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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…

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Clémence Auguste Royer

Summary

Getting Origin translated into French was harder than Darwin had expected. The first translator he approached, Madame Belloc, turned him down on the grounds that the content was ‘too scientific‘, and then in 1860 the French political exile  Pierre…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Darwin was perplexed to say the least; “I received 2 or 3 days ago”, he told Asa Gray in 1862 , …
  • … “Woman,” she concluded, “is not made like this.”  [2] [1] See J. Harvey, Almost a Man …

Suggested reading

Summary

There is an extensive secondary literature on Darwin's life and work. Here are some suggested titles that focus Darwin’s correspondence, as well as scientific correspondence and letter-writing more generally. Collections of Darwin’s letters …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … On Darwin’s correspondence: Browne, J. 1995–2002. Charles Darwin . 2 vols. London: …

British Association meeting 1860

Summary

Several letters refer to events at the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in Oxford, 26 June – 3 July 1860. Darwin had planned to attend the meeting but in the end was unable to. The most famous incident of the meeting was the verbal…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … 1918, 1: 521–4); Charles Lyell (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 335–6); John Lubbock (Hutchinson 1914, 1: …

The Voyage of the Beagle

Summary

It was a letter from his friend and former teacher, John Stevens Henslow, that brought the 22-year-old Charles Darwin news of the offer of a place on board the Admiralty surveying vessel HMS Beagle on a voyage to chart the coast of South America. During…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … him likewise as a  gentleman . …The Voyage is to last 2 y rs . & if you take plenty of Books …

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: 3 hits

  • … as ‘almost an essay’ and quoted at length in Descent 2: 117-8, to brief answers to a series of …
  • … to ask a man to marry them is quoted in Descent 2: 374. Darwin seized on Reade as a valuable …
  • … request, staining some of his pigeons magenta ( Descent 2: 118).  Although the details of the …

5873_1488

Summary

From B. J. Sulivan   13 February [1868]f1 Bournemouth Feby. 13. My dear Darwin As Mr Stirling has sent me the recpt. you may as well have it with the Photo of the four Fuegian boys which he wishes me to send you in case you have not seen it. He…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … | B J Sulivan CD annotations 1.1 As … mail 3.2] crossed pencil 3.2 As] …
  • … donation to the South American Missionary Society (see n. 2, below). The receipt would have been …
  • … f5 CD quoted this passage in Descent 2: 241 as illustrating the general tendency of male …

5935_4582

Summary

From J. D. Hooker   26[–7] February 1868KewFeby 26th/68Dear Darwin I have been bursting with impatience to hear what you would say of the Athenæum Review & who wrote it— I could not conceive who…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … CD annotations 1.1 I have … Gravity— 2.7] crossed pencil 3.4 potentiality] underl red …
  • … … intelligeable!!! 4.7] double scored red crayon 6.2 I can … the parent. 6.6] scored red …
  • … del blue crayon , ‘structures’ above blue crayon 2.1 Every such] ‘(2)’ added before blue …

Alexander Burns Usborne

Summary

Alexander Burns Usborne was born in Kendal, Westmorland, in 1808, the son of Alexander and Margaret Usborne; his father died in 1818 and in his will was described as the purser on HMS Hannibal. His son joined the navy in 1825 aged 16 as a second-class…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … 1841 (The National Archives: Public Record Office HO107/276/2/21/36), 1851 (HO107/1877/160/2), 1861 …

William Yarrell

Summary

William Yarrell was a London businessman, a stationer and bookseller, who became an expert on British birds and fish, writing standard reference works on both.  He was a member of several science and natural history societies, including the Linnean Society…

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  • … William Yarrell was a London businessman, a stationer and bookseller, who became an expert on …

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: 3 hits

  • … now heard of ‘a few authentic exceptions’ ( Variation 2: 329), and still they kept coming .  …
  • … th and 6 th editions.  As he explained ( Variation 2: 319–38), he had formerly used the …
  • … the two examples Darwin refers to in the book ( Variation 2d, 2: 322 n. 24).  By this stage …

Floral Dimorphism

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Floral studies In 1877 Darwin published a book that included a series of smaller studies on botanical subjects. Titled The different forms of flowers on plants of the same species, it consisted primarily of…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … Victorian Naturalists." Victorian Studies, Vol. 51, No.2, Special Issue: Darwin and the …
  • … were an important part of Darwin's science? 2. Why do you think that Darwin's work …

Darwin in letters, 1837–1843: The London years to 'natural selection'

Summary

The seven-year period following Darwin's return to England from the Beagle voyage was one of extraordinary activity and productivity in which he became recognised as a naturalist of outstanding ability, as an author and editor, and as a professional…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … and corals by William Lonsdale ( Collected papers , 2). Darwin’s crustacean specimens, originally …
  • … that he had printed and distributed ( Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix V). As P. J. Vorzimmer has …
  • … his engagement (transcribed in Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix IV). During the same period he …
  • … in an autobiographical fragment ( Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix III). The letters that Emma and …
  • … been many thousands of years old. At the time when volume 2 of The Correspondence was published, …

Was Darwin an ecologist?

Summary

One of the most fascinating aspects of Charles Darwin’s correspondence is the extent to which the experiments he performed at his home in Down, in the English county of Kent, seem to prefigure modern scientific work in ecology.

Matches: 3 hits

  • … of existence.”’ (Ernst Haeckel, Generelle Morphologie 2: 286; translation from Stauffer 1957, p. 140 …
  • … study to an ‘uncritical’ natural history (Haeckel 1866, 2: 286–7; see also Stauffer 1957, p. 141). …
  • … die von Charles Darwin reformirte Descendenz-Theorie . 2 vols. Berlin: Georg Reimer. Haeckel, …

Biogeography

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Observations aboard the Beagle During his five year journey around the world on HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin encountered many different landscapes and an enormous variety of flora and fauna. Some of his most…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … undertake soak common garden seeds in salt water? 2. Why do you think Darwin did not publish …
  • … students observe the planted seeds at regular intervals for 2 weeks. At the end of the 2 weeks, have …

Darwin on marriage

Summary

On 11 November 1838 Darwin wrote in his journal ‘The day of days!’. He had proposed to his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, and been accepted; they were married on 29 January 1839. Darwin appears to have written these two notes weighing up the pros and cons of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … First note [after 7 April 1838][1] Work finished [2] If  not  marry | Travel. …

Introduction to the Satire of FitzRoy's Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle

Summary

'a humble toadyish follower…': Not all pictures of Darwin during the Beagle voyage are flattering.  Published here for the first time is a complete transcript of a satirical account of the Beagle’s brief visit in 1836 to the Cocos Keeling islands…

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  • … is indicated as [illeg] or, in the case of a phrase, [2 words illeg]. [ ]  indicates …

Black Venus

Summary

Sadiah Qureshi (University of Birmingham) on the film Vénus Noire (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2010) Sara Baartman has long been characterised as ‘Black Venus’, or ‘Vénus Noire’. The epithet encapsulates how her exploitation and objectification whilst alive…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … contextualise discussions of contemporary female sexuality.[2] This conflation between the …

Elleparu (York Minster)

Summary

Elleparu was one of the Alakaluf, or canoe people from the western part of Tierra del Fuego. He was captured by Robert FitzRoy, captain of HMS Beagle, in 1830 after one the small boats used for surveying the narrow inlets of the coast of Tierra del Fuego…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … specimen of uncivilized  human nature’ ( Narrative 2: 2). While being educated at Walthamstow …

Insectivorous plants

Summary

Darwin’s work on insectivorous plants began by accident. While on holiday in the summer of 1860, staying with his wife’s relatives in Hartfield, Sussex, he went for long walks on the heathland and became curious about the large number of insects caught by…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … to end in proving it to be an animal.’ ( Emma Darwin 2: 177) By the end of August he had …
  • … with a sharp lancet at a certain point, I can paralyse 1/2 the leaf, so that a stimulus to the other …
  • … edition.  Insectivorous plants was published on 2 July 1875 and it was immediately clear that …
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