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To Thomas Davidson   30 April 1861

Summary

Thanks TD for his letter. Difficulties with CD’s theory are many and great, but CD thinks the reason is that we underestimate our ignorance. The imperfection of the geological record counts heavily for CD. His greatest trouble is weighing "the direct effects … of changed conditions of life without any selection, with the action of selection on mere accidental (so to speak) variability. I oscillate much on this head, but generally return to my belief that the direct [effects] … have not been great."

Is surprised that any one, like W. B. Carpenter, can go as far as to believe all birds may have descended from one parent, but will not go further and include all the members of the same great division. Such beliefs make "Divine mockeries" of morphology and embryology, the most important of all subjects.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Davidson
Date:  30 Apr 1861
Classmark:  DAR 143: 373
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3131

Matches: 2 hits

  • … vol.  6, letter to Thomas Davidson, 23 December [1856] , and letter from Thomas …
  • … Davidson, 29 December 1856 . See letter from Thomas Davidson, 3 May 1861 . The remarks …

From P. L. Sclater   17 April 1861

Summary

Corrects CD’s statement [Origin, 3d ed.] that Madeira does not possess one peculiar bird. There is one, out of the 99.

Author:  Philip Lutley Sclater
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  17 Apr 1861
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 292
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3121

Matches: 2 hits

  • … V. Harcourt, 31 May 1856 , and letters to E.  W.  V.  Harcourt, 19 August [1856] and 23  …
  • … had corresponded on this topic in 1856 (see Correspondence vol.  6, letter from E.  W.   …

To H. W. Bates   4 April [1861]

Summary

CD urges HWB to write on his travels;

asks for facts on domestic variations;

is pleased by HWB’s acceptance of the theory of sexual selection.

He still believes in migration from north to south during glacial age.

Hopes Bates will publish a paper on mimicry.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Walter Bates
Date:  4 Apr [1861]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Stecher collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3109

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Hooker, 13 July [1856] and [16 October 1856] , and letter from J.  D.   …
  • … for his ‘big book’ on species, in 1856 (see Correspondence vol.  6, letters to J.  D.   …
  • 1856 ). Hooker also read the ‘abstract’ of this chapter that CD prepared for Origin (see ibid . , vol.  7, letters

To Abraham Dee Bartlett   26 May [1861]

Summary

Bearer brings three Porto Santo rabbits. Will ADB keep them and see whether they can be crossed with some other breed? CD believes they have become much reduced in size and modified in colour since their introduction into the island.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Abraham Dee Bartlett
Date:  26 May [1861]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3159

Matches: 2 hits

  • … vol.  6, letter from T.  V.  Wollaston, [February 1856] , and letter to W.  D.   …
  • … 8 [June 1856] . The Darwins were planning to leave soon for Torquay (see letter to W.   …

From W. B. Tegetmeier   4 May [1861]

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Summary

Sends some replies to CD’s queries and data on pigeon flights between Bordeaux and Verviers.

Author:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 May [1861]
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 256
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3139

Matches: 3 hits

  • … B.  Tegetmeier, 24 June [1856], and letter from Charles Lyell, …
  • … manifest. See Correspondence vol.  6, letters to W.  D. Fox, 15 March [1856] , and to W.   …
  • 1856 , n.  10. See also Origin , pp.  445–6, and Variation 1: 178, 248–50. Bernard Peirce Brent was a frequent contributor to both the Cottage Gardener and the Field on various subjects pertaining to domesticated birds and animals. Tegetmeier’s paper on Antwerp carrier pigeons did not appear in the Natural History Review , of which Thomas Henry Huxley was chief editor. See letters

To W. B. Tegetmeier   25 February [1861]

Summary

Would like to borrow WBT’s collection of fowls’ skulls.

Asks for WBT’s opinion of G. Ferguson, the author of a poultry book [Ferguson’s illustrated book of domestic poultry].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  25 Feb [1861]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3070

Matches: 1 hit

  • … to W.  B.  Tegetmeier, 31 May [1856] , and letters from Edward Hewitt , 18 December 1857   …

To Samuel Birch   6 April [1861]

Summary

Requests information about Japanese and Chinese encyclopedias,

about the rarity of fowls with black feathers,

and about date of the king Thouthmosis III.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Birch
Date:  6 Apr [1861]
Classmark:  British Museum (Department of the Middle East, Correspondence 1826–67: 1493
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3113A

Matches: 2 hits

  • … vol.  7, Supplement, letter to Samuel Birch, 8 April [1856] ). Apparently Birch was unable …
  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter to J.  E.  Gray, 14 January [1856] ). Birch subsequently …

To George Dickie   [5 July 1861]

Summary

Thanks for Listera specimen, which arrived withered from being sent in a wooden box.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Dickie
Date:  [5 July 1861]
Classmark:  Liverpool Central Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3198

Matches: 1 hit

  • … near Aberdeen (see Correspondence vol.  6, letter from George Dickie, 1 December 1856 ). …

To John Crawfurd   25 March [1861]

Summary

Asks for information about JC’s essay, "On the relation of the domesticated animals to civilisation" [read at BAAS meeting 1859].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Crawfurd
Date:  25 Mar [1861]
Classmark:  DAR 143: 299
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13786

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Edward Blyth , [ c . 22 March 1856]). See also letter to John Crawfurd, 7 April 1861 . The …

To B. P. Brent   1 April [1861]

Summary

Thanks for informatiion about birds and for copies of the Cottage Gardener (26 March 1861). Discusses ancestor of domestic fowl.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Bernard Peirce Brent
Date:  1 Apr [1861]
Classmark:  Richard Brent (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3107F

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Edward Blyth, 23 February 1856  and n.  21, and this volume, letter to W.  B. Tegetmeier, …

To John Lubbock   [before 5 February 1861]

Summary

Comments on JL’s paper ["Notes on the generative organs, and on the formation of the egg in the Annulosa", Proc. R. Soc. Lond. 11 (1860–2): 117–24].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  [before 5 Feb 1861]
Classmark:  DAR 263: 40c (EH 88206451)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3038

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter to John Lubbock, 27 October [1856] ; and vol.  7, letter to …

To Journal of Horticulture   [before 14 May 1861]

Summary

Asks D. Beaton whether varieties of the same species of Compositae frequently cross by insect agency or other means. Do the raisers of hollyhocks have to keep each variety separate for raising seed?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Journal of Horticulture
Date:  [before 14 May 1861]
Classmark:  Journal of Horticulture, Cottage Gardener, and Country Gentleman, n.s. 1 (1861): 112
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3147

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letters to George Bentham , 30 November [1856] , and to W.  D.   …
  • 1856 and from January 1860 to February 1866,—are in the Darwin Library–CUL. CD’s letter

To T. C. Eyton   14 May [1861]

Summary

Asks TCE to confirm some general statements on resemblances in skeletons of birds of same genus.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  14 May [1861]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.249)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3148

Matches: 1 hit

  • … letter to T.  C.  Eyton, 31 August [1856] ). See letter to T.  C.  Eyton, 6 May [1861] . …

To [Robert Chambers?]   13 April [1861]

Summary

Since his previous letter, has unexpectedly arranged to go to London next Tuesday.

Hopes to call on recipient.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Chambers
Date:  13 Apr [1861]
Classmark:  John Wilson (dealer) (#25007)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3117F

Matches: 1 hit

  • … of the address, which puts the letter between 1843 and 1846, or 1856 and 1868, and by the …

To J. D. Hooker   17 November [1861]

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Summary

JDH’s letter on grounds of generalisation in plant morphology.

Faunal distribution and the glacial period.

Orchid homologies.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  17 Nov [1861]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 131
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3322

Matches: 2 hits

  • … 14 November 1856 . Fermond 1859 (see letter from Daniel Oliver, 8 November 1861 ). CD was …
  • … see Correspondence vol.  6, letters from W.  F. Daniell, 8 October – 7 November 1856  and …

To H. W. Bates   15 December [1861]

Summary

Praises MS of first chapter of HWB’s book [The naturalist on the river Amazons (1863)]. Suggests he give common names and make comparisons to familiar English species to help readers. Suggests a few changes. Will speak strongly to Murray about publishing whenever HWB is ready.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Walter Bates
Date:  15 Dec [1861]
Classmark:  Leeds University Library Special Collections (Brotherton collection) (tipped into a copy of Bates 1892)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3345

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter to John Lubbock, 27 October [1856] ). The state of Pará is …

To the Field   [before 4 May 1861]

Summary

Information is sought from correspondents regarding the mental powers of Polish and other tufted fowls. CD finds it hard to believe that the protuberance of the front part of the skull, which is accompanied by a change in the shape of the brain, would not produce a change in mental powers. References to Bechstein, Pallas, and Tegetmeier regarding the stupid behaviour of these birds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  The Field
Date:  [before 4 May 1861]
Classmark:  The Field, the Farm, the Garden, the Country Gentleman’s Newspaper 17 (1861): 383
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3137A

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Correspondence vol.  6, letter to W.  B.  Tegetmeier, 20 March [1856] , and n.  3, below). …
  • letter appeared. It was headed: ‘Influence of the form of the brain on the character of fowls’. William Bernhard Tegetmeier read a short paper on the ‘remarkable peculiarities’ of the skulls of feather-crested Polish fowls at the Zoological Society of London in November 1856 ( …

From J. D. Hooker   [30 December 1861 or 6 January 1862]

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Summary

Glad CD has given up on Acropera ovules.

Doubts phanerogams less different in extreme forms [than Crustacea].

No systematic parallelism between plants and animals.

Offers list of Arctic plants with their colours. Asks CD whether it is useful to add colour to [descriptions of] plants.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [30 Dec] 1861 or [6 Jan] 1862
Classmark:  DAR 101: 3–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3375

Matches: 2 hits

  • … distribution (see Correspondence vol.  6, letters to Charles Lyell , 16 [June 1856] and …
  • 1856] ). The existence of a sunken continent, ‘Atlantis’, had been invoked by Oswald Heer to explain the distribution of plants across Europe, Africa, and the Americas (Heer 1861a). In his letter

To Daniel Oliver   30 November [1861]

Summary

Requests that DO examine enclosed microscope slides of Acropera ovules, to confirm CD’s opinion that females are non-functional.

Can DO comment on disagreement between Robert Brown and John Lindley over the number of Acropera carpels?

O. Heer’s Atlantis theory vs CD’s hypothesis of a migration north during warm periods.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  30 Nov [1861]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 2 (EH 88205986)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3333

Matches: 2 hits

  • … see especially Correspondence vol.  6, letters to Charles Lyell , 16 [June 1856] and …
  • 1856] ). Oliver’s critique of Heer’s work was published in the Natural History Review (Oliver 1862a). CD postulated that during a pre-glacial warm period, northern temperate forms lived at latitudes further north and nearer to the pole than at present, and were able to migrate freely across the almost continuous land between western Europe and eastern America via Siberia ( Origin , pp.  369–70; see also Correspondence vol.  7, letter

To Daniel Oliver   7 December [1861]

Summary

Trusts DO’s opinion on Acropera ovules.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  7 Dec [1861]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 3 (EH 88205987)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3340

Matches: 2 hits

  • … see Correspondence vol.  6, letters to J.  S.  Henslow, 16 June [1856] , and to J.  D.   …
  • letter was first published in Schomburgk 1837 . Commenting on this and other such instances, John Lindley stated: ‘Such cases shake to the foundation all our ideas of the stability of genera and species, and prepare the mind for more startling discoveries than could have been otherwise anticipated. ’ ( Lindley 1853 , p.  178). Although CD deleted this sentence (see Manuscript alterations and comments), it has been retained in order to make sense of the following sentence, which pertains to it. CD experimented on Lychnis dioica in 1856, …
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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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