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From Edward Blyth   21 April 1855

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: 4 hits

  • … in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Paget, John. 1839. …
  • … By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. White, Gilbert. 1789. The natural …
  • … with hints for their management. London: John Murray. Fortune, Robert. 1852. A journey to …
  • … political, and economical. 2 vols. London: John Murray. Pallas, Pyotr Simon. 1774. Equus …

To J. S. Henslow   12 November 1855

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Summary

Draft of queries on the varieties of hollyhocks. [To be transmitted to William Chater by JSH; probably enclosed with 1778.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  12 Nov 1855
Classmark:  DAR 206: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1779

Matches: 2 hits

  • … for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Variation : The variation of …
  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

To William Bernhard Tegetmeier   31 August [1855]

Summary

Thanks for WBT’s offer to supply carcasses of good poultry breeds. Encloses list [missing] of birds in which he is interested.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  31 Aug [1855]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1751

Matches: 1 hit

  • … additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845. Richardson, Edmund William. 1916. …

To T. H. Huxley   31 March [1855]

Summary

Thinks J. O. Westwood deserves Royal Society’s Gold Medal. Asks THH’s opinion of his nomination. Lyell deserves Copley Medal, but, since he has Royal Medal, it may be objectionable to propose him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  31 Mar [1855]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 29)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1659

Matches: 1 hit

  • … Albert Charles Seward. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1903. Westwood, John Obadiah. 1839–40. …

To M. J. Berkeley   11 April [1855]

Summary

Thanks MJB for peas.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miles Joseph Berkeley
Date:  11 Apr [1855]
Classmark:  Shropshire Archives (SA 6001/134/42)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1665

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

To W. D. Fox   27 [June 1855]

Summary

Several seeds have come up after 65–70 days’ immersion in salt water.

Has now a fine collection of pigeons and intends to cross them systematically.

Needs information on mongrel crosses of animals of all kinds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  27 [June 1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 94)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1704

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

To W. D. Fox   22 August [1855]

Summary

Reports on his collection of skeletons of young and adults of various breeds of fowls and specimens still needed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  22 Aug [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 94a)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1745

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

To J. S. Henslow   7 July [1855]

Summary

Thanks JSH for seeds.

Clarifies his request about marking [London] catalogue [of British plants] – JSH is to mark those he thinks really are species, but which are very closely allied to some other species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  7 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A36–A37, A114
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1712

Matches: 1 hit

  • … growth of an idea. Letters 1831–1860. Edited by Nora Barlow. London: John Murray. 1967. …

To J. S. Henslow   28 July [1855]

Summary

Delighted JSH can dine. Has invited Hooker.

Thanks him for Lychnis seed.

Asks for umbel of wild celery. Wants to ascertain whether wild or tame plants produce most seed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  28 July [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A43–A44
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1732

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

To H. N. Shaw, Secretary, Royal Geographical Society   25 December [1855]

Summary

Has followed correspondent’s useful suggestions of sources of information [on variation in domesticated animals in various regions of the globe].

Asks him to sound out [Mr Consul Brand?] about skinning some bird specimens for him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Henry Norton Shaw
Date:  25 Dec [1855]
Classmark:  Royal Geographical Society
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1800

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

To W. D. Fox   7 May [1855]

Summary

William Yarrell has assured him that call ducks cross freely with common varieties. CD would like a seven-day duckling and an old one that dies a natural death.

CD is depressed – all his experiments are going wrong, "all nature is perverse and will not do as I wish it". Feels he is getting out of his depth.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  7 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 90)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1678

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

To W. D. Fox   23 May [1855]

Summary

He may insert his request for lizards’ eggs in Gardeners’ Chronicle.

His study of mongrel chicks is to ascertain whether the young of domestic breeds differ as much as their parents.

Has already sent a communication on means of distribution of plants by sea to Gardeners’ Chronicle [Collected papers 1: 255–8].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  23 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 92)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1686

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

From G. R. Waterhouse   [after 2 March 1855]

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Summary

Gives instances of sexual differences in the number of tarsi within species of Coleoptera and also variation in the number of tarsi between related species.

Author:  George Robert Waterhouse
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 2 Mar 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 47: 133–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1625

Matches: 1 hit

  • … for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Westwood, John Obadiah. 1839–40. …

From Bartholomew James Sulivan   2 February [1855]

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Summary

The only mainland vegetation he saw on Falkland Island shores were trees. Remembers no strange birds there, but on journey home saw a woodcock more than 500 miles from the nearest land.

Author:  Bartholomew James Sulivan
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Feb [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 251
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1551

Matches: 1 hit

  • … by Henrietta Litchfield. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1915. OED : The Oxford English …

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 29 December 1855]

Summary

CD requests accurate information on the extent to which the different varieties of fruit-trees produce seedlings like their parents. Do some varieties of pears and apples tend to produce truer offspring than other varieties?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 29 Dec 1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 52, 29 December 1855, p. 854
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1803

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

From Edward Blyth   8 October 1855

Summary

Encloses two sets of notes [see 1761 and 1762]. EB believes that as a general rule species do not inter-mix in nature whereas varieties, descendants of a common stock, do. Origin of varieties. Geographically separated species are sometimes obviously distinct and sometimes apparently identical. EB does not believe that species or races of independent origin need necessarily differ. Local distribution of species of black cockatoo contrasts with the widespread white cockatoo. The occurrence of distinct but related species in different regions of a zoological province, preserved because of geographical barriers. Instances of interspecific hybrids and intraspecific sterility. Local varieties of species. Varieties are subdivisions of the main branches of the tree of organisms, dividing irregularly but remaining independent of the twigs from another branch.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Oct 1855
Classmark:  DAR 98: A99–A103
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1760

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …
  • … causes now in operation. 3 vols. London: John Murray. OED : The Oxford English dictionary. …

To J. S. Henslow   10 November [1855]

Summary

Thanks for seeds. Feels "almost foiled" in his experiments on sea transport – has found few plants that float after more than a week’s immersion.

Sends a list of queries [see 1779] on hollyhocks to put to growers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  10 Nov [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A103–A105
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1778

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

From George Gordon   24 December 1855

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Summary

Reports success of hybrid cross with Vallota and the failure of another cross.

Author:  George Gordon
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Dec 1855
Classmark:  DAR 205.7: 281
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1799

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. …

From Edward Blyth   [1–8 October 1855]

Summary

Notes on Lyell’s Principles, vol. 2.

EB does not believe in connecting links between genera; there is no tendency to gradation between groups of animals.

Does not believe shortage of food can directly produce any heritable effect on size.

Comments on significance of variations discussed by Lyell. Variation in dentition and coloration.

Behaviour of elephants and monkeys.

When varieties are crossed EB considers that the form of the offspring, whether intermediate or like one or other of the parents, depends upon how nearly related the parents are.

Thinks that in the struggle for existence hybrids, and varieties generally, must be expected to give way to the "beautiful & minute adaptation" of the pure types.

Colours of Indian birds.

Vitality of seeds.

Variation among palms.

Fauna of Malaysia and New Zealand. Ranges of bird species.

[Memorandum originally enclosed with 1760.]

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [1–8 Oct 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A37–A50
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1762

Matches: 2 hits

  • … By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868. Wrangel, Ferdinand von. 1844. …
  • … now in operation. 3 vols. London: John Murray. Macgillivray, William. 1837–52. History of …

From C. J. F. Bunbury   10 April 1855

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Summary

Responds to CD’s questions about mountain vegetation of the Cape of Good Hope. The distribution of some plants provides problems for both migration and special creation hypotheses.

Author:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Apr 1855
Classmark:  DAR 205.4: 95
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1664

Matches: 1 hit

  • … history, and the native tribes. London: John Murray. Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1844–7. Flora …
Document type
letter (48)
Date
1855
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05 (3)
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John Murray in keywords
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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: 11 hits

  • … was published on 22 November 1859. The publisher was John Murray, who specialised in non-fiction, …
  • … his name and in 1768 acquired a publishing house. The third John Murray, who followed his father as …
  • … house; the seventh sold the business in 2002. The  John Murray Archive  was acquired by the  …
  • … University Library  a similar number of letters from John Murray and Robert Cooke, his cousin and …
  • … had proved to be a scientific best-seller for the second John Murray, to open negotiations with his …
  • … began the business relationship between Charles Darwin and John Murray. Darwin’s next …
  • … . Again he asked Lyell to act as his intermediary with John Murray ( Letter 2437 ), who, without …
  • … had paid Darwin profits of nearly £3000. The third John Murray made a successful business …
  • … ). Darwin’s next publishing project with John Murray in 1869 was a translation into English …
  • … in the  Quarterly Review , a magazine published by John Murray.The pamphlets were not primarily …
  • … his orders ( Letter 8616 ). However, when Robert Cooke, John Murray’s cousin, went round to …

List of correspondents

Summary

Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

Matches: 1 hits

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: 4 hits

  • … Variation . In March Darwin wrote to his publisher, John Murray, ‘Of present book I have 7 …
  • … forward, except the last & concluding one’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 March [1865] ). In …
  • … will be ready for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In early …
  • … ‘I am never idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not …

Darwin in letters, 1867: A civilised dispute

Summary

Charles Darwin’s major achievement in 1867 was the completion of his large work, The variation of animals and plants under domestication (Variation). The importance of Darwin’s network of correspondents becomes vividly apparent in his work on expression in…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … of the size of the two-volume work from his publisher, John Murray, he wrote to Murray on 3 …
  • … is as good as praise for selling a Book’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 January [1867] ). A …
  • … to translate  Variation . Indeed, he told his publisher, John Murray, in a letter of 4 April …
  • … time it took William Sweetland Dallas to prepare the index. John Murray had engaged Dallas and …

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: 4 hits

  • … to spread my views’, he wrote to his publisher, John Murray, on 30 January , shortly after …
  • … photographic plates with his overseas publishers, and with John Murray’s assistant, the excitable …
  • … of the booksellers, encouraged an originally cautious John Murray to gamble on the book’s success: & …
  • … attractive dishes in his `Literary Banquet’ (letters from John Murray, 6 November [1872] and 9 …

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year

Summary

The year 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working on second editions of Coral reefs and Descent of man; the rest of the year was mostly devoted to further research on insectivorous plants. A…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … of anonymous reviews. Its proprietor was none other than John Murray, Darwin’s publisher. So …
  • … to review me in a hostile spirit’ ( letter to John Murray, 11 August 1874 ). Darwin was …
  • … number of the Review & in the same type’  ( letter from John Murray, 12 August 1874 ). George …
  • … from E. A. Darwin, 17 [March 1874] ). He tried to persuade John Murray to publish a second edition …
  • … authority on marriage customs in  Descent  ( see letter John Murray, 9 May [1874] ). He …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions

Summary

For such an iconic work, the text of Origin was far from static. It was a living thing that Darwin continued to shape for the rest of his life, refining his ‘one long argument’ through a further five English editions.  Many of his changes were made in…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … a larger target audience were also made.  Darwin persuaded John Murray to include a glossary of …

Women as a scientific audience

Summary

Target audience? | Female readership | Reading Variation Darwin's letters, in particular those exchanged with his editors and publisher, reveal a lot about his intended audience. Regardless of whether or not women were deliberately targeted as a…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … chapters of Origin of Species to his publisher, John Murray. He hopes that his views are …

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest

Summary

The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression.…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … ‘a windbag full of metaphysics & classics’ ( letter to John Murray, 13 April [1871] ). …
  • … he suspected that very few would actually sell (letters to John Murray, 17 August [1871] and …

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

  • … In late March, Lyell had a word with his own publisher, John Murray, who had already published …

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: 4 hits

  • … Lyell, 28 March [1859] ). Lyell suggested the firm of John Murray, publishers of the second edition …
  • … letter from Elwin to Murray, 3 May 1859 , and letter to John Murray, 6 May [1859] ). The …
  • … (letters to Charles Lyell, 28 March [1859] , and to John Murray, 10 September [1859] ), but …
  • … would change their minds without good cause.’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 December [1859] ). …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments

Summary

1862 was a particularly productive year for Darwin. This was not only the case in his published output (two botanical papers and a book on the pollination mechanisms of orchids), but more particularly in the extent and breadth of the botanical experiments…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … buy it. When he submitted the manuscript to his publisher, John Murray, he boasted: ‘I can say with …
  • … in the least , whether the Book will sell’ ( letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862] ). To his …

St George Jackson Mivart

Summary

In the second half of 1874, Darwin’s peace was disturbed by an anonymous article in the Quarterly Review suggesting that his son George was opposed to the institution of marriage and in favour of ‘unrestrained licentiousness’. Darwin suspected, correctly,…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … also wondering whether he should break off relations with John Murray, his own publisher and also …
  • … courteous response, agreeing to all he asked ( letter from John Murray, 12 August 1874 ). …
  • … having been used in a Pickwickian sense’ ( letter to John Murray, 18 October 1874 ). In other …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex

Summary

The quantity of Darwin’s correspondence increased dramatically in 1868 due largely to his ever-widening research on human evolution and sexual selection.Darwin’s theory of sexual selection as applied to human descent led him to investigate aspects of the…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … domestication . Having been advertised by the publisher John Murray as early as 1865, the two …
  • … in the British Museum, agreed about the authorship. John Murray thought it was by Gray himself, but …
  • … me in the face, but not behind my back’ ( letter to John Murray, 25 February [1868] ). Wallace …

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings

Summary

‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … .’ Hooker also directed some of his anger toward John Murray, the publisher of the …
  • … to pay the costs for printing an additional 250 ( letter to John Murray, 3 May 1875 ). In …

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 …

John Lort Stokes

Summary

John Lort Stokes, naval officer, was Charles Darwin’s cabinmate on the Beagle voyage – not always an enviable position.  After Darwin’s death, Stokes penned a description of their evenings spent working at the large table at the centre, Stokes at his…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … John Lort Stokes, naval officer, was Charles Darwin’s cabinmate on the Beagle voyage – not …

Darwin in letters,1866: Survival of the fittest

Summary

The year 1866 began well for Charles Darwin, as his health, after several years of illness, was now considerably improved. In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of  Origin. Darwin got the fourth…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of On …
  • … On 21 February Darwin received notification from John Murray that stocks of the third edition of  …
  • … out, ‘business would be totally paralysed’. Similarly, John Murray gave as a reason for his decision …
  • … ‘gaieties travelling & War Bulletins’ ( letter from John Murray, 18 July 1866 ). I …

John Maurice Herbert

Summary

John Maurice Herbert was a close friend of Darwin’s at Cambridge University. He was affectionately called ‘Cherbury’ by Darwin, a reference to the seventeenth-century philosopher Edward Herbert, Baron Cherbury, who, like John Herbert, hailed from…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … chapter. Edited by Francis Darwin. 3 vols. London: John Murray. 1887–8. …

Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?

Summary

Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … “for Heaven knows when it will be ready” ( letter to John Murray, 4 May [1873] ). Keeping …
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