charles James Fox Bunbury into the
  • George Henslow, the son of his Cambridge mentor, John Stevens Henslow, stayed for two days in April
  • In June, Darwin was visited by the orchid specialist John Traherne Moggridge, whose work on the self
  • good, & we have been at it many a long year’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 15 February [1866] ). …
  • out, ‘business would be totally paralysed’. Similarly, John Murray gave as a reason for his decision
  • … ‘gaieties travelling & War Bulletins’ ( letter from John Murray, 18 July 1866 ). I
  • for the criminal prosecution of the colonial governor Edward John Eyre. In his efforts to suppress
  • loneliness’ ( letter from E. C. Langton to Emma and Charles Darwin, [6 and 7? January 1866] ), and

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 …
  • … observations of cats’ instinctive behaviour. Letter 4258 - Becker, L. E. to Darwin, …
  • … 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, …
  • … on her experiments with fly-catching Drosera . Letter 9426 - Story …
  • … 9 November 1868] Darwin’s nephews, Edmund and Charles, write to Emma Darwin’s sister, …
  • … 6815 - Scott, J. to Darwin, [2 July 1869] John Scott responds to Darwin’s queries …
  • … the Isle of White. Letter 4433  - Wright, Charles to Gray, A., [20, 25, 26 March …
  • …  - Weir, J. J. to Darwin, [24 March 1868] John Weir describes experiments he is undertaking …
  • … J., [5 April 1859] Darwin asks his publisher, John Murray, to forward a manuscript copy of …
  • … in the future. Letter 4038 - Darwin to Lyell, C., [12-13 March 1863] …
  • … writing. Letter 3001  - Darwin to Lubbock, J., [28 November 1860] Darwin …
  • …  - Weir, J. J. to Darwin, [24 March 1868] John Weir describes experiments he is undertaking …

Scientific Networks

Summary

Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

Matches: 24 hits

  • … and colonial authorities. In the nineteenth-century, letter writing was one of the most important …
  • … in times of uncertainty, controversy, or personal loss. Letter writing was not only a means of …
  • … botanist Asa Gray. Darwin and Hooker Letter 714 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D. …
  • … and he is curious about Hooker’s thoughts. Letter 729 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., …
  • … to Hooker “it is like confessing a murder”. Letter 736 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D. …
  • … wide-ranging genera. Darwin and Gray Letter 1674 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, …
  • … and asks him to append the ranges of the species. Letter 1685 — Gray, Asa to Darwin, C. …
  • … and relationships of alpine flora in the USA. Letter 2125 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, …
  • … and their approach to information exchange. Letter 1202 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D …
  • … first describer’s name to specific name. Letter 1220 — Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, C. R., …
  • … extract anything valuable from his letters to Darwin and Lyell for Athenæum . He mentioned Darwin …
  • … perpetuity of names in species descriptions. Letter 1260 — Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. …
  • … ends with a discussion of lamination of gneiss. Letter 1319 — Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, …
  • … Mentors Darwin's close relationship with John Stevens Henslow, the professor of botany …
  • … he mentored. The first is between Darwin and his neighbour, John Lubbock and the second is between …
  • Letter 1585 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John, [Sept 1854] Darwin sends Lubbock a beetle he …
  • Letter 1720 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John, 19 [July 1855] Darwin congratulates Lubbock on …
  • Letter 1979 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John, 27 Oct [1856] Darwin provides detailed …
  • … expert William Bernard Tegetmeier and the Scottish gardener John Scott, illustrate how the rigid …
  • … him to publish in his journal. The debate about John Scott Letter 3800 — …
  • Letter 3805 — Darwin, C. R. to Scott, John, 12 Nov [1862] Darwin thanks Scott for bringing …
  • … in the anthers. Letter 4463 — Scott, John to Darwin, C. R., 14 Apr [1864] Scott …
  • … to Gray, Asa, 13 Sept [1864] Darwin sends abstract of John Scott’s paper [see 4332 ] and …
  • … day with Henslow; much had to be done. His friend, Alexander Charles Wood, has written to Capt. …

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: 6 hits

  • … Russel Wallace , co-discoverer of natural selection; Charles Lyell , and Joseph Hooker , the …
  • … from South Africa, and  the Scottish gardener John Scott conducted experiments in Edinburgh and …
  • … letters from family and friends, including letters between Charles and his wife Emma, and several of …
  • … of fish , but also about the origins of language .  John Brodie Innes , vicar of the Darwins’ …
  • … over me on rising William Darwin Fox , Charles’s cousin and another friend, compared …
  • … Alfred Newton Frederick Smith A. G. Butler John Lubbock R. I. Lynch J. …

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution

Summary

The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex’.  Descent was the culmination of over three decades of observations and reflections on…

Matches: 25 hits

  • … proofs of  Descent  in December, he wrote to his friend Charles Lyell, ‘thank all the powers above …
  • … anything which has happened to me for some weeks’  ( letter to Albert Günther, 13 January [1870] ) …
  • … corrections of style, the more grateful I shall be’  ( letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ) …
  • … who wd ever have thought that I shd. turn parson?’ ( letter to H. E. Darwin, [8 February 1870] ). …
  • … abt any thing so unimportant as the mind of man!’ ( letter from H. E. Darwin, [after 8 February …
  • … thro’ apes & savages at the moral sense of mankind’ ( letter to F. P. Cobbe, 23 March [1870?] …
  • … how metaphysics & physics form one great philosophy?’ ( letter from F. P. Cobbe, 28 March [1870 …
  • … in thanks for the drawing ( Correspondence  vol. 16, letter to J. D. Hooker, 26 November [1868] …
  • … patients, but it did not confirm Duchenne’s findings ( letter from James Crichton-Browne, 15 March …
  • … muscle’, he complained, ‘is the bane of existence!’ ( letter to William Ogle, 9 November 1870 ). …
  • … to their belief that all demons and spirits were white ( letter from W. W. Reade, 9 November 1870 …
  • … . . Could you make it scream without hurting it much?’ ( letter to A. D. Bartlett, 5 January [1870] …
  • … or crying badly; but I fear he will not succeed’ ( letter to James Crichton-Browne, 8 June [1870] …
  • … Lucy Wedgwood, who sent a sketch of a baby’s brows ( letter from L. C. Wedgwood, [5 May 1870] ). …
  • … is the inclination to finish my note on this subject’  ( letter from F. C. Donders, 17 May 1870 ). …
  • … the previous year (see  Correspondence  vol. 17, letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ). His …
  • … (in retrograde direction) naturalist’ (letter to A. R.Wallace, 26 January [1870]). …
  • … towards each other, though in one sense rivals’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 20 April [1870] ). …
  • … version of the theory of descent by natural selection in a letter to Darwin, prompting much anxiety …
  • … But who is to criticise them? No one but yourself’ ( letter from H. W. Bates, 20 May 1870 ). …
  • … in Paris. Quatrefages had just completed a book,  Charles Darwin et ses précurseurs français  …
  • … the mother and foetus during pregnancy. As a case in point, John Jenner Weir described the offspring …
  • … also discussed recent experiments by Louis Pasteur and John Tyndall that provided evidence for the …
  • … a memorandum. He asked his neighbour, the naturalist John Lubbock, who was now MP for Maidstone, to …
  • … reference to mankind of much importance ’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 17 July 1870 ). The motion to …

Origin is 160; Darwin's 1875 letters now online

Summary

To mark the 160th anniversary of the publication of Origin of species, the full transcripts and footnotes of nearly 650 letters to and from Charles Darwin in 1875 are published online for the first time. You can read about Darwin's life in 1875…

Matches: 13 hits

  • and footnotes of nearly 650 letters to and from Charles Darwin in 1875 are published online
  • of the letters . The year 1875 was a busy one for Charles Darwin; he published a new book, …
  • been blackballed by the Linnean Society. John Burdon Sanderson, Edward Emanuel
  • very much more about the wide distribution of my books.  ( Letter to RFCooke, 29 June [1875] ) …
  • over the sickening work of preparing new Editions .  ( Letter to JDHooker, 18 August [1875] ) …
  • insensible, if  the experiment made this possible  ( Letter to HELitchfield, 4 January [1875] …
  • me in the vestry of having made false statements  ( Letter to John Lubbock, 8 April 1875 ) …
  • of Down, George Sketchley Ffinden, continued to be poor. John Lubbock, another local landowner and
  • without much success. Emma Darwin was happy to report to John Brodie Innes, the former vicarthat
  • Such energy as yours almost always succeeds  ( Letter to GHDarwin, 13 October [1875] ) …
  • done in science I owe to the study of his great works ( Letter to ABBuckley, 23 February 1875
  • including one of his oldest and dearest friends, Charles LyellLyell had helped to introduce
  • act which any scientific Socy. has done in my time  ( Letter to JDHooker, [12 December 1875] ) …

Darwin in letters, 1861: Gaining allies

Summary

The year 1861 marked an important change in the direction of Darwin’s work. He had weathered the storm that followed the publication of Origin, and felt cautiously optimistic about the ultimate acceptance of his ideas. The letters from this year provide an…

Matches: 21 hits

  • … presented in  Origin . Having learned from his publisher John Murray in November 1860 that a new …
  • … will do me & Natural Selection, right good service’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 26–7 Februrary [1861] …
  • … notably his faithful ‘barometer’ of scientific opinion, Charles Lyell ( see letter to Charles Lyell …
  • … selection could not be ‘directly proved’ ( see second letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 [April 1861] ). …
  • … out for praise in 1861. He had been disappointed to learn of John Frederick William Herschel’s …
  • … Moreover, Darwin found an important philosophical ally in John Stuart Mill. Through Henry Fawcett, a …
  • … was ‘the only one proper to such a subject’ ( letter from Henry Fawcett, 16 July [1861] ). Mill in …
  • … or against some view if it is to be of any service!’ ( letter to Henry Fawcett, 18 September [1861] …
  • … chapter on the imperfection of the geological record ( see letter to George Maw, 19 July [1861] ). …
  • … recommended that Bates offer the manuscript to the publisher John Murray with a view to obtaining …
  • … like Cuthbert Collingwood and laymen such as the physician Charles Robert Bree and the Scottish …
  • … consolation to his friend Hooker whose father-in-law, John Stevens Henslow, died after a brief …
  • … to contribute to Leonard Jenyns’s  Memoir of the Rev. John Stevens Henslow  (see Correspondence …
  • … ). Later in the year, he went even further, writing to John Lindley on 17 October: ‘Orchids have …
  • … volume that would reach a wider public. Having approached John Murray with some hesitation, and …
  • … and poultry. As he frequently admitted to friends such as Charles Lyell and interested supporters …
  • … prominently in the correspondence of 1861. Here, it was Charles Lyell who continued to act as Darwin …
  • … subsidence, and glaciation in Europe. Through his letters, Lyell involved Darwin in his …
  • … had been ‘one long gigantic blunder’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 6 September [1861] ). The …
  • … Erasmus. Late in May, Darwin’s young friend and neighbour, John Lubbock, a partner with his father …
  • … network in support of his son. On 1 August he wrote to Charles Lyell to ask whether he could suggest …

Darwin in letters, 1882: Nothing too great or too small

Summary

In 1882, Darwin reached his 74th year Earthworms had been published the previous October, and for the first time in decades he was not working on another book. He remained active in botanical research, however. Building on his recent studies in plant…

Matches: 20 hits

  • … ‘I feel a very old man, & my course is nearly run’ ( letter to Lawson Tait, 13 February 1882 ) …
  • fertility of crosses between differently styled plants ( letter from Fritz Müller, 1 January 1882
  • In January, Darwin corresponded with George John Romanes about new varieties of sugar cane produced
  • François Marie Glaziou (see Correspondence vol. 28, letter from Arthur de Souza Corrêa, 20
  • Quarterly Review , owned by Darwins publisher John Murray, carried an anonymous article on the
  • or later write differently about evolution’ ( letter to John Murray, 21 January 1882 ). The author
  • Darwin had a less heated discussion with the painter John Collier on the topic of science and art. …
  • himself to so dreadful a man, as Huxley’ ( letter to John Collier, 16 February 1882 ). Collier had
  • be the same without my consciousness?’ ( letter from John Collier, 22 February 1882 ; T. H. Huxley
  • to take his daily strolls (Henrietta Emma Litchfield, ‘Charles Darwins death’, DAR 262.23: 2, p. 2) …
  • and admirers. One of the most touching was from John Lubbock, whose interest in natural history at
  • we adjourned as a small tribute of respect’ (letter from John Lubbock to Francis Darwin, 20 April
  • snakes, centipedes, and spiders. The instructions were from Charles Lawrence Hughes, a fellow pupil
  • Holland, she mentions his warm reception on arrival: ‘Charles is as well as possible & in gayer
  • recommendations for annual medals. He strongly supported Charles Lyell for the Copley, the Royal
  • that the future Historian of the Natural Sciences, will rank Lyells labours as more influential in
  • point of view I think no man ranks in the same class with Lyell’ ( letter to William Sharpey, 22
  • … ). Darwins former mentor at University of Cambridge, John Stevens Henslow, was not a
  • November [1864] ). Writing to the clergyman and naturalist Charles Kingsley, he was more gloomy: …
  • men whom I should have liked to have known’ ( letter to Charles Kingsley, 2 June [1865] ). …

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: 26 hits

  • On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July
  • of the five physicians Darwin had consulted in 1863. In a letter of 26[–7] March [1864] , Darwin
  • and he received more letters of advice from Jenner. In a letter of 15 December [1864] to the
  • As Darwin explained to his cousin William Darwin Fox in a letter of 30 November [1864] , ‘the
  • observations indoors ( Correspondence  vol. 11). In a letter of [27 January 1864] , Darwin
  • gradation by which  leaves  produce tendrils’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [8 February 1864] ). …
  • of Dimorphismin  Menyanthes  ( letter from Emma and Charles Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [20 May
  • of a paper by another of his orchid correspondents, John Traherne Moggridge, who in June sent him
  • of insect pollinators in 1864 and following years. John Scott again Much of Darwins
  • plight of another of Darwins fellow orchid-experimenters, John Scott. Their correspondence had been
  • five years. Scott felt that his superiors, James McNab and John Hutton Balfour, no longer treated
  • indomitable perseverance, and his knowledge’ ( letter to John Scott, 10 June 1864 ). Hooker met
  • supporton the grounds of science’ ( letter to John Scott, 9 April 1864 ), but Scott declined
  • and animal-breeders. As in earlier years, Darwin consulted Charles William Crocker about his
  • curators at a great distance. Gray forwarded a letter from Charles Wright, a plant collector in Cuba
  • Hugh Falconer, 3 November 186[4] ). The French botanist, Charles Victor Naudin, wrote a gracious
  • using such a periodical to defend himself, Hooker and Lyell discouraged him, and he decided to avoid
  • 1864 ). A notably rambling and long letter arrived from John Beck, a Shrewsbury schoolfellow of
  • by a merciful deity for the use of humankind ( letter from John Beck, 6 October 1864 ). …
  • his brother Erasmus told him of a subscription fund for John William Colenso, bishop of Natal, South
  • when Colenso was in England in 1864, socialising with Charles Lyell and other members of the London
  • again, to Ramsays view for third or fourth time; but Lyell says when I read his discussion in the
  • Huxleys  Evidence as to mans place in nature  and Lyells  Antiquity of man , and that the
  • that a Neanderthal race once extended across Europe. John Lubbock mentioned his forthcoming volume
  • of the Royal Society, Edward Sabine, to the geologist John Phillips revealed Sabines fears that in
  • ever so little degree the Councils award’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 21 December [1864] ). In

Religion

Summary

Design|Personal Belief|Beauty|The Church Perhaps the most notorious realm of controversy over evolution in Darwin's day was religion. The same can be said of the evolution controversy today; however the nature of the disputes and the manner in…

Matches: 19 hits

  • … of departure reviews of Origin . The second is a single letter from naturalist A. R. Wallace to …
  • … everything is the result of “brute force”. Letter 2855 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 3 …
  • … nature, as he is in a “muddle” on this issue. Letter 3256 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, …
  • … shares a witty thought experiment about an angel. Letter 3342 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, …
  • … He asks Gray some questions about design. Letter 6167 — Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 8 …
  • … of my precipice”. Darwin and Wallace Letter 5140 — Wallace, A. R. to Darwin, …
  • … of variations. Darwin and Graham Letter 13230 — Darwin, C. R. to Graham, …
  • … of people, including members of his own family. Letter 441 — Wedgwood, Emma to Darwin, …
  • … about his “honest & conscientious doubts”. Letter 471 — Darwin, Emma to Darwin, C. …
  • … there is a danger in giving up revelation”. Letter 2534 — Kingsley, Charles to Darwin, …
  • … need of an act of intervention to bring change. Letter 2548 — Sedgwick, Adam to Darwin, …
  • … with that knowledge which only He can give me.” Letter 5303 — Boole, M. E. to Darwin, C …
  • … that his theory be compatible with her faith. Letter 5307 — Darwin, C. R. to Boole, M. …
  • Letter 12041 — Darwin, C. R. to Fordyce, John, 7 May 1879 In this letter marked “private”, …
  • … on beauty. Letter 4752 — Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 22 Jan [1865] Darwin …
  • … of beauty by animals. Letter 5565 — Kingsley, Charles to Darwin, C. R., 6 June 1867 …
  • … and School Letter 1536 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, J. W. (b), 11 Oct [1853] Darwin …
  • … R. to Down School Board, [Nov–Dec 1873] Darwin, Sir John Lubbock, Ellen Frances Lubbock, and S. …
  • … vicar of Down is concerned about the rumours regarding John Robinson [curate of Down]. He will seek …

Origin

Summary

Darwin’s most famous work, Origin, had an inauspicious beginning. It grew out of his wish to establish priority for the species theory he had spent over twenty years researching. Darwin never intended to write Origin, and had resisted suggestions in 1856…

Matches: 14 hits

  • … While still on the Isle of Wight, Darwin also heard from John Stevens Henslow, his old mentor and …
  • … make a large-sized pamphlet. ’ On the 4 October, in a letter to T. C. Eyton explaining his change …
  • … buoyed up in January 1859, when he received a (now lost) letter from Wallace, expressing …
  • …  men converts. My neighbour & excellent naturalist J. Lubbock is enthusiastic convert. ’ …
  • … concern now was to find a suitable publisher, and once again Lyell came to his aid. In late March, …
  • … of Darwin’s work. In light of this, Darwin asked Lyell whether he should ‘tell Murray that my Book …
  • … you on the same terms as those on which I publish for Sir Charles Lyell ’. Darwin was uneasy. …
  • … his friend George Frederick Pollock. The former, in a long letter to Murray, believed that Darwin …
  • … & God knows I have never shirked a difficulty’, he told Lyell on 20 September 1859, ‘ I am …
  • … in this life. ’ ‘I have just finished your volume’, Lyell told Darwin on 3 October, ‘& right …
  • … facts on which you ground so many grand generalizations.’ Lyell not only thought Darwin’s book ‘ a …
  • … 14 to 21 September 1859. Darwin was confident that in time Lyell would be ‘ per verted’, telling …
  • … Selection is in the main safe ’. Darwin reassured Lyell on 11 October that he was aware that …
  • … in doing ’. By late October, Hooker assured Darwin that Lyell was becoming a convert. Darwin was …

Darwin's bad days

Summary

Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and experimenting, even Darwin had some bad days. These times when nothing appeared to be going right are well illustrated by the following quotations from his letters:

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and …
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