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Darwin Correspondence Project
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To W. E. Darwin   [17 February 1857]

Summary

Is glad WED is in the sixth [form]. Discusses WED’s intention to become a barrister.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  [17 Feb 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 210.6: 14
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1805

To John Innes   [after 16 February 1857]

Summary

Recommends he read passages on bees by C. T. E. von Siebold [in On the true parthenogenesis in moths and bees (1857)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  [after 16 Feb 1857]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.149)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2025

To Henry Doubleday   [before 5 February 1857]

Summary

Have all varieties been bred from the same set of eggs so that there can be no doubt they are all the same species?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Doubleday
Date:  [before 5 Feb 1857]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2032

To T. H. Huxley   3 February [1857]

Summary

Thanks THH for his response on glacial movement. Hopes Tyndall will experiment on broken ice and explain how two pieces of ice can freeze together.

Sorry to hear of THH’s row with Richard Owen.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  3 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 104)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2045

To John Tyndall   4 February [1857]

Summary

CD is "as ignorant of mechanics as a pig", but glaciers have interested him greatly. Hopes to hear that JT’s experiments with ice will explain the freezing together of ice below the freezing point.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Tyndall
Date:  4 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 261.8: 2 (EH 88205940)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2046

From Henry Doubleday   5 February 1857

Summary

The variations of Peronea caused A. H. Haworth and J. F. Stephens to create 30 or 40 species based on colour and markings. HD was first to be convinced these would be reduced to two.

Discusses species that closely resemble one another;

cites species that differ in variation in different localities;

in some double-brooded species the broods differ markedly in size and colour.

Encloses his list of varieties of Peronea.

Author:  Henry Doubleday
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 Feb 1857
Classmark:  DAR 162: 236
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2047

To W. B. Tegetmeier   6 February [1857]

Summary

Would welcome eggs of any rumpless fowl so that he can investigate how early in development rudimentary organs are rudimentary.

Has not noticed much difference between skeletons of ducks.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  6 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 5)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2048

To Bernard Peirce Brent   7 February [1857]

Summary

Sympathises with Brent’s legal difficulties. Declines offer of a cock silk fowl, but accepts offer of a German old fashioned pouter pigeon.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Bernard Peirce Brent
Date:  7 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Richard Brent (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2048F

To W. D. Fox   8 February [1857]

Summary

Birth of his sixth son [C. W. Darwin]. It is dreadful "to think of all the sendings to school and the professions afterwards".

CD is not well but has not the courage for water-cure again; trying mineral acids.

Working hard on the book [Natural selection]; is overwhelmed with riches in facts and interested in way facts fall into groups.

To his surprise [Helix pomatia] has withstood 14 days in salt water.

Pigeons’ skins come in from all parts of the world.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  8 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 110)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2049

To Charles Lyell   11 February [1857]

Summary

Discusses a proposed expedition to Australia. Urges collecting and investigating productions of isolated islands. Recommends dredging the sea-bottom.

Mentions keeping Helix pomatia alive in sea-water.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  11 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.145)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2050

To W. B. Tegetmeier   11 February [1857]

Summary

CD is sending two pairs of Persian fowl, from Hon. C. Murray.

Thanks WBT for various offers: a drake, a young silk fowl, a rumpless chick.

The German pouters are not old-fashioned ones but fancy birds, probably crosses since they do not breed true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  11 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2051

From Alfred Christy to W. B. Tegetmeier   11 February 1857

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Summary

Sends information on the speed at which his pigeons fly various distances.

Author:  Alfred Christy
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  11 Feb 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 219
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2052

From Asa Gray   16 February 1857

Summary

Discusses the ranges of alpine species in U. S. and considers the possible migration routes of such species from Europe.

Lists those U. S. genera which he considers protean and describes the U. S. character of some genera which are protean in Europe.

Describes how he distinguishes introduced and aboriginal stocks of the same species.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  16 Feb 1857
Classmark:  DAR 165: 96
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2053

To W. B. Tegetmeier   18 February [1857]

Summary

Has some fowls from Sir James Brooke, which WBT might like to display at Zoological Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  18 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Tegetmeier, W. B. ser.2: 40)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2054

To Syms Covington   22 February 1857

Summary

Sends news of his family, Sulivan, and FitzRoy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Syms Covington
Date:  22 Feb 1857
Classmark:  Sydney Mail, 9 August 1884, p. 255
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2056

To W. D. Fox   22 February [1857]

Summary

Helix pomatia is quite healthy after 20 days’ submersion in salt water.

On peas, the evidence is on WDF’s side, but CD cannot see how they can avoid being crossed.

He is working hard, wishes he "could set less value on the bauble fame"; would work as hard, but with less gusto, if he knew his book would be published forever anonymously.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  22 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 101–2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2057

To Richard Kippist   23 February [1857]

Summary

Sends cheque for subscription [£20].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Kippist; Linnean Society
Date:  23 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Linnean Society of London
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2058

From Victor de Robillard    26 February 1857

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Summary

The species of Mollusca at Mauritius are almost all different from those of surrounding islands, which confirms the belief that the islands were elevated from the ocean rather than separated from the continent by volcanic action.

Author:  Victor de Robillard
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Feb 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 287
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2059

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [after 28 February 1857]

Summary

Reports that he fertilised a single pale red carnation with the pollen of a crimson Spanish pink, and a Spanish pink with the pollen of the same carnation. He got seed from both crosses and raised many seedlings. There was no difference between the seedlings from reciprocal crosses, not one plant set a single seed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [after 28 Feb 1857]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 7 March 1857, p. 155
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2061
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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: 16 hits

  • … Émile (8) Alice (2) Alison, R. E. …
  • … (1) Allen, Thomas (2) Allman, G. J. …
  • … (1) Appleton, C. E. C. B. (2) Appleton, T. G. …
  • … (5) Austin, A. D. (2) Austin, C. F. …
  • … (7) Axon, W. E. A. (2) Aylmer, I. E. …
  • … (3) Baldwin, J. D. (2) Balfour, F. M. …
  • … (1) Baranoff, W. (2) Barber, M. E. …
  • … (1) Barnard, Anne (2) Barnes, K. S. …
  • … (1) Barrois, J. H. (2) Bartlett, A. D. …
  • … (1) Batalin, A. F. (2) Bate, C. S. …
  • … (1) Bates, Frederick (2) Bates, H. W. …
  • … (1) Baumhauer, E. H. von (2) Baxter, E. B. …
  • … (3) Beale, L. S. (2) Beall, T. B. (1 …
  • … B. (1) Beck, John (2) Becker, L. E. …
  • … (3) Beger, Karl (2) Behrens, Frederick …
  • … (1) Bell, Robert (b) (2) Bell, Thomas …

Darwin The Collector

Summary

Look at nature more closely and create and record your own natural collections.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities provide an introduction to Charles Darwin, how and why he collected so many specimens …

Detecting Darwin

Summary

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’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: 5 hits

  • … Stoke’s Library 1 Cambridge. Library 2 Royal Coll of Surgeons [DAR *119 …
  • … de l’Homme,” by Dr. Pierquin, published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4   …
  • … 1829]; read Letter to M. Therry [Broughton 1832]— a 2 d  Edit preparing in 1841.— Lesson …
  • … of habits of birds. Temminck Manuel D’ornithologie. 2 d  Edit: Introduction on migration of …
  • … Ker Porter’s Travels in Caucasus [R. K. Porter 1821–2] praised by Silliman poor Cyclop. of …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick

Summary

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

  • … to Darwin, how did language begin? 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? And …
  • … sense, a more developed moral sense, and so forth. 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? …

Darwin And Evolution

Summary

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

Summary

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, …

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth century. His journey back in time started when he decided to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an essay on Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … his wife sent birthday greetings and a photograph of their 2-year-old son named Darwin, who, they …
  • … materialism”’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 2 June 1879 ]). As one of Darwin’s most ardent …
  • … other than Darwin’s sister Caroline (who was around 2 years old at the time of Erasmus’s death). …
  • … that plants were ‘mere machines’, reminding Francis on 2 June that he had long thought that …
  • … for certain movements’ ( second letter to Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ). Sachs guarded …
  • … for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first letter) . Much of the time, however, …
  • … their ‘tremendous journey’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [2 August 1879] ). The journey proved more …

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: 7 hits

  • … to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] ). However, Hooker, at the …
  • … idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not until 25 …
  • … abstract of the paper was read before the Linnean Society on 2 February, and in April Darwin wrote …
  • … 1867), and Darwin summarised them in  Variation  2: 106–7, concluding, ‘it follows from Mr. Scott …
  • … and professional seniority ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ); but Darwin’s feelings …
  • … in healing this ugly breach’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ), Darwin seems to have …
  • … of weather-forecasting ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 May 1865 and nn. 2 and 5), and he may …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep

Summary

In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to the movements of plants. He investigated the growth pattern of roots and shoots, studying the function of specific organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering about the …
  • … tomorrow to Wurzburg,’ Darwin wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 2 June , ‘& work by myself will be …
  • … [before 17 July 1878] ), ‘a strong horizontal axis about 2 feet long which goes round by clockwork …
  • … animal instinct and intelligence. ‘Frank’s son, nearly 2 years old (& we think much of his …
  • … more expertly. ‘I conclude that a child—just under 2 years is inferior in intellect to a monkey.’ …
  • … & a baby in your house!’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 2 September [1878] ). More …
  • … seems to me quite ridiculous’ ( letter to John Price, 2 April [1878] ). When a wealthy businessman …
  • … was ‘deeply gratified’, remarking to Skertchly on 2 March : ‘It is the greatest possible …
  • … that such checks had been in action during the last 2 or 3 centuries, or even for a shorter time in …

Interview with Randal Keynes

Summary

Randal Keynes is a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and the author of Annie’s Box (Fourth Estate, 2001), which discusses Darwin’s home life, his relationship with his wife and children, and the ways in which these influenced his feelings about…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … which came to my mind as I read his book. 2. Darwin's influences …

Interview with Emily Ballou

Summary

Emily Ballou is a writer of novels and screenplays, and a prize-winning poet. Her book The Darwin Poems, which explores aspects of Darwin’s life and thoughts through the medium of poetry, was recently published by the University of Western Australia Press.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … some of these poems today, and? 2. The idea of writing about Darwin …

Interview with Tim Lewens

Summary

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

  • … you for the flattering introduction. 2. The unusual role Darwin plays today …

Interview with Pietro Corsi

Summary

Pietro Corsi is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford. His book Evolution Before Darwin is due to be published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Date of interview: 17 July 2009 Transcription 1: Introduction …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … surrounding evolutionary theories. 2. The situation in France …

Interview with John Hedley Brooke

Summary

John Hedley Brooke is President of the Science and Religion Forum as well as the author of the influential Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 1991). He has had a long career in the history of science and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Paul. It’s a very great pleasure. 2. Victorian spiritualism and the …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions

Summary

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, …

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),…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Letter 3054: Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 2 Feb [1861] If the descent of languages was …

Darwin and religion: a definitive web resource

Summary

I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came and how it arose.  Charles Darwin to N. D. Doedes, 2 April 1873 Darwin is more famous, and more notorious than ever. Nowhere is this more evident than in the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … arose.   Charles Darwin to N. D. Doedes, 2 April 1873 Darwin is more …

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: 3 hits

  • … sites in both France and Germany (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 336). In April 1860, Lubbock travelled …
  • … of errata’ that he may have seen, and then mentioned: 2 have struck out Galton …
  • … what he thought of the affair ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ). Hooker, for his part, …

Books on the Beagle

Summary

‘Considering the limited disposable space in so very small a ship, we contrived to carry more instruments and books than one would readily suppose could be stowed away in dry and secure places’. So wrote Captain FitzRoy in the Narrative (2: 18). CD, in his…

Matches: 10 hits

  • … places’. So wrote Captain FitzRoy in the  Narrative  (2: 18). CD, in his letter to Henslow, 9 …
  • … in notes made during 1833 cite secondary sources (DAR 33: 254 and DAR 30.2: 112) but several later …
  • … during the summer of 1836 (Sulloway 1982b, pp. 331–2, n. 13). Finally, there are two works that CD …
  • … de Voisins, Jean Franc~ois d’.  Traité de géognosie . 2 vols. Strasbourg, 1819. (Inscription in …
  • … 1835). * Boitard, Pierre.  Manuel d’entomologie. 2 vols. Paris, 1828. (Inscription in vol. 2
  • … Forster. London, 1772. ( Voyage ,  p. 178; DAR 34.2: 153). §  British Association for …
  • … des Sciences Naturelles   28 (1833): 26–35. (DAR 35.2: 396). ‘Philosophical tracts’, Darwin …
  • … With Notes . . . by Robert Jameson.  London, 1813. (DAR 30.2: 154). Darwin Library–CUL. …
  • … John.  Travels in the interior of Southern Africa . 2 vols. London, 1822–4. ( Voyage , p. 182;  …
  • … Blonde to the Sandwich Islands,   in the years 1824–25 . London, 1826. (DAR 31.2: 333; Stoddart …
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