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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

  • … Letter 3054: Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 2 Feb [1861] If the descent of languages was …

Darwin and religion: a definitive web resource

Summary

I am aware that if we admit a first cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came and how it arose.  Charles Darwin to N. D. Doedes, 2 April 1873 Darwin is more famous, and more notorious than ever. Nowhere is this more evident than in the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … arose.   Charles Darwin to N. D. Doedes, 2 April 1873 Darwin is more …

Survival of the fittest: the trouble with terminology Part II

Summary

The most forceful and persistent critic of the term ‘natural selection’ was the co-discoverer of the process itself, Alfred Russel Wallace.  Wallace seized on Herbert Spencer’s term ‘survival of the fittest’, explicitly introduced as an alternative way of…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … ones. ( Alfred Russel Wallace to Charles Darwin, 2 July 1866 )   …
  • … Principles of biology (Spencer 1864–7, 1: 444–5, 2: 48, et passim ).  Wallace was so taken with …
  • … (the copy is now in Cambridge University Library, Keynes.M.2.27). Shorthand for the survival and …
  • … of the fittest in the last paragraph of Variation (2: 432), but although he altered the chapter …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute

Summary

In May 1865 a dispute arose between John Lubbock and Charles Lyell when Lubbock, in his book Prehistoric times, accused Lyell of plagiarism. The dispute caused great dismay among many of their mutual scientific friends, some of whom took immediate action…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … sites in both France and Germany (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 336). In April 1860, Lubbock travelled …
  • … of errata’ that he may have seen, and then mentioned: 2 have struck out Galton …
  • … what he thought of the affair ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ). Hooker, for his part, …

Books on the Beagle

Summary

The Beagle was a sort of floating library.  Find out what Darwin and his shipmates read here.

Matches: 10 hits

  • … places’. So wrote Captain FitzRoy in the  Narrative  (2: 18). CD, in his letter to Henslow, 9 …
  • … in notes made during 1833 cite secondary sources (DAR 33: 254 and DAR 30.2: 112) but several later …
  • … during the summer of 1836 (Sulloway 1982b, pp. 331–2, n. 13). Finally, there are two works that CD …
  • … de Voisins, Jean Franc~ois d’.  Traité de géognosie . 2 vols. Strasbourg, 1819. (Inscription in …
  • … 1835). * Boitard, Pierre.  Manuel d’entomologie. 2 vols. Paris, 1828. (Inscription in vol. 2
  • … Forster. London, 1772. ( Voyage ,  p. 178; DAR 34.2: 153). §  British Association for …
  • … travaux de M. Gay.  Annales des Sciences Naturelles   28 (1833): 26–35. (DAR 35.2: 396). …
  • … With Notes . . . by Robert Jameson.  London, 1813. (DAR 30.2: 154). Darwin Library–CUL. …
  • … John.  Travels in the interior of Southern Africa . 2 vols. London, 1822–4. ( Voyage , p. 182;  …
  • … Blonde to the Sandwich Islands,   in the years 1824–25 . London, 1826. (DAR 31.2: 333; Stoddart …

German poems presented to Darwin

Summary

Experiments in deepest reverence The following poems were enclosed with a photograph album sent as a birthday gift to Charles Darwin by his German and Austrian admirers (see letter from From Emil Rade, [before 16] February 1877). The poems were…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … unaufhörlich ringen; Manch’ ein Eppur si muove! 2 klang Den dichten Nebel zu …
  • … shall be in eternal strife; Many an Eppur si muove! 2 was uttered To pierce the heavy …
  • … poet Ludovico Ariosto, first published in 1516. 2. Eppur si muove!: And yet it moves! …

Darwn's letters from 1878 online

Summary

Investigating the movements and 'sleep' of plants, being entertained by the mental faculties of his young grandson Bernard, finally elected a corresponding member of the French Académie des sciences, trying to secure a government grant to support…

Matches: 1 hits

  • …   I conclude that a child—just under 2 years is inferior in intellect to a monkey . …

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms

Summary

There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1880 on this website.  The full texts of the letters are not yet available online but are in volume 28 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin, published by Cambridge…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … old and new was published). Butler wrote to Darwin on 2 January 1880 for an explanation: …
  • … me is to hide the enlarged root, at least at first, beneath 2½ inches of soil as a protection …
  • … I should be greatly obliged’ ( letter from W. Z. Seddon, 2 February 1880) . Darwin sympathised …
  • … leave an indelible trace’ ( letter from Jules Rouquette, 2 April 1880 ).                 …

Capturing Darwin’s voice: audio of selected letters

Summary

On a sunny Wednesday in June 2011 in a makeshift recording studio somewhere in Cambridge, we were very pleased to welcome Terry Molloy back to the Darwin Correspondence Project for a special recording session. Terry, known for his portrayal of Davros in Dr…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … to help him with his research (e.g. to Lydia Becker, 2 August 1863 ; to Mary Treat, 5 January …

Darwin's works in letters

Summary

For the 162nd anniversary of the publication of Origin of species, we've added two new pages to our Works in letters section on Climbing plants and Forms of flowers. These complement our existing pages on the 'big book' before Origin,…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … obtain for my works. ( letter to Ernst Dieffenbach, 2 October 1843 ) Darwin …

Darwin’s queries on expression

Summary

When Darwin resumed systematic research on emotions around 1866, he began to collect observations more widely and composed a list of queries on human expression. A number of handwritten copies were sent out in 1867 (see, for example, letter to Fritz Muller…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Haast, J.F.J. von 12 May - 2 June 1867 Christchurch, …

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: 1 hits

  • … spirit séance’ at his home ( letter from T. G. Appleton, 2 April 1874 ). Back over old …

Editorial policy and practice

Summary

Full texts are added to this site four years after the letter is published in the print edition of the Correspondence. Transcriptions are made from the original or a facsimile where these are available. Where they are not, texts are taken from the best…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … identification is followed by a question mark. 2. The date Darwin rarely gave the year …

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: 2 hits

  • … of the following: Actor 1 – Asa Gray Actor 2 – Charles Darwin Actor 3 – In the …
  • … away, and he wrote that evening. GRAY:   2   [Since atheistic doctrines of evolution] …

George Busk

Summary

After the Beagle voyage, Darwin’s collection of bryozoans disappears from the records until the material was sent, in 1852, for study by George Busk, one of the foremost workers on the group of his day. In 1863, on the way down to Malvern Wells, Darwin had…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … by Charles and Lady Lyell ( letter from J. D. Hooker [2 June 1865] ).    …

Origin: the lost changes for the second German edition

Summary

Darwin sent a list of changes made uniquely to the second German edition of Origin to its translator, Heinrich Georg Bronn.  That lost list is recreated here.

Matches: 8 hits

  • …  Etienne    Page xiv, n., lines 2–5, delete ‘It is curious  . . .  in 1794’. 2    …
  • … modification of species.    Page xix, par. 1, line 2, insert after ‘and clearness.’: 5     …
  • … a single parent-form.    Page xix, par. 4, line 2, insert after ‘1860’: 6           …
  • …  ruminants    Page 18, par. 2, line 15, insert after ‘England’: 8   …
  • … will be given in a future work.    Page 46, par. 2, lines 22–4, substitute for ‘but then  . . …
  • … with the conqueror. By the way,    Page 99, par. 2, line 26, to page 100, par. 1, line 5, …
  • … in certain definite directions.    Page 162, par. 2, lines 6–7, insert after ‘deafness in’: …
  • …  (p. 32)    Page 182, par. 2, line 15, insert after ‘full-grown animal.’: 20        …

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: 3 hits

  • … might work in nature ( letter from Charles Lyell, 1–2 May 1856, n. 10 ). He was surprised that no …
  • … Asa Gray, vary in the United States ( letter to Asa Gray, 2 May 1856 )? What about weeds? Did they …
  • … complained Darwin in 1857 ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [2 May 1857] ). Making mistakes …

Henrietta Darwin's diary

Summary

Darwin's daughter Henrietta kept a diary for a few momentous weeks in 1871. This was the year in which Descent of Man, the most controversial of her father's books after Origin itself, appeared, a book which she had helped him write. The small…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … in my mind I will give an account of it. Lena & Alice M. 2 were both mission women, & …
  • … his wife, Emily Caroline , was nicknamed Lena. 2 Alice Massingberd . 3 …

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: 8 hits

  • … on some Marantaceous plant to make out meaning of 2 sets of differently coloured stamens.’ At …
  • … and a mere mouthpiece of ‘Jesuitical Rome’ ( Academy , 2 January 1875, pp. 16–17). ‘How grandly …
  • … sold some 1700 Copies!!!’ After the initial publication on 2 July, two further printings were needed …
  • … you were born (letter from E. F. Lubbock, [after 2 July] 1875).   Back over old …
  • … on her sister. He had described the case in Variation 2: 14–16, suggesting that such regrowth …
  • … the eyes of one variety into another ( Variation 2d ed. 1: 420–4, 2: 360). Darwin had encouraged …
  • … at its sensitiveness. If you blow gently at it from 1 or 2 feet distance, it absorbs moisture & …
  • … meeting: ‘I did so enjoy my afternoon’, she wrote on 2 July , ‘and if it were not too much to ask …

1879 Letters now online

Summary

In 1879, Darwin continued his research on movement in plants and researched, wrote, and published a short biography of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin as an introduction to a translation of an essay by Ernst Krause on Erasmus’s scientific work. Darwin’s son…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … certain irritations  ( Letter t o Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ) Darwin regarded …
  • … of Würzburg.   What a pity there cannot be 2 sets of men in our Government,—one to do …
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