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To J. D. Hooker   7 March [1855]

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Summary

Latitude overrules everything in distribution. Alpine distributions are like insular. Tabulating proportions.

T. V. Wollaston’s Madeira insects: many flightless, thus not blown to sea. TVW’s insects do not confirm Forbes’s Atlantis.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  7 Mar [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 126
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1643

Matches: 2 hits

  • … March 1855] , n.  2. A.  K. Johnston ed. 1856 (see letter to G.  R. Waterhouse, 4 March [ …
  • 1856, plate 24) and collaborated with Alexander Keith Johnston on the ‘Map of geographical distribution of indigenous vegetation’, which also contains a ‘Map of Schouw’s phyto-geographic regions’. A.  Gray 1848 . Darlington 1837 , a second edition of William Darlington’s account of the native and naturalised plants growing in the vicinity of West Chester, Pennsylvania. The first edition did not have the title as given by CD in the letter. …

CD memorandum   [December 1855]

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Summary

Requests skins of domestic breeds or races of poultry, pigeons, rabbits, cats, and dogs from any unfrequented region. [Attached is a list of people to whom CD has written for pigeon and poultry skins.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  [Dec 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 206: 34–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1812

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter from Peter Wallace, 10 September 1856 . See Correspondence …
  • … vol.  6, letter to Walter Elliot, 23 January 1856 . …
  • … vol.  6, letter from William Freeman Daniell, 8 October – 7 November 1856 . Nathan Davis . …

To Asa Gray   21 July [1855]

Summary

Geographical distribution. "Close" species. Hopes AG will write an essay on species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  21 July [1855]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (3)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1725

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Asa Gray, 30 June 1855 . A.  Gray 1856–7 . See letter from Asa Gray, 22 May 1855 . See …

To George Gulliver   27 December [1855]

Summary

His thanks for the present [The works of William Hewson, edited by GG, 1846]. [See 1796.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gulliver
Date:  27 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  Josh B. Rosenblum (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1801A

Matches: 1 hit

  • … 1855] ; see also Correspondence vol.  6, letter from George Gulliver, 20 January [1856] ). …

From John Davy   30 January 1855

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Summary

Responds to CD’s letter. The ova of Salmonidae exposed to air, if kept moist, will stay alive up to 72 hours.

Author:  John Davy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  30 Jan 1855
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 227
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1634

Matches: 2 hits

  • … s results, see letter from John Davy, 21 March 1855 , and Davy 1856 . CD’s portfolio 18  …
  • … John. 1856. On the vitality of the ova of the Salmonidæ of different ages; in a letter

From Francis Galton to Charles John Andersson   [after 22 February 1855]

Summary

Sends on CD’s list of enquiries about native breeds of animals in South Africa.

Author:  Francis Galton
Addressee:  Charles John (Carl Johann) Andersson
Date:  [after 22 Feb 1855]
Classmark:  National Library of South Africa, Cape Town
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1554G

Matches: 3 hits

  • … 1850 and 1854 (Andersson 1856). Galton enclosed CD’s letter to him of 22 February [1855] ( …
  • … dogs, see Andersson 1856, pp.  284–5. Galton’s letter has not been found. Andersson traded …
  • letter from Andersson concerning cattle has been found, but he describes Damara, Bechuana, and Namaqua cattle in Andersson 1856, …

To W. B. Tegetmeier   6 December [1855]

Summary

Variation in cats.

Is comparing skeletons of poultry.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  6 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1791

Matches: 1 hit

  • … n.  5. Tegetmeier 1856 . Sent by Edward Blyth from India ( letter from Edward Blyth, 22–3  …

To John Davy   25 March [1855]

Summary

Will forward JD’s paper to the Royal Society ["On the ova of salmon", Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 146 (1856): 21–9].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Davy
Date:  25 Mar [1855]
Classmark:  Royal Institution of Great Britain (Box XVII, 210)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1653

Matches: 2 hits

  • … John. 1856. On the vitality of the ova of the Salmonidæ of different ages; in a letter
  • letter from John Davy, 21 March 1855 , which was intended to be communicated by CD to the Royal Society. It was later published as Davy 1856 . …

From J. D. Hooker   [before 17 March 1855]

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Summary

JDH criticises C. J. F. Bunbury’s paper on Madeira [J. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Bot.) 1 (1857): 1–35].

Absence of Ophrys on Madeira suggests to JDH a sequence in creation of groups.

Why are flightless insects common in desert?

Australian endemism.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 17 Mar 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 210–13
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1644

Matches: 1 hit

  • … nn.  4 and 5. A.  K. Johnston ed. 1856. See letter to J.  D. Hooker, 7 March [1855] . …

To George Gulliver   18 December [1855]

Summary

Sends blood of pigeons for examination. Discusses variation of blood in related animals.

Would like copy of book edited by GG [The works of W. Hewson (1846)].

Suggests investigation of blood in varieties of domesticated animals.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gulliver
Date:  18 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Autograph File, D)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1796

Matches: 1 hit

  • … s inquiries, see Correspondence vol.  6, letter from George Gulliver, 20 January [1856] . …

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). …

To William and Julius Fairbeard   [October 1855 – May 1856]

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Summary

Five questions on variability in peas.

W & JF recommended to CD by Mr Cattell.

CD planted an experimental pea garden this summer.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William & Julius Fairbeard
Date:  [Oct 1855 – May 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 206: 38
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1467

Matches: 1 hit

  • … that the letter was written in the autumn of 1855 or the months preceding spring 1856. For …

To John Lubbock   19 [July 1855]

Summary

Congratulations to JL on finding musk-ox fossil.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  19 [July 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 263: 1 (EH 88206446)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1720

Matches: 2 hits

  • … to the former cold period ( R.  Owen 1856 , p.  130). See letter to John Lubbock, 14 [July …
  • letter from Charles Lyell to John Lubbock, 16 June 1855 , printed in H.  G. Hutchinson 1914 , 1: 37. In the company of Charles Kingsley , Lubbock had discovered a fossil musk-ox in the Maidenhead gravel ( H.  G. Hutchinson 1914 , 1: 37–9). The fossil skull was described in R.  Owen 1856 . …

To J. D. Hooker   11 May [1855]

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Summary

JDH to be appointed Assistant Director at Kew.

On where to publish seed-salting paper. Floating problem perhaps more important than germination.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  11 May [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 131
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1680

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Society on 6 May 1856 (see Collected papers 1: 264–73). See letter to J.  D. Hooker, 7  …
  • letter from J.  D. Hooker, 25 August 1854 . Binney was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1856. …

To T. H. Huxley   3 [September 1855]

Summary

Approves drawing. No one who cannot draw should attempt to be a naturalist. Suggests corrections to [Lepas?] drawing. Comments on position of ganglia, cement glands, and stomach.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  3 [Sept 1855]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 18)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1759

Matches: 1 hit

  • … during 1856 and 1857), and the cirripede drawings accompanying this letter were used in …

To Asa Gray   8 June [1855]

Summary

Suggests AG append ranges to the species in the new edition of his Manual.

Is interested in comparing the flora of U. S. with that of Britain and wishes to know the proportions to the whole of the great leading families and the numbers of species within genera. Would welcome information on which species AG considers to be "close" in the U. S.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  8 June [1855]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1695

Matches: 1 hit

  • … edition of the Manual (A.  Gray 1856). See letter to Asa Gray, 25 April [1855] . Gray’s …

From Thomas Carew Hunt   2 July 1855

Summary

Answers queries on Azores fauna and flora.

Author:  Thomas Carew Hunt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 July 1855
Classmark:  DAR 166: 282
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1709

Matches: 1 hit

  • … plant in Kew Gardens. See Correspondence vol.  6, letter to J.  D. Hooker, 1 June [1856] . …

To John Davy   26 March [1855]

Summary

Discusses JD’s paper ["On ova of salmon"]. His experiments are of particular value regarding power of dispersal and geographical distribution and would make of them a very different subject. Hopes JD can test again the tenacity of life of non-developed ova being less than that of those fully developed – a result which surprised CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Davy
Date:  26 Mar [1855]
Classmark:  Royal Institution of Great Britain (Box XVII, 210)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1654

Matches: 1 hit

  • … John. 1856. On the vitality of the ova of the Salmonidæ of different ages; in a letter

From John Davy   21 March 1855

Summary

On the ova of the salmon in relation to the distribution of species.

Author:  John Davy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Mar 1855
Classmark:  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 146 (1856): 21–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1651A

Matches: 1 hit

  • letter intended to be forwarded by CD to the Royal Society for publication in the Philosophical Transactions (Davy 1856). …

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 ( …
Document type
letter (34)
Date
1855disabled_by_default
01 (1)
02 (2)
03 (6)
04 (3)
05 (2)
06 (1)
07 (5)
08 (2)
09 (2)
10 (3)
11 (3)
12 (4)
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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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