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Darwin Correspondence Project

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To Caroline Darwin   29 April 1836

Summary

Keeling Islands, his first coral lagoons; he has been occupied with subject of coral formation for six months.

Very busy at sea rewriting old geological notes. Has difficulties with writing.

FitzRoy has proposed joint account of the journey, combining CD’s journal with his own.

Looks forward with anxiety to Henslow’s reaction to the geological notes.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Darwin; Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Wedgwood
Date:  29 Apr 1836
Classmark:  DAR 223
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-301

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842. Stoddart, D. R. , ed. 1962. Coral islands, by …

From S. E. (Elizabeth) Wedgwood to Hensleigh Wedgwood   [16] November [1836]

Summary

Describes CD’s visit to Maer on his return from Beagle voyage.

Author:  Sarah Elizabeth (Elizabeth) Wedgwood
Addressee:  Hensleigh Wedgwood
Date:  [16] Nov [1836]
Classmark:  V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 129)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-322

Matches: 1 hit

  • … By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842. Correspondence : The correspondence of …

To J. S. Henslow   [30–1 October 1836]

Summary

CD in London to meet with naturalists about his collections. Lyell and Owen are helpful, but no one else, except R. E. Grant, seems to want to examine his specimens.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  [30–1 Oct 1836]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Henslow letters: 32 DAR/1/1/32)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-317

Matches: 1 hit

  • … after much delay, Reptiles was published (1842–3). William Lonsdale described some of CD’s …
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Darwin and Down

Summary

Charles and Emma Darwin, with their first two children, settled at Down House in the village of Down (later ‘Downe’) in Kent, as a young family in 1842.   The house came with eighteen acres of land, and a fifteen acre meadow.  The village combined the…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … 16 miles off.— To E. C. Darwin,  [24 July 1842] Charles and Emma Darwin, with …
  • … of Down (later ‘Downe’) in Kent, as a young family in 1842.   The house came with eighteen acres of …
  • … To his sister, Catherine Darwin,  [24 July 1842] To P. G. King,  21 February 1854 : ‘I …

Darwin and Fatherhood

Summary

Charles Darwin married Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and over the next seventeen years the couple had ten children. It is often assumed that Darwin was an exceptional Victorian father. But how extraordinary was he? The Correspondence Project allows an unusually…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and writing from home. Although when he moved to Downe in 1842 he described this part of Kent as …
  • … death of a baby daughter only a few weeks after her birth in 1842 had a far more limited impact on …

Darwin & Glen Roy

Summary

Although Darwin was best known for his geological work in South America and other remote Beagle destinations, he made one noteworthy attempt to explain a puzzling feature of British geology.  In 1838, two years after returning from the voyage, he travelled…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … ever geological field trip, a return visit to North Wales in 1842, Darwin wrote that the signs of …
  • … [12? March 1841] To William Fitton, [c. 28 June 1842] To Charles Lyell, [5 and …

Natural Selection: the trouble with terminology Part I

Summary

Darwin encountered problems with the term ‘natural selection’ even before Origin appeared.  Everyone from the Harvard botanist Asa Gray to his own publisher came up with objections. Broadly these divided into concerns either that its meaning simply wasn’t…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … heading in the earliest outline of his theory written in 1842 , and, as he told Asa Gray in …

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: 30 hits

  • … Illustrations of the Domestic animals of Gt. Britain [D. Low 1842].— 23  must be read carefully. …
  • … Erasmus—— Lavater. Life & Correspondence [?Heisch 1842] Coleridge. Literary …
  • … Cicero [Middleton 1741] W. Meister’s Life [Goethe 1842].— Malcolm’s History of Persia …
  • … [DAR *119: 15] Zanoni by Bulwer [Bulwer-Lytton 1842]. Life of D. of Marlborough [A. …
  • … organs read A. Alison on Population. 2 vols. Feb. 1842 [A. Alison 1840].— Youatt in …
  • … 1836]: worth looking at. Low has probably told all [D. Low 1842] Madras Journal [ Madras …
  • … Soc. appears to be good Papers on Sewalik Fossils in 1842 [Cautley 1840 and Cautley and Falconer …
  • … Read “Bronn’s Geschicte der Natur.” [Bronn 1842–3] Kingdons translat …
  • … Jussieus introduct to Bot. price 6 s  [Jussieu 1842] [DAR *119: 20v.] …
  • … Cerealia [Loiseleur Deslongchamps 1842–3] Phytologist [ …
  • … (List from Muller & Bronn [Müller 1837–42 and Bronn 1842–3] in this Book) 52 Royle …
  • … . Smollets William & Mary. & Anne [Smollett 1805].— 1842 Jan 10 M rs …
  • … —— 17 th  Laing notes of a Traveller 1 vol [Laing 1842] —— Finished Wordsworth 6 vols. …
  • … such  instincts .— [DAR 119: 12b] 1842 March. 26 th  Holcroft’s Memoirs …
  • … [Hyde 1704] Feb. Vol. of Madame D’Arblay [Burney 1842–6] Mar 1. Lieut. Eyres Narrative …
  • … nothing —— Doubleday on Population [Doubleday 1842] —— Ramond’s voyage in Pyrenees …
  • … 1774] —— F. Bremer’s little novels [Bremer 1842, 1843b, 1844a, 1844c] March 7 th  M …
  • … 1839] 14 th  Arnolds lectures on History [Arnold 1842] —— History of Civilization by …
  • … very poor Oct 1 Owen on Mylodon Robustus [R. Owen 1842]. References at end. 7 th . …
  • … June 8 th  Wilson Voyage Round Scotland [J. Wilson 1842] (poor) M. Gerard sur l’Espece …
  • … [Chambers 1845] —— Bronn’s Gesickte [Bronn 1842–3] 2 d . Vol [DAR 119: 16b] …
  • … [M. G. Lewis 1834] Nov 7. Life of Lavater [?Heisch 1842] —— 25. M rs . Meredith. N.S …
  • … April VI & VII. vol. of Madame d’Arblay [Burney 1842–6]. —— 15 th . Phillip’s life of W …
  • … —— Jussieu. Cours Elementaire Botanique [Jussieu 1842] —— Transactions of Amer. Philosoph Soc …
  • … des Naturalistes de Moscou ]. Vols for 1833, 1837, 1838, 1842, 43, 44—not all these latter vols: …
  • … 17 th  Thompson’s Birds of Ireland [W. Thompson 1842] Part I. Sept. 17. Sir J. Ross. Voyage …
  • … Nov. 15 th  Wilson Voyage. Scotland [J. Wilson 1842] —— Southey. Book of the Church [R. W. …
  • … Keppell. 1853 [Keppel 1853] Dickens America [Dickens 1842] Thackerays Lectures on …
  • … et exp. pages 248. 8 vo [Loiseleur Deslongchamps 1842–3] Linn. Soc.? must be read.— not in Royal. …
  • … of Indies [Acosta 1604].— Report, Brit. Assoc.  1842 . Richardson N.Z. Fish [J. Richardson …

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…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … their first child, William Erasmus, was born. In September 1842, the family, now increased by a …
  • … and explore new avenues of thought, and by the summer of 1842 he felt that his research had …
  • … of species  was published, but the general outline of 1842 is, to a surprising degree, present in …
  • … far from their original locations. The following year, 1842, having heard of evidence of glaciation …
  • … research required. The trip to North Wales in June 1842 was his last field trip: thereafter his …
  • … stays at Shrewsbury and Maer during the summers of 1841 and 1842 show that he was making botanical …
  • … obvious relevance to the theory of descent (Pencil sketch of 1842, in  Foundations , p. 74). …

Darwin’s Photographic Portraits

Summary

Darwin was a photography enthusiast. This is evident not only in his use of photography for the study of Expression and Emotions in Man and Animal, but can be witnessed in his many photographic portraits and in the extensive portrait correspondence that…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … looking to sell Darwin’s image to the masses. Between 1842 and his death in 1882, Darwin was …
  • … Image: Charles Darwin and William Darwin, c. 1842, attributed to Antoine François Jean Claudet (1797 …

Darwin & coral reefs

Summary

The central idea of Darwin's theory of coral reef formation, as it was later formulated, was that the islands were formed by the upward growth of coral as the Pacific Ocean floor gradually subsided. It overturned previous ideas and would in itself…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … theory,  The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs  (1842) was based on intensive reading and …
  • … his book on coral reefs: letter to Leonard Jenyns [9 May 1842] .   Suggestions …

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…

Matches: 14 hits

  • … his mouth to do so.—[35] 25v.  Feb. 20 th . 1842. Anny (, same age) has learned to shake …
  • … 28v. [39] Anny was to day March 1 st  1842 rather amused, at a wafer sticking first to one hand …
  • … case of my watch.— 29v.  March 1 st  1842— Anny says Papa pretty clearly—[40] A few days …
  • … pretty & Papa for a week past perfectly clear Feb 1842 I have long observed that the …
  • … for their feelings— 31 [42] In Jan ry . 1842 it was first perceived that Willy began to …
  • … “bub my crumps” & 31v.  March 29 th . 1842.— I have some months remarked how much …
  • … gabble nonsense words,— 33  March 20: th .— 1842 Doddy is a great adept at throwing …
  • … the eyes & is a full face.— 36  March 26 th  1842 2 years & 3 mth— Doddy was …
  • … not the “beast in house”.— 37v. [50] May 1. 1842. 14 months old It is curious to see how …
  • … down the corners of his mouth[51] June 1 st . 1842 Observed the first day I put on a new …
  • … stuck to it, “no Doddy did not”. Aug 26 th .. 1842 About a fortnight ago, I met Willy …
  • … at Upper Gower Street between 12 February and 16 March 1842. [43] Stammering ran in the …
  • … [51] Emma Darwin and the children went to Maer on 3 May 1842; CD joined them on 18 May (Emma Darwin …
  • … of bees in pollination, made in the summers between 1840 and 1842, are in DAR 46.2 and DAR 205.5: 53 …

Species theory outlined

Summary

Darwin writes a 32-page outline of his ideas on species change, known as 'the pencil sketch' 

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Darwin writes a 32-page outline of his ideas on species change, known as 'the pencil sketch'  …

Bibliography of Darwin’s geological publications

Summary

This list includes papers read by Darwin to the Geological Society of London, his books on the geology of the Beagle voyage, and other publications on geological topics.  Author-date citations refer to entries in the Darwin Correspondence Project’s…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … of the Geological Society of London  2nd ser. 6 (1842): 415-31.  [ Shorter publications , pp. 147 …
  • … to 1836 . By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.  [F271.] —Notes on the …
  • … by floating ice.  Philosophical Magazine  21 (1842): 180-8.   [ Shorter publications , pp.  140 …

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, …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album

Summary

Here is a list of people that appeared in the photograph album Darwin received for his birthday on 12 February 1877 from scientific admirers in the Netherlands. Many thanks to Hester Loeff for identifying and researching them. No. …

Matches: 5 hits

  • … obst. doct. 35 Den Haag 20 december 1842 Rotterdam 23 …
  • … Assistant lecturer   Almelo 1842 Hoorn 5 january 1915 …
  • … School.   Dordrecht 11 oktober 1842 Tiel 9 august 1920 …
  • … Civil Engineer.   Arnhem 8 january 1842 Deventer 11 December …
  • … School.   Haarlem 2 september 1842 Amsterdam 10 may 1915 …

Living and fossil cirripedia

Summary

Darwin published four volumes on barnacles, the crustacean sub-class Cirripedia, between 1851 and 1854, two on living species and two on fossil species. Written for a specialist audience, they are among the most challenging and least read of Darwin’s works…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … had also completed two outlines of his ‘species theory’ (1842 Pencil sketch and 1844 Essay). …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album

Summary

List of people appearing in the photograph album Darwin received from scientific admirers in the Netherlands for his birthday on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Hester Loeff for providing this list and for permission to make her research available.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … obst. doct. 35 Den Haag 20 December 1842 Rotterdam 23 …

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

Summary

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

Matches: 1 hits

  • … should be denied him. After prolonged illnesses in 1841 and 1842, years poorly represented in the  …

Before Origin: the ‘big book’

Summary

Darwin began ‘sorting notes for Species Theory’ on 9 September 1854, the very day he concluded his eight-year study of barnacles (Darwin's Journal). He had long considered the question of species. In 1842, he outlined a theory of transmutation in a…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … ). He had long considered the question of species. In 1842, he outlined a theory of transmutation in …
  • … coincidence. if Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in 1842 he could not have made a better short …

Alexander Burns Usborne

Summary

Alexander Burns Usborne was born in Kendal, Westmorland, in 1808, the son of Alexander and Margaret Usborne; his father died in 1818 and in his will was described as the purser on HMS Hannibal. His son joined the navy in 1825 aged 16 as a second-class…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … with his mother and his older sister Ann Amelia. In 1842 he returned to surveying around the British …

Mary Darwin

Summary

The Darwins' second daughter and third child, Mary Darwin, is born; she dies on 16 October

Matches: 1 hits

  • … The Darwins' second daughter and third child, Mary Darwin, is born; she dies on 16 October …

Natural selection

Summary

How do new species arise?  This was the ancient question that Charles Darwin tackled soon after returning to England from the Beagle voyage in October 1836. Darwin realised a crucial (and cruel) fact: far more individuals of each species were born than…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … How do new species arise?  This was the ancient question that Charles Darwin tackled soon after …
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