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From Edward Blyth   23 January 1856

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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: 8 hits

  • … See letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January [1856] . Blyth had previously discussed this …
  • … Sporting Review , see letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January 1856 , n.  6. See Correspondence …
  • … do not occur in a state of nature. ’ See letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January 1856 , n.  6. …
  • … The article has not been located. See letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January [1856] , n.  6. …
  • … Blyth’s evidence for this view, see letter from Edward Blyth, 23 February 1856  and n.   …
  • … of Mauritius, see letters from Victor de Robillard , 20 September 1856  and 26 February …
  • … 16. See letter from Edward Blyth , [ c. 22 March 1856] and n.  16. Horace Hayman Wilson …
  • letter (DAR 203), CD noted: ‘variation of wild Gallus Bankiva’. In his discussion of Gallus bankiva in Variation 1: 235, CD noted that in the Indian G.  bankiva , ‘Mr. Blyth finds the tarsus remarkably variable in length. ’ Ogilby 1835 , p.  103–4. Albin 1731–8 , 2: pl. 33. In February 1856, …

From Edward Blyth   26 February 1856

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Summary

There is a possibility of establishment of a Government Museum at Calcutta, with which the Asiatic Society Museum would be merged. EB would like the curatorship but fears other possible applicants. Asks CD to represent him to W. H. Sykes.

Discusses the ancients’ awareness of various cats as deduced from the etymology of their names.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A126–A127
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1833

Matches: 3 hits

  • Letter from Edward Blyth, 23 February 1856 . …
  • … See letter from Edward Blyth, 23 February 1856 , n.  7. Blyth’s salary as curator of the …
  • … Sporting Review . See letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January 1856 . Chesney 1850 , 1: 442. …

From Edward Blyth   23 February 1856

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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: 6 hits

  • … the same species. ’ See letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January 1856 , n.  26. CD’s numbering …
  • Letter from Edward Blyth, 23 January 1856 . This probably refers to a memorial Blyth wrote …
  • … established in 1865 (see letter from Edward Blyth, 26 February 1856 , n.  2). Charles John …
  • … volume 2, p.  379. See letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January [1856] , in which he tells CD …
  • … n.  16, above. See letter from Edward Blyth, 23 January 1856 . See Correspondence vol.  5, …
  • 1856, having visited Bombay and Madras en route to Calcutta with his wife Charlotte Canning ( DNB ). According to Grote 1875 , p. x, Blyth’s married life was extremely happy, and it was a severe blow to him when his wife died in December 1857. Humboldt 1846–58 . Blyth’s reference has not been located. In his abstract of this letter ( …

From Edward Blyth   8 January [1856]

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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: 8 hits

  • … 67, below) also indicate the letter was written in 1856. CD began his correspondence with …
  • … Blyth dated his letter 1855, this was clearly a mistake for 1856. The content of the …
  • … in 1663. See also letter from Edward Blyth , [ c . 22 March 1856] and n.  2. Chesney …
  • … India, see the letter from C.  W. Crump to Edward Blyth, [before 8 January 1856] . Thomas …
  • … 1839 . See letter from C.  W. Crump to Edward Blyth, [ before 8 January 1856] . James …
  • 1856 ( Correspondence vol.  4, Appendix IV, *128: 161; 128: 18). He later used the information on wild guinea-fowls in Variation 1: 190 and 294, having obtained further information about Jamaican guinea-fowls from Richard Hill , Gosse’s collaborator ( Variation 1: 294 nn.  43 and 44; see also letter
  • 1856, seven parts of this work had been published. William Henry Sykes was the chairman of the court of directors of the East India Company. The museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal was under the jurisdiction of the company. The brown crayon numbers that CD wrote on Blyth’s letters
  • 1856 . Rüppell 1845, p.  106, in which Rüppell recorded that the Chacura graeca ‘varietas, Gray Indian Zoology Vol. I Taf. 54’ was found ‘paarweise am Sinai’. The reference is to J.  E. Gray [1830–5] , which was illustrated from the collection of Thomas Hardwicke . Attached to the letter

From Edward Blyth   [c. 22 March 1856]

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Summary

Gives references to works on fowls and pigeons.

Observations on Gallinaceae.

Musk ox skull from southern England is additional evidence for Agassiz’s glacial period. Owen is mistaken in calling it a buffalo.

EB describes the buffalo proper.

Will send domestic pigeon specimens.

Believes pigeons were not bred in India before the Mohammedan conquest. Describes Indian breeds.

Believes the ass is an African rather than an Asian production. Discusses various species of ass and their distribution.

Wild horned cattle on borders of Pilibhit and Shahjahanpur.

[Notes received by CD on 6 May 1856.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 22 Mar 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 98: 133–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1845

Matches: 5 hits

  • … is a … hybrid. ’ See letter from Edward Blyth, 23 February 1856  and n.  11. Hermann …
  • … DAR 205.7: 166–89. See letter from Edward Blyth, 8 January [1856] . Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire …
  • … creatures appear. —’ ( letter to W.  B. Tegetmeier, 30 August [1856] ). The records of his …
  • 1856 . The fossil ox was discovered by John Lubbock (see Correspondence vol.  5, letter to …
  • … vol.  5, letter to W.  E. Darwin, [25 April 1855] ). In August 1856, he began crossing all …

From Edward Blyth   [22 October 1855]

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Summary

Gives references to William Allen’s narrative of the Niger expedition [William Allen and T. R. H. Thompson , A narrative of the expedition sent by Her Majesty’s Government to the river Niger in 1841 (1848)]: common fowl returning to wildness, details of domestic sheep, ducks, and white fowl.

Range of the fallow deer; its affinity to the Barbary stag.

Natural propensity of donkeys for arid desert.

Indian donkeys often have zebra markings on the legs.

Believes the common domestic cat of India is indigenous.

Occurrence of cultivated plants from Europe in India; success of cultivation. Ancient history of cultivated plants.

[CD’s notes are an abstract of this memorandum and indicate that it was originally 20 pages long.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [22 Oct 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A93–A98
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1811

Matches: 1 hit

  • … is referred to in the letter from Edward Blyth, 23 January 1856 ( Correspondence vol.  6). …

From Edward Blyth   [3 April 1856]

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Summary

Reports observations on Indian pigeons from David Scott at Hansi. EB adds remarks on Indian breeds he has encountered. Suggests Egypt, Turkey, and Syria would be good places from which to obtain specimens. Believes domestic races are all descended from Columba livia; their calls are all similar and they pair indiscriminately.

Guinea-fowl.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [3 Apr 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A140–A143
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1849

Matches: 1 hit

  • … pencil scored brown crayon Top of letter : ‘April 3. 1856’ pencil ; ‘14’ brown crayon , …

From Edward Blyth   [30 September or 7 October 1855]

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Summary

Origin of domestic varieties. EB ascribes "abnormal" variations to man’s propagation of casual monstrosities; believes "normal" variations, e.g. European races of cattle, are a consequence of man’s selecting the choicest specimens. Gives examples of "abnormal" variations; they give rise to features that have no counterpart among possible wild progenitors. Divides domestic animals into those whose origin is known and those whose origin is unknown. Considers that the wild progenitors of nearly all domestic birds are known. Fowls and pigeons show many varieties but if propagated abnormalities are ignored each group can be seen to be variations of a single species, the ancestors of which can be recognised without difficulty. Discusses varieties and ancestry of the domestic fowl. Variation in the wild; the ruff shows exceptional variability; other species of birds show variability in size of individuals. Remarks that markings sometimes vary on different sides of the same animal. Comments on the want of regularity in leaf and petal patterns of some plants. Discusses domestic varieties of reindeer and camels. Origin of humped cattle. Reports the rapid spread of a snail in lower Bengal that was introduced as a single pair five or six years previously.

[CD’s notes are an abstract of part of this memorandum. Memorandum originally enclosed with 1760.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [30 Sept or 7 Oct] 1855
Classmark:  DAR 98: A25–A36
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1761

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter from Edward Blyth, 23 January 1856 , Blyth tells CD: ‘For …
  • letter from William Yarrell , [ c . 17 December 1838]). For CD’s later use of this case and also the occurrence of supernumary fingers or toes in particular families, see Variation 2: 4, 12–17. A tribe from the Nile basin known to the ancients as the ‘tallest and finest of men’ ( EB ). R.  Knox 1850 . CD noted in his list of ‘Books to be Read’: ‘Knox Races of Mankind a curious Book. (Blyth). ’ and recorded having read the work on 3 March 1856 ( …

From Edward Blyth   4 August 1855

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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: 1 hit

  • letter from Edward Blyth, 21 April 1855 , in which he commented that the turkey is ‘not … a bird recently domesticated by civilized man’. Ulisse Aldrovandi , professor of natural history at Bologna University, had issued the most famous and extensive natural history compilation of the seventeenth century, of which three volumes comprised the ornithology (Aldrovandi 1599–1603). CD recorded reading this work on 7 March 1856 ( …

From Edward Blyth   21 April 1855

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Summary

Indigenous domestic animals of the New World.

Relationship of Newfoundland and Esquimo dogs to the wolf. Dogs like the Esquimo occur in Tibet and Siberia. Indian pariah dogs and jackals occasionally interbreed.

Describes domestic cats of India; reports cases of their interbreeding with wild cats. Wild cats are tamed for hunting.

Races of silkworm in India are crossed [see 1690].

Domesticated plants, fish, and birds of India.

Comments on local races and species of crows; it is impossible to trace a line of demarcation between races and species.

Variation in the ability of hybrids to propagate.

Indian cattle breeds; differences between Bos indicus and Bos taurus.

Is not satisfied that aboriginally wild species of horse and ass exist.

Believes all fancy breeds of pigeon originated in the East. Wild ancestors of pigeons, ducks, geese, and fowls. Interbreeding of wild species of pheasant.

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

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Apr 1855
Classmark:  DAR 98: A57–A68
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1670

Matches: 1 hit

  • 1856 , pp.  441–2 and n. †. Probably F.  Bashford, who later provided CD with information on his experiments on the cross-breeding of silkworms. See letter
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Blyth, Edwarddisabled_by_default
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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: 1 hits

  • … On 14 May 1856, Charles Darwin recorded in his journal that he ‘Began by Lyell’s advice  writing …

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: 1 hits

  • … Charles Darwin married Emma Wedgwood in 1839 and over the next seventeen years the couple had ten …

Dramatisation script

Summary

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

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Re: Design – performance version – 25 March 2007 – 1 Re: Design – Adaptation of the …

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: 1 hits

  • … Darwin’s most famous work, Origin, had an inauspicious beginning. It grew out of his wish to …

Six things Darwin never said – and one he did

Summary

Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly attributed to Darwin that never flowed from his pen.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly …

Dates of composition of Darwin's manuscript on species

Summary

Many of the dates of letters in 1856 and 1857 were based on or confirmed by reference to Darwin’s manuscript on species (DAR 8--15.1, inclusive; transcribed and published as Natural selection). This manuscript, begun in May 1856, was nearly completed by…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Many of the dates of letters in 1856 and 1857 were based on or confirmed by reference to Darwin’s …

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: 1 hits

  • … Observers |  Fieldwork |  Experimentation |  Editors and critics  |  Assistants …

Descent

Summary

There are more than five hundred letters associated with the research and writing of Darwin’s book, Descent of man and selection in relation to sex (Descent). They trace not only the tortuous route to eventual publication, but the development of Darwin’s…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … ‘ Our ancestor was an animal which breathed water, had a swim-bladder, a great swimming …

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: 1 hits

  • … In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to …

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: 1 hits

  • … Darwin began ‘sorting notes for Species Theory’ on 9 September 1854, the very day he concluded his …

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

  • … Friendship | Mentors | Class | Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific …

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

  • … Dubbed “Darwin’s bulldog” for his combative role in controversies over evolution, Huxley was a …

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: 1 hits

  • … At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of  The variation of …

Darwin in letters, 1872: Job done?

Summary

'My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, 'is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work’, and the tenor of his correspondence throughout the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … ‘My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, ‘is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I …

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

  • … The origin of language was investigated in a wide range of disciplines in the nineteenth century. …

Hermann Müller

Summary

Hermann (Heinrich Ludwig Hermann) Müller, was born in Mühlberg near Erfurt in 1829. He was the younger brother of Fritz Müller (1822–97). Following the completion of his secondary education at Erfurt in 1848, he studied natural sciences at Halle and Berlin…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Hermann (Heinrich Ludwig Hermann) Müller, was born in Mühlberg near Erfurt in 1829. He was the …

Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet …

Correlation of growth: deaf blue-eyed cats, pigs, and poison

Summary

As he was first developing his ideas, among the potential problems Darwin recognised with natural selection was how to account for developmental change that conferred no apparent advantage.  He proposed a ‘mysterious law’ of ‘correlation of growth’ where…

Matches: 1 hits

  • …   Darwin made many changes to the text of Origin across different editions as he …

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: 1 hits

  • … In 1865, the chief work on Charles Darwin’s mind was the writing of  The variation of animals and …

The writing of "Origin"

Summary

From a quiet rural existence at Down in Kent, filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on the transmutation of species, Darwin was jolted into action in 1858 by the arrival of an unexpected letter (no longer extant) from Alfred Russel Wallace outlining a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … When I was in spirits I sometimes fancied that my book w d  be successful; but I never even …
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