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From Charles Lyell   3 October 1859

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Summary

Praises the Origin: a "splendid case of close reasoning".

Objects to CD’s having ignored Lamarck and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

Thinks CD should omit mentioning problem of explaining the eye at the beginning of chapter 14. Suggests rewording several passages.

Thinks want of peculiar birds in Madeira a difficulty, considering presence of them in Galapagos.

Has always felt that the case of man and his races is one and the same with animals and plants.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Oct 1859
Classmark:  DAR 98: B1–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2501

Matches: 4 hits

  • … from Charles Lyell, 1–2 May 1856 , and letter to Charles …
  • … and Correspondence vol.  6, letter from Charles Lyell, 1–2 May 1856 . Lyell refers to the …
  • 1856, Lyell had encouraged CD to publish his species theory (see Correspondence vol.  6, letter
  • … Lyell, 3  May [1856] ). For Lyell’s interest in CD’s pigeon work, see letter from Whitwell …

To A. R. Wallace   9 August 1859

Summary

Will forward ARW’s "admirable" paper to Linnean Society ["On the zoological geography of the Malay Archipelago", J. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 4 (1860): 172–84].

Discusses geographical distribution of animals in the Malay Archipelago; relation of distribution to depth of sea between islands.

Relation of Celebes to Africa almost passes belief.

Differs wholly from ARW on colonisation of oceanic islands; does not believe in Forbes’s great continental extensions.

Anticipates Owen’s opposition to their views, but "he is a poor reasoner & deeply considers the good opinion of the world, especially the aristocratic world".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  9 Aug 1859
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2480

Matches: 1 hit

  • … letters to J.  D. Hooker, 30 July [1856] , and letters from W.  F. Daniell, 8 October – 7  …

From T. H. Huxley   23 November 1859

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Summary

Has just finished Origin. CD has demonstrated a true cause for the production of species.

CD has loaded himself with unnecessary difficulty in adopting natura non facit saltum.

Author:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Nov 1859
Classmark:  DAR 98: B11–13
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2544

Matches: 2 hits

  • … 21 [May 1856] ). See also letter to T.  H. Huxley, 25 November [1859] . The story has not …
  • … naturalists ( Correspondence vol.  6, letters to J.  D. Hooker 9 May [1856] and …

From J. D. Hooker   [21 November 1859]

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Summary

JDH’s congratulations on Origin.

Lyell believes S. P. Woodward wrote review in Athenæum.

Lyell’s and Huxley’s positive responses.

JDH has only plunged into a few chapters.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [21 Nov 1859]
Classmark:  DAR 100: 135–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2539

Matches: 1 hit

  • … the origin of species to CD in his letter of 4 June 1856 (see Correspondence vol.  6). The …

To J. D. Hooker   20 January [1859]

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Summary

At work on abstract.

Continues argument on effectiveness of dispersal. Has doubts about relationship of isolation to highness of Australian flora. Questions about survival of European plants introduced in Australia.

CD receives the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  20 Jan [1859]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2401

Matches: 2 hits

  • … from Charles Lyell ( Correspondence vol.  6, letter to Charles Lyell, 3 May [1856] ). He …
  • … August 1856 ( Correspondence vol.  4, Appendix IV, 128: 20). CD refers to the letter from …

From Henry Holland   10 December [1859]

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Summary

Comments on the Origin. Outlines difficulties he finds in CD’s theory. Believes CD must define natural selection more accurately and mentions instances in which that principle is an insufficient cause to account for the form of certain structures.

Author:  Henry Holland, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Dec [1859]
Classmark:  DAR 47: 148–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2578

Matches: 2 hits

  • … 1855] ; and vol.  6, letter from George Gulliver, 20 January [1856] . Charles Lyell had …
  • … this topic, in 1855 and 1856. See Correspondence vol.  5, letter to George Gulliver, 18  …

To Hugh Falconer   17 December [1859]

Summary

Suggests HF investigate hippopotamus tooth.

Has heard HF is very antagonistic to his views on species. Cannot believe a false theory would explain so many classes of facts.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Hugh Falconer
Date:  17 Dec [1859]
Classmark:  DAR 144: 22
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2587

Matches: 2 hits

  • … see Correspondence vol.  6, letter from Charles Lyell, 1–2 May 1856 , n.  7). In 1860, he …
  • letter to Charles Lyell, [10 December 1859] . Thomas Vernon Wollaston was a friend of CD’s and had discussed the possibility of species transmutation with him and other guests at a weekend party at Down in 1856, …

To J. D. Hooker   11 March [1859]

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Summary

Sends MS [of Origin] on geographical distribution. Wants JDH to correct facts and say what he most vehemently objects to.

Has received JDH’s note on plant embryology.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  11 Mar [1859]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 7
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2429

Matches: 2 hits

  • … of chapter 11 of Natural selection in 1856 (see Correspondence vol.  5, letter from J.  D. …
  • 1856 ). In this chapter, CD described his theory of the origins of Arctic and alpine distribution patterns and the migration of northern plants through the tropics during a former cold period. This material formed the first of two chapters on geographical distribution in Origin . The second chapter was written for Origin early in 1859. See letter

To William Henry Sykes   20 December [1859]

Summary

Urges appointment of Edward Blyth as naturalist on an expedition to China.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Henry Sykes
Date:  20 Dec [1859]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.185)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2588

Matches: 2 hits

  • … see Correspondence vol.  6, letters from Edward Blyth , 23 February 1856  and 26 February …
  • letter to Charles Lyell, 29 [December 1859] . Sykes had been heavily involved with Indian natural history during his service in the East India Company, and since his return to England in 1831 he had been an influential figure in Indian affairs in general. He served as chairman of the East India Company from 1856  …

To John Phillips   11 November [1859]

Summary

Sends Origin to JP. Says it is as yet only an abstract. Fears JP will "fulminate anathemas" against it. Asks him to read it all straight through, otherwise it will be unintelligible.

Is not so foolish as to expect to convert anyone. CD remembers how many long years his own conversion took. Hooker "has completely given up species as immutable creatures".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  11 Nov [1859]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2521

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Buckland’s death in 1856. Phillips’s acknowledgment of CD’s letter has not been found, but …

To Leonard Jenyns   13 November [1859]

Summary

Invites criticisms of his book [Origin] which is "only an abstract & very much condensed". Knows LJ will not agree with the lengths to which CD goes. It took long years to convert CD, but he cannot persuade himself "that a theory which explains … several large classes of facts, can be wholly wrong".

Hopes to publish his full MS if he ever gets strong enough.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Leonard Jenyns; Leonard Blomefield
Date:  13 Nov [1859]
Classmark:  Scriptorium (dealers) (1981)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2528

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Jenyns 1856 ). He sent his notes on variation to CD early in 1858 (see letters to Leonard …

From Whitwell Elwin to John Murray   3 May 1859

Summary

Charles Lyell has asked WE to pass his opinions on the MS of Origin to CD via Murray. WE is convinced of the value of CD’s researches but "to put forth the theory without the evidence", as in the MS, "would do grievous injustice to his views". The omission of these facts reduces both the philosophical and popular value of the work, by virtue of its dryness.

Supports Charles Lyell’s suggestion that CD should first publish his observations on pigeons with a theoretical outline, for "[e]very body is interested in pigeons". Such a work would generate wider interest and be better understood. A subsequent, larger book would then be approached with impartiality "not to say favour" by a wider public.

Author:  Whitwell Elwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  3 May 1859
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42197)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2457A

Matches: 1 hit

  • … See Correspondence vol.  6, letter from Charles Lyell, 1--2 May 1856  and n.  10; see also …

To J. D. Hooker   2 March [1859]

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Summary

Has finished geographical distribution chapter and asks JDH to read it.

Is it just to say embryological characters are of high importance in plant classification?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  2 Mar [1859]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2422

Matches: 1 hit

  • … distribution (see Correspondence vol.  5, letter from J.  D. Hooker, 9 November 1856 ). …

To T. H. Huxley   25 November [1859]

Summary

THH’s letter about the Origin makes CD feel like a Catholic who has received extreme unction. Can now sing nunc dimittis. Had determined to abide by judgment of Lyell, Hooker, and THH.

Problem of how variations arise at all troubles him also.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  25 Nov [1859]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 72)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2553

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letters to J.  D. Hooker, 9 May [1856] and 21 [May 1856] ). He …

To J. D. Hooker   [23 October 1859]

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Summary

Congratulates JDH on finishing his introductory essay [to Flora Tasmaniae].

Lyell’s position on mutability appears more positive in his letters to JDH than in those to CD. Considers JDH a convert.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [23 Oct 1859]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 24
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2509

Matches: 2 hits

  • letter to J.  D. Hooker, 15 October [1859] , for two of his suggestions. [Hooker] 1856. …
  • 1856, pp.  254–6). CD’s annotated copy of the separately paginated offprint is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. CD had read A.  de Candolle 1855  soon after its publication (see Correspondence vol.  5). His annotated copy of the work is in the Darwin Library–CUL. In his letter, …

To Charles James Fox Bunbury   3 December [1859]

Summary

Thanks for note; correcting proofs for 2d ed. [of Origin].

"If your are at all staggered I shall be quite interested."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Date:  3 Dec [1859]
Classmark:  Carnegie Book Shop (dealers) (catalogue 359)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2569

Matches: 1 hit

  • 1856 (see Correspondence vol.  6). For Bunbury’s response to Origin , see Correspondence vol.  8, letter

To Charles Lyell   2 September [1859]

Summary

CL’s research on flint tools.

Promises to send proof-sheets of Origin. Discusses his view of species.

Ill health of himself and his family.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  2 Sept [1859]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.167)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2486

Matches: 1 hit

  • … R.  Owen 1856 (see Hutchinson 1914 , 1: 37–9, and Correspondence vol.  5, letter to John …

To J. D. Hooker   25 [December 1859]

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Summary

CD will not write to L. Descaisne to defend his priority over C. V. Naudin.

Feels success of theory depends on acceptance and application by good and well-known workers, like JDH, Huxley, and Lyell.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  25 [Dec 1859]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 31
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2602

Matches: 2 hits

  • … pp.  346–410) (see letter to J.  D. Hooker, 11 March [1859] ). In 1856, he had read CD’s …
  • 1856), Hooker’s work on the plants of New Zealand ( Hooker 1853–5 ), and A.  de Candolle 1855 . For Charles Lyell’s views on the relationship between Hooker’s work and that of Alphonse de Candolle , see K.  M. Lyell ed. 1881,2: 327–8. The letter

From J. D. Hooker   [9 March 1859]

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Summary

Outlines the basic categories of phanerogams.

Places Gymnospermae in the dicotyledons.

Evaluates the variable utility of embryological characters in plant classification.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [9 Mar 1859]
Classmark:  DAR 100: 152–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2428

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter from J.  D. Hooker, 22 November 1856 . Hooker 1859. CD’s …

To Charles Lyell   11 October [1859]

Summary

CL’s comments on Origin. Mentions corrections to last chapter suggested by CL.

Comments on lack of peculiar bird species on Madeira and Bermuda. Emphasises importance of American types in Galapagos.

Denies necessity of continued creation of primitive "Monads".

Denies need for new powers and any principle of improvement.

Discusses gradations of intellectual powers.

Adaptive inferiority and extinction of groups of species and genera.

Asserts that climate is less important than the struggle with other organisms.

Suggests an experiment involving primroses and cowslips.

The chapter on hybridisation.

Rudimentary organs.

Gives opinion of Lamarck’s work.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  11 Oct [1859]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.172)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2503

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter from E.  W. V. Harcourt, 31 May 1856 . CD cited Harcourt in …
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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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