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Darwin Correspondence Project

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To Laurence Edmondston   19 April [1857]

Summary

Thanks for pigeon.

Are there Shetland birds chequered with black marks, as Carl Julian Graba states are in Faeroes [Reise nach Färö (1830)] and Col. King in the Hebrides?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Laurence Edmondston
Date:  19 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  L. D. Edmondston (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2079

Matches: 1 hit

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

To T. C. Eyton   9 June [1857]

Summary

Comments on TCE’s work [Catalogue of the species of birds in his collection (1856)].

Mentions African dog’s skin.

Asks about colours of horses

and about variation in tracheae of male birds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Campbell Eyton
Date:  9 June [1857]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.146)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2103

Matches: 1 hit

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

From Richard Hill   10 January 1857

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Summary

Will attend to any subject in Jamaica about which CD wants information.

Crithagra brasiliensis and canary refused to pair.

A collection of Jamaican land Mollusca will be presented to the British Museum.

Hurricanes are a considerable influence on diffusion of birds and insects.

Author:  Richard Hill
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Jan 1857
Classmark:  DAR 205.2: 237
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2038

Matches: 1 hit

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

From George Robert Waterhouse   14 April 1857

Summary

Has found no reference to construction of bees’ cells in works referred to by CD. Describes cell of Osmia atricapilla. Hive-bees’ cell was described at Entomological Society.

Author:  George Robert Waterhouse
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Apr 1857
Classmark:  DAR 181: 21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2078

Matches: 1 hit

  • … for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Richardson, Edmund William. 1916. …

From Hensleigh Wedgwood   [before 29 September 1857]

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Summary

Suggests CD use the common origin of the French "chef" and the English "head" or "évêque" and "bishop" to illustrate the parallels between extinction and transitional forms in language and palaeontology [see Natural selection, p. 384].

Author:  Hensleigh Wedgwood
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 29 Sept 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 48: A80–1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2070

Matches: 1 hit

  • … for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, …

From H. C. Watson   10 March 1857

Summary

HCW is trying to define what CD means by "variable" genera.

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Mar 1857
Classmark:  DAR 181: 35
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2063

Matches: 1 hit

  • … of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. …

To Edward Sabine   16 March [1857]

Summary

Would rather not serve on Royal Society committee [for a North American exploring expedition]. Suggests subjects for geological investigation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward Sabine
Date:  16 Mar [1857]
Classmark:  The Royal Society (MM4: 39)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2241

Matches: 1 hit

  • … and William Kirby. 4 vols. London and Norwich: John Murray; Richard Bentley; J. Fletcher. …

To Secretary, Academia Caesarea Leopoldino-Carolina Naturae Curiosorum   8 September [1857]

Summary

CD acknowledges honour of his election to the Academy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Academia Caesarea Leopoldino-Carolina Naturae Curiosorum
Date:  8 Sept [1857]
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 200–202 )
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2138

Matches: 1 hit

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

To T. H. Huxley   3 October [1857]

Summary

Thinks naturalists look for something further than Cuvier’s view of classification. Poses a theoretical problem on the classification of the races of man to prove that a genealogical system is best.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  3 Oct [1857]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 139)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2150

Matches: 1 hit

  • … of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. …

To Asa Gray   18 June [1857]

Summary

Thanks for AG’s remarks on disjoined species. CD’s notions are based on belief that disjoined species have suffered much extinction, which is the common cause of small genera and disjoined ranges.

Discusses out-crossing in plants.

Has failed to meet with a detailed account of regular and normal impregnation in the bud. Podostemon, Subularia, and underwater Leguminosae are the strongest cases against him.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  18 June [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (9a)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2109

Matches: 1 hit

  • … for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Smith, Thomas. 1822. On certain …

To Asa Gray   [after 15 March 1857]

Summary

Urges AG to generalise from his observations on the flora of the northern U. S.

Expected to find separation of sexes in trees because he believes all living beings require an occasional cross, and none is perpetually self-fertilising. The multitude of flowers of a tree would be an obstacle to cross-fertilisation unless the sexes tended to be separate.

The Leguminosae are CD’s greatest opposers; he cannot find that garden varieties ever cross. Could AG inquire of intelligent nurserymen on the subject?

Thanks AG for information on protean genera; much wants to know whether their great variability is due to their conditions of existence or is innate in them at all times and places.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  [After 15 Mar 1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University (8)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2060

Matches: 1 hit

  • … of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. …

To Robert Patterson   12 November [1857]

Summary

The [Irish] rabbits arrived safely. "They shall be skeletonized." CD now has rabbits from Shetland, Madeira and Ireland; hopes to receive one from Jamaica.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Patterson
Date:  12 Nov [1857]
Classmark:  W. E. Praeger 1935, p. 714
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2168

Matches: 1 hit

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

To W. B. Tegetmeier   12 [May 1857]

Summary

Accepts a dozen eggs of rumpless Polands. Having so many enables him to see whether the breed "comes true".

Asks what colour turbits have dark tails – "it is just the class of facts which interest me".

Do fowls when crossed throw odd and unexpected colours like pigeons?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  12 [May 1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2090

Matches: 1 hit

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

To Alfred Russel Wallace   1 May 1857

Summary

Reports long preparation of work on how species and varieties differ. Agreement with Wallace’s conclusions as reported in Annals and Magazine of Natural History and in his letter to CD of 10 0ct [1856]. On distinction between domestic varieties and those in "a state of nature".

On mating of jaguars and leopards, the breeding of poultry, pigeons, etc.

Requests help for his experimenting on means of distribution of organic beings on oceanic islands.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  1 May 1857
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2086

Matches: 1 hit

  • … for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Wallace, Alfred Russel. 1853. A …

To W. B. Tegetmeier   6 February [1857]

Summary

Would welcome eggs of any rumpless fowl so that he can investigate how early in development rudimentary organs are rudimentary.

Has not noticed much difference between skeletons of ducks.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  6 Feb [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2048

Matches: 1 hit

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

To W. B. Tegetmeier   [18 June 1857]

Summary

Is glad WBT is investigating "the tail question"; hopes he will work out "down & colour point". Is much interested in runts, which seem to vary more than other breeds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  [18 June 1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2108

Matches: 1 hit

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

To W. B. Tegetmeier   29 September [1857]

Summary

Will collect no more pigeons. Is awaiting Burmese fowls’ skins coming via Berlin.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  29 Sept [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2146

Matches: 1 hit

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

To W. B. Tegetmeier   27 July [1857]

Summary

Arrangements for delivery of pigeons and poultry to Down.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  27 July [1857]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2128

Matches: 1 hit

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

To W. D. Fox   17 December [1857]

Summary

Thanks WDF for his letter about a rabbit breed that he thinks is the Himalaya. He is particularly glad to hear of it because it breeds so true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  17 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 105)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2187

Matches: 1 hit

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

From T. V. Wollaston   [12 April 1857]

Summary

Lists groups of insects absent from the Madeiran fauna.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [12 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 181: 139
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2076

Matches: 1 hit

  • … for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859. Wollaston, Thomas Vernon. 1854. …
Document type
letter (38)
Date
1857
01 (1)
02 (1)
03 (4)
04 (6)
05 (4)
06 (3)
07 (2)
08 (2)
09 (5)
10 (1)
11 (4)
12 (5)
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John Murray in keywords
86 Items
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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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