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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

  • … [1866] ). Darwin began riding the cob, Tommy, on 4 June 1866, and in a letter to his …
  • … before the season is over’ ( letter from John Lubbock, 4 August 1866 ). More predictably, however, …
  • … is known on the subject’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 and 4 August [1866] ). And on the next day: …
  • … he had sounded the charge’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [4 September 1866] ). 'Natural …

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: 3 hits

  • … Two Mission priests Mr. Maclagan 3 & Mr. Wilkinson 4 had the bulk of the work. …
  • … them of a higher life— The plan of the Mission is 3 or 4 services every day in the church with one …
  • … Hampshire Advertiser , 21 January 1871, p. 7. 4 Probably John Bourdieu Wilkinson . …

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

  • … “Es hebt ihn keiner, bis ich selbst ihn hebe!” 4 O schlauer Spruch! Wann hätte je der Gott …
  • … “You may not lift it, till I myself shall lift it!” 4 O what a wise saying! When did God …
  • … poem of the same name by Friedrich von Schiller. 4. This is a partial quotation from …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions

Summary

Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, with full debunking below...

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, …

Darwin in letters, 1847-1850: Microscopes and barnacles

Summary

Darwin's study of barnacles, begun in 1844, took him eight years to complete. The correspondence reveals how his interest in a species found during the Beagle voyage developed into an investigation of the comparative anatomy of other cirripedes and…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … write the chapter on geology ( letter to J. F. W. Herschel, 4 February [1848] ). Letters between …
  • … into a sessile, adult organism ( Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix II). One particular aspect of …
  • … affinities of the cirripedes ( Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix II). In some cases he felt he …

Interview with Tim Lewens

Summary

Dr Tim Lewens is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Organisms and artifacts (2004), which examines the language and arguments for design in biology and philosophy, and of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … inherent in Darwin’s work. 4. The expanding scope of biology …

Suggested reading

Summary

  Contemporary writing Anon., The English matron: A practical manual for young wives, (London, 1846). Anon., The English gentlewoman: A practical manual for young ladies on their entrance to society, (Third edition, London, 1846). Becker, L. E.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … species : A b iography , (London, 2006),  chapter 4: Controversy , pp. 84 – 117.  …

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: 3 hits

  • … to long hours of work’ ( letter to Easton and Anderson, 4 May [1874] ). At the end of June, …
  • … by her canaries ( letter from T. M. Story-Maskelyne, 4 May 1874 ). In a second letter to  Nature …
  • … Society of France ( letter to Eugène Desmarest, 4 March 1874 ). He featured in the scientific …

Darwin in letters, 1864: Failing health

Summary

On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July 1864: ‘the venerable beard gives the look of your having suffered, and … of having grown older’.  Because of poor health, Because of poor health, Darwin…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … la Darwin!’ ( letter from Hugh Falconer, 3 November 186[4] ). The French botanist, Charles Victor …
  • … bearded this lion in his den’ ( letter to B. D. Walsh, 4 December [1864] ). Walsh also supported …
  • … been any failure of justice’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 4 November 1864 ). Huxley …

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: 4 hits

  • … his criticisms in a letter in the  Athenæum , on 4 April, concluding with an invitation to Lyell …
  • … that he had started the previous year ( letter to Asa Gray, 4 August [1863] ). The results were …
  • … as anything in orchids’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 4 August [1863] ). He acquired tropical …
  • … slaves stops all my enthusiasm’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 4 August [1863] ). He urged Gray not to hate …

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: 3 hits

  • … Indeed, he told his publisher, John Murray, in a letter of 4 April [1867] , not to send …
  • … whether it was worth reading ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 4 February 1867 ). In a letter to his son …
  • … 13, letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1865] and n. 4). Darwin’s wife and children also …

Interview with Emily Ballou

Summary

Emily Ballou is a writer of novels and screenplays, and a prize-winning poet. Her book The Darwin Poems, which explores aspects of Darwin’s life and thoughts through the medium of poetry, was recently published by the University of Western Australia Press.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … myself and him through this form. 4. How did your research affect your view …

Darwin in letters, 1861: Gaining allies

Summary

The year 1861 marked an important change in the direction of Darwin’s work. He had weathered the storm that followed the publication of Origin, and felt cautiously optimistic about the ultimate acceptance of his ideas. The letters from this year provide an…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … a favourable opportunity’ ( letter from Joseph Leidy, 4 March [1861] ). However, the publication …
  • … to Nat. History.—’ ( letter to H. W. Bates, 4 April [1861] ). He also advised that the public …

Vivisection: first sketch of the bill

Summary

Strictly Confidential Mem: This print is only a first sketch. It is being now recast with a new & more simple form – but the substance of the proposed measure may be equally well seen in this draft. R.B.L. | 2 586 Darwin and vivisection …

Matches: 2 hits

  • … “ 3. —Who shall give certificate. “ 4. —Duration of license. “ 5. …
  • … in Great Britain. Duration of licence. 4.—No licence granted under this act shall remain …

Darwin in letters, 1877: Flowers and honours

Summary

Ever since the publication of Expression, Darwin’s research had centred firmly on botany. The year 1877 was no exception. The spring and early summer were spent completing Forms of flowers, his fifth book on a botanical topic. He then turned to the…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and affection’. He hinted as much in his letter of 4 June : ‘you will see I have done an …
  • … family friend, Elinor Dicey, Darwin wrote to Henrietta on 4 October , ‘You ought to have seen …

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

  • … are not supplied unless good evidence is at hand. 4. The letter summaries The …

Origin is 160; Darwin's 1875 letters now online

Summary

To mark the 160th anniversary of the publication of Origin of species, the full transcripts and footnotes of nearly 650 letters to and from Charles Darwin in 1875 are published online for the first time. You can read about Darwin's life in 1875…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … made this possible  ( Letter to H. E. Litchfield, 4 January [1875] ) Agitation for a …

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: 2 hits

  • … knows when it will be ready” ( letter to John Murray, 4 May [1873] ). Keeping it in the …
  • … the project as “utopian” ( letter to Francis Galton, 4 January [1873] ). Continuing the line of …

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: 3 hits

  • … Letter 5705 - Haast, J. F. J. von to Darwin, [4 December 1867] Explorer and geologist …
  • … Letter 3681  - Wedgwood, M. S. to Darwin, [before 4 August 1862] Darwin’s niece, …
  • … through the Sikkim Himalaya and Tibet. Letter 4139  - Darwin, W. E. to Darwin, [4

Francis Galton

Summary

Galton was a naturalist, statistician, and evolutionary theorist. He was a second cousin of Darwin’s, having descended from his grandfather, Erasmus. Born in Birmingham in 1822, Galton studied medicine at King’s College, London, and also read mathematics…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … & how difficult to judge on these latter heads” ( 4 January [1873] ). Like most of his …
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