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From Edward Blyth   4 August 1855

Summary

Sends a skeleton of a Bengal jungle cock.

Has never heard of trained otters breeding in captivity.

Introduced domestic rabbits are confined to the ports of India.

Canaries and other tame finches and thrushes brought into India do not breed well.

Origin of the domestic canary. Tendency of domesticated birds to produce "top-knot" varieties.

The tame geese of lower Bengal are hybrids; those of upper Bengal are said to be pure Anser cygnoides.

Wild Anser cinereus occur in flocks in the cold season.

Discusses at length different breeds of domestic cats and possible wild progenitors. Wild and domestic cats occasionally interbreed. The Angora variety breeds freely with the common Bengal cat and all stages of intermediates can be found.

Believes pigeons have been bred in India since remote antiquity.

Discusses whether mankind is divided into races or distinct species.

[CD’s notes are an abstract of this letter.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Aug 1855
Classmark:  DAR 98: A69–A78
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1735

Matches: 8 hits

  • … Zoologie. Paris. Bonaparte, Charles Lucien. 1854. Coup d’œil sur les pigeons (troisième …
  • … Delamer, Eugene Sebastian [Edmund Saul Dixon]. 1854. Pigeons and rabbits, in their wild, …
  • … of Canino in Comptes Rendus , tome 39 (1854), p.  1106. Choice fancy Pigeons are here too …
  • … rabbits , a shilling treatise on the practical aspects of rearing these animals, in 1854 ( …
  • … Delamer 1854 ). That Blyth would have been ‘ utterly astounded ’ by this may have been …
  • … S. Dixon 1848 (Darwin Library–CUL). Delamer 1854  is also in the Darwin Library–CUL and CD …
  • … the illustration of the half-lop rabbit ( Delamer 1854 , opposite p.  135) in Variation 1: …
  • … four races of Kallij pheasants. Bonaparte 1854 . Blyth 1847a. CD’s copy of the Annals and …

From Edward Blyth   7 September [1855]

Summary

Comments on the ease with which different species of Felis can be tamed.

Asian species of wild cattle.

Variation in colour of jackals.

Discusses the difficulties of differentiating between varieties and species. EB recommends Herman Schlegel’s definition of species [in Essay on the physiognomy of serpents, trans. T. S. Traill (1843)]. Problems of defining species of wolves and squirrels. Pigeons and doves afford an illustration of "clusters of species, varieties, or races". Various pigeons have local species in different parts of India and Burma, some of which interbreed where their ranges cross; as do the local species of Coracias [see Natural selection, p. 259].

[CD’s notes are an abstract of this memorandum.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Sept [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A51–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1752

Matches: 2 hits

  • … 2 vols. Paris. Bonaparte, Charles Lucien. 1854. Coup d’œil sur les pigeons (troisième …
  • … East India Company in London. Bonaparte 1854 , p.  1107: ‘La sixième et dernière de nos …

From Edward Blyth   23 January 1856

Summary

Believes the goldfish originates from a wild, gold variety of Chinese carp.

Gallinaceous birds.

Crested turkeys.

EB divides the gallinaceous birds into five families on anatomical distinctions.

Wild dog species of India and Asia; ranges of some species, specific identity of others.

The fauna of the Seychelles.

Breeding of fowls in India and Africa.

Occurrence of turkeys in Africa.

Refers to some of his own papers giving fuller details of points raised previously.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Jan 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A122–A125
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1825

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Journal 45: 49–61. Tytler, Robert C. 1854. Miscellaneous notes on the fauna of Dacca, …
  • … Royal Asiatic Society in London. Tytler 1854 , p.  177. Allen and Thomson 1848 , 1: 387. …

From Edward Blyth   [8 January 1858]

Summary

Zebra-striped asses.

Markings of a Bengal jungle cock.

Refers to some of his own articles on birds in India.

Reports the arrival of the "glorious garrison of Lucknow". The "wonderful superiority of the European to the Asiatic" made the success of the insurrection inconceivable.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [8 Jan 1858]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A144–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2200

Matches: 1 hit

  • … was a captain in the British navy from 1854 to his retirement in 1870. The headquarters of …

From Edward Blyth   [8 November 1855]

Summary

History of the rose in India.

Looks forward to reading what Hooker and Thompson say on species and varieties in their Flora Indica [1855].

Domestication of the turkey in America. The Peruvians had domestic dogs. W. W. Robinson of Assam reports that otters are extensively trained for fishing but cormorants never are. Gives Robinson’s comments on local domestic geese, rabbits, and cats.

EB has skins of jungle fowl from different localities to send.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [8 Nov 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A108–A109
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1776

Matches: 1 hit

  • … of botany at the Calcutta Medical College in 1854. William Ogilby had served as honorary …

From Edward Blyth   22–3 August 1855

Summary

Gives extracts from a letter by Thomas Hutton.

Rabbits are kept (generally by Europeans) in the NW. provinces and breed freely. Canaries are not well adapted to the climate. Reports on domestic cats and pigeons of the area. EB gives references to further information on cats, pigeons, and silkworms.

[CD’s notes are an abstract of this letter.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  22–3 Aug 1855
Classmark:  DAR 98: A79–A84
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1746

Matches: 1 hit

  • … which positive prints could be made. In 1854 Blyth had married Mrs Hodges, a widow whom he …

From Edward Blyth   23 February 1856

Summary

Opposition to EB within the Asiatic Society.

Possibility of establishment of a zoological garden at Calcutta.

Has seen Gallus varius alive for the first time.

Will procure domestic pigeons for CD; could CD pay for them by returning hardy creatures, such as macaws and marmosets, which EB can sell for a high price in India?

Does not recall his authority for genealogy of the asses of Oman. If a genuine wild ass exists EB believes it will be in south Arabia.

Infertility of Irish and Devon red deer.

Details of an unusual species of wild dog.

Fertility of canine hybrids. General tendency toward hybrid sterility.

Has skins of hybrid Coracias and the parent species.

Wide-ranging species; skua found in Europe and Australia, but not in the tropics.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A128–A132
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1832

Matches: 1 hit

  • … chief of the forces during the Crimean War, 1854–6. The latter was receiving a pension of …

From Edward Blyth   8 January [1856]

Summary

Encloses "notes for Mr. D" [see 1818] and a memorandum on the wild cattle of southern India [see 1819].

Breeds of silky fowl of China and Malaya. Black-skinned fowl.

Doubts any breed of canary has siskin blood; all remain true to their type.

Wild canary and finch hybrids.

Hybrids between one- and two-humped camels.

Does not regard zebra markings on asses as an indication of interbreeding but as one of the many instances of markings in the young which more or less disappear in the adult.

Crossing of Coracias species at the edges of their ranges.

Regional variations and intergrading between species of pigeons.

Regards the differences in Treron as specific [see Natural selection, p. 115 n. 1].

Gives other instances of representative species or races differing only in certain details of colouring.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A110–13, A117–21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1817

Matches: 1 hit

  • … This plate was first published in July 1854 in part 6 of The birds of Asia . Conolly …
Document type
letter (8)
Author
Blyth, Edward[X]
Addressee
Correspondent
Date
1855 (4)
1856 (3)
1858 (1)
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Darwin in letters, 1851-1855: Death of a daughter

Summary

The letters from these years reveal the main preoccupations of Darwin’s life with a new intensity. The period opens with a family tragedy in the death of Darwin’s oldest and favourite daughter, Anne, and it shows how, weary and mourning his dead child,…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … cirripedes and culminated in  Living Cirripedia  (1854) and  Fossil Cirripedia  (1854), again …
  • … series of letters pertaining to the Royal Society. In April 1854, when his cirripede study was …
  • … indicated by his comment in a letter to Hooker on 29 [May 1854] : ‘Very far from disagreeing with …
  • … Back to species theory In September 1854, as soon as the final proofs of the last barnacle …
  • … do as I wish it Throughout the correspondence of 1854 and 1855, the overwhelming …

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: 1 hits

  • … [24 July 1842] To P. G. King,  21 February 1854 : ‘I live in the country about 16 miles …

Scientific Practice

Summary

Specialism|Experiment|Microscopes|Collecting|Theory Letter writing is often seen as a part of scientific communication, rather than as integral to knowledge making. This section shows how correspondence could help to shape the practice of science, from…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Letter 1587 — Darwin, C. R. to Huxley, T. H., 2 Sept [1854] Darwin mentions that the second …
  • … of creation in [ Br. & Foreign Med.-Chir. Rev. 13 (1854)], but notes that he himself is …
  • … Letter 1592 — Darwin, C. R. to Huxley, T. H., 13 Sept [1854] Letter 1635 — Darwin, …

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: 23 hits

  • … [Wellesley 1832] Sir. W. Nott’s Life [W. Nott 1854].— [DAR *119: 15v.] From …
  • … de la Boheme [Barrande 1852–1911] must be deeply studied 1854 The Zoologist by E. Newman [ …
  • … [Pepys 1825] (Read).— Sir W. Notts life [W. Nott 1854] read [DAR *128: 177] …
  • … r . Nott & Gliddon: Trübner & Co [J. C. Nott and Gliddon 1854] (read) A Lecture by …
  • … not published but reported fully in Literary Gazette Sept 30 1854 91 Agricult. Journal …
  • … d’un Naturaliste A. de Quatrefages [Quatrefages de Bréau 1854]. (light reading) (??) read …
  • … Domestic animals. 94 Lloyd Scandinavian Adventures 1854 [L. Lloyd 1854]. praised in …
  • … sur les Migration des Vegetaux 4 to  Pamphlet [Godron 1854] (read) Journal of Asiatic Soc. …
  • … specially of central platform of France 8 fr. [Lecoq 1854–8] Read Journal de la Soc. Imp. d …
  • … Sir J. Lubbock. member Ferguson on Poultry [Ferguson 1854], recommended by M r  Brent, but …
  • … D r . Badham “Ancient & Modern Tattle” on Fish [Badham 1854]. M r  Tegetmeier says very …
  • … (read) From Nott & Gliddon [J. C. Nott and Gliddon 1854] Roselini Monumenta [ …
  • … Carboniferous strata, translated in Bull. General [Heer 1854].— Hooker has it.— Very important …
  • … I ought to read Murchinson’s Siluria [Murchison 1854]— I  must  read it. & buy it.— …
  • … W. R. Wilde in Dublin University Magazine early month of 1854 on food of Irish. ( Pig ) [Wilde] …
  • … translated into French by Gaudin—with additions [Heer 1854]. Archives du Museum [ Archives …
  • … Himmalaya [T. Thomson 1852] [DAR 128: 7] 1854 Jan 11 th . Pulsky Red, …
  • … 1848]. March 7 th . Hooker’s Himmalaya [Hooker 1854].— —— 23 Stansbury. Exploration …
  • … July 3 d . Sir B. B. Psychological Essays [Brodie] 1854] —— Duval Histoire du Pommier, …
  • … Isidore Geoffroy St. Hilaire [I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1854–62] Tome I [DAR 128: 9] …
  • … Williams Missionary in T. del Fuego [Hamilton 1854] March 28 th . Sir G. Stephens Lectures …
  • … Richardson 1784] (poor) [DAR 128: 10] 1854.  Microscopical Journal [ …
  • … 1855. Wollastons Insecta Maderensia [Wollaston 1854] —— Johnston Physical Atlas [A. K. …

Darwin and the Church

Summary

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

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Lubbock, the principal landowner in Down, in a letter of 1854 in which he said, From all I have seen …
  • … [of the Poor Fund]’ (letter to J. W. Lubbock, 28 March [1854] ). Despite their differences, they …

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: 5 hits

  • … on the crustacean sub-class Cirripedia between 1851 and 1854, two on living species and two on …
  • … in manuscript form to the Ray Society at the beginning of 1854 , where it took longer than the ‘ …
  • … to tell his friend Thomas Henry Huxley in early September 1854, ‘ My second volume on the …
  • … Society; the monograph itself was printed in 1854. This volume appears not to have been discussed …
  • … but he wrote to the Palaeontographical Society in February 1854 and the society confirmed that he …

Darwin in letters, 1847-1850: Microscopes and barnacles

Summary

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

  • … sub-class of Crustacea,  Living Cirripedia  (1851, 1854) and  Fossil Cirripedia  (1851, 1854). …
  • … spermatozoa’ attached to the female (Living Cirripedia (1854): 23). Darwin had previously worked out …
  • … from monoecious forms (Living Cirripedia (1851): 214; (1854): 29, 528 n.) and, at another level, to …

Darwin’s study of the Cirripedia

Summary

Darwin’s work on barnacles, conducted between 1846 and 1854, has long posed problems for historians. Coming between his transmutation notebooks and the Origin of species, it has frequently been interpreted as a digression from Darwin’s species work. Yet…

Matches: 13 hits

  • … Darwin’s work on barnacles, conducted between 1846 and 1854, has long posed problems for historians. …
  • … In both volumes of Living Cirripedia (1851 and 1854), Darwin devoted an introductory section to …
  • … was best placed among the Lepadidae ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 527–8).^1^1^    Both …
  • … segments are quite aborted . . . ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 562–3)    Indeed, …
  • … be the most natural arrangement. ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 588)    The fact that the …
  • … with his figure of the mature animal ( Living Cirripedia (1854), Plate XXV).    Throughout …
  • … (1851): 37–8)    In Living Cirripedia (1854), Darwin ventured to suggest the possible …
  • … by a new and anomalous course. ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 151–2)    Crisp (1983) has …
  • … from bisexuality to unisexuality. ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 29)^16^    Darwin’s …
  • … merely varieties (Southward 1983). In Living Cirripedia (1854), Darwin clearly stated the …
  • … be found eminently variable. ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 155)    One of the first …
  • … a very direct and curious manner’ ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 529). Modern systematists place …
  • … nature was demonstrated.’ ( Living Cirripedia (1854): 555). See also Rachootin 1984, pp. 235–6.   …

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: 6 hits

  • … Dramatist 23 Middelburg 20 june 1854 Middelburg 13 october …
  • …   Deventer 11 september 1854 Deventer 8 march 1936 Haarlem …
  • … Phil.nat.cand   Leiden 18 july 1854 Batavia 8 march 1896 …
  • … University.   Utrecht 16 april 1854 Amsterdam 4 january 1928 …
  • … Phil.nat.cand.   Utrecht 16 april 1854 Amsterdam 4 january …
  • … Phil.nat.stud   Leiden 19 august 1854 Oud-Beijerland 23 …

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

  • … began ‘sorting notes for Species Theory’ on 9 September 1854, the very day he concluded his eight …
  • … what he came to call his ‘big book’.   In March 1854, six months before he started sorting …

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.   …

Matches: 6 hits

  • … Dramatist 23 Middelburg 20 june 1854 Middelburg 13 october …
  • …   Deventer 11 september 1854 Deventer 8 march 1936 Haarlem …
  • … Phil.nat.cand   Leiden 18 july 1854 Batavia 8 march 1896 …
  • … University.   Utrecht 16 april 1854 Amsterdam 4 january 1928 …
  • … Phil.nat.cand.   Utrecht 16 april 1854 Amsterdam 4 january …
  • … Phil.nat.stud   Leiden 19 august 1854 Oud-Beijerland 23 …

John Murray

Summary

Darwin's most famous book On the origin of species by means of natural selection (Origin) was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, particularly politics, travel and science, and had published…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … his barnacle books ( Fossil Cirripedia  (1851 and 1854) and  Living Cirripedia  (1851 and 1854)) …

Editorial policy and practice

Summary

Full texts are added to this site four years after the letter is published in the print edition of the Correspondence. Transcriptions are made from the original or a facsimile where these are available. Where they are not, texts are taken from the best…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … used in a strict sense. Thus a letter dated ‘after 8 July 1854’ is judged to have been written very …

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: 1 hits

  • … Letter 1585 — Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John, [Sept 1854] Darwin sends Lubbock a beetle he …

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: 5 hits

  • … of logical thought and language. On 20 May 1854, Darwin again took over the notebook and, …
  • … a bit of red glass at the garden) 47v.  May 1854. Before tea Ch. asked Lenny P. Have you …
  • … give me a kiss if you like”. 48 [74] May 20— 1854.— I saw a pile of sand lying on the lawn …
  • … I could not help it awfully”.— 49  June 1854— About 9 months ago, Lenny defined being in …
  • … Horace Lenny. When ill with Fever & recovering (Dec 1854) used constantly to ask in the …

Charles Darwin’s letters: a selection 1825-1859

Summary

The letters in this volume span the years from 1825, when Darwin was a student at the University of Edinburgh, to the end of 1859, when the Origin of Species was published. The early letters portray Darwin as a lively sixteen-year-old medical student. Two…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … taxonomic study of the entire order. By this time, 1854, Darwin had become a family man. In …
  • … field notes exist that record the observations made between 1854 and 1861 by five of his children, …

Asa Gray

Summary

Darwin’s longest running and most significant exchange of correspondence dealing with the subjects of design in nature and religious belief was with the Harvard botanist Asa Gray.  Gray was one of Darwin’s leading supporters in America. He was also a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … consisting of about 300 letters written between 1854 and 1881, is now available for the first time. …

Barnacles

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Darwin and barnacles Darwin’s interest in Cirripedia, a class of marine arthropods, was first piqued by the discovery of an odd burrowing barnacle, which he later named “Mr. Arthrobalanus," while he was…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … and wrote about barnacles on a daily basis from 1846 to 1854. Ultimately, Darwin's deep and …

Alfred Russel Wallace

Summary

Wallace was a leading Victorian naturalist, with wide-ranging interests from biogeography and evolutionary theory to spiritualism and politics. He was born in 1823 in Usk, a small town in south-east Wales, and attended a grammar school in Hertford. At the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … able to finance another extended voyage to Malaysia. Between 1854 and 1862, he travelled some 14,000 …

Thomas Henry Huxley

Summary

Dubbed “Darwin’s bulldog” for his combative role in controversies over evolution, Huxley was a leading Victorian zoologist, science popularizer, and education reformer. He was born in Ealing, a small village west of London, in 1825. With only two years of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … an appointment as paleontologist to the Geological Survey in 1854. He moved quickly to the inner …
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