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Darwin and Gender Projects by Harvard Students

Summary

Working in collaboration with Professor Sarah Richardson and Dr Myrna Perez, Darwin Correspondence Project staff developed a customised set of 'Darwin and Gender' themed resources for a course on Gender, Sex and Evolution first taught at Harvard…

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  • … his theory of sexual selection. Project #4: Physical Science, by Andrew Lea Our …

Religion

Summary

Design|Personal Belief|Beauty|The Church Perhaps the most notorious realm of controversy over evolution in Darwin's day was religion. The same can be said of the evolution controversy today; however the nature of the disputes and the manner in…

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  • … Letter 6492 — Innes, J. B. to Darwin, C. R., 4 Dec 1868 J. B. Innes, vicar of Down provides …

The death of Anne Elizabeth Darwin

Summary

Charles and Emma Darwin’s eldest daughter, Annie, died at the age of ten in 1851.   Emma was heavily pregnant with their fifth son, Horace, at the time and could not go with Charles when he took Annie to Malvern to consult the hydrotherapist, Dr Gully.…

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  • … “Oh Mamma, what should we do, if you were to die”.— 4 The other point in her character, …
  • … 3 ‘buoyant’: ‘o’  over  ‘y. 4 An interlineation in pencil in Emma Darwin’s hand reads: …

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.

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  • … I gave two seeds to a confounded old cock, but his gizzard ground them up; at least I cd. not …

Natural Science and Femininity

Summary

Discussion Questions|Letters A conflation of masculine intellect and feminine thoughts, habits and feelings, male naturalists like Darwin inhabited an uncertain gendered identity. Working from the private domestic comfort of their homes and exercising…

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  • … of Natural Science problematic for Victorian men? Why? 4. How might this correspondence …

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution

Summary

The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex’.  Descent was the culmination of over three decades of observations and reflections on…

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  • … accounting, Darwin reckoned that he had started writing on 4 February 1868, only five days after the …

Insectivorous Plants published

Summary

Darwin's book, Insectivorous plants, demonstrating that some plant species not only attract animal prey but can digest it, is published. Darwin predicted poor sales but following initial publication on 2 July, two further printings were needed in…

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  • … Darwin's book , Insectivorous plants , demonstrating that some plant species not only attract …

All Darwin's letters from 1873 go online for the anniversary of Origin

Summary

To celebrate the 158th anniversary of the publication of Origin of species on 24 November, the full transcripts and footnotes of over 500 letters from and to Charles Darwin in 1873 are now available online. Read about Darwin's life in 1873 through his…

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  • … To celebrate the 158th anniversary of the publication of Origin of species on 24 November, the …

People featured in the German and Austrian photograph album

Summary

Biographical details of people from the Habsburg Empire that appeared in the album of German and Austrian scientists sent to Darwin on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Johannes Mattes for providing these details and for permission to make his…

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  • … In: Neues Wiener Blatt 270 (2 nd  October) 1874. p. 4. N.N.: Zur Waffen-Confiscation im …

Darwin in public and private

Summary

Extracts from Darwin's published works, in particular Descent of man, and selected letters, explore Darwin's views on the operation of sexual selection in humans, and both his publicly and privately expressed views on its practical implications…

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  • …   Descent (1871), vol. 2, pp. 316 – 317. 4) “Difference in the Mental Powers of the two …

The evolution of a misquotation

Summary

We gave you six things Darwin never said (despite what you may read elsewhere).   None of the fake soundbites is more insidious than the first: It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is…

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  • … Southwestern Social Science Quarterly  (1963) 44(1): 3-13, at p. 4. (A similar version is in …

Getting to know Darwin's science

Summary

One of the most exciting aspects of Charles Darwin’s correspondence is the opportunity it gives to researchers to ‘get to know’ Darwin as an individual. The letters not only reveal the scientific processes behind Darwin’s publications, they give insight…

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  • … 3. relevant material from Darwin’s archive  4. discussion questions  5. examples and …

Climbing Plants

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment A monograph by which to work After the publication of On the Origin of Species, Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, The Descent of Man, and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals in…

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  • … of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , Vol. 4 (May 1857-May 1860). Letters …

Darwin's notes for his physician, 1865

Summary

On 20 May 1865, Emma Darwin recorded in her diary that John Chapman, a prominent London publisher who had studied medicine in London and Paris in the early 1840s, visited Down to consult with Darwin about his ill health. In 1863 Chapman started to treat…

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  • … gout’ by Henry Holland in 1849 ( Correspondence vol. 4, letter to W. D. Fox, 6 February [1849]). …

Who we are

Summary

Many people have contributed to the Darwin Correspondence Project since it was first founded in 1974. Some names are now lost to us, and we would appreciate hearing from anyone who has contributed in the past and is not listed here. Current staff are…

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  • … work, and has appeared on radio programmes such as BBC Radio 4’s In our Time , and Woman’s Hour …

Visiting the Darwins

Summary

'As for Mr Darwin, he is entirely fascinating…'  In October 1868 Jane Gray and her husband spent several days as guests of the Darwins, and Jane wrote a charming account of the visit in a sixteen-page letter to her sister.  She described Charles…

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  • … drove, some read or practiced; one aft. almost all walked 4 miles to Knockold beeches— The carriage …
  • … As it grows dark, in comes the footman with a tray with 4 great silver candlesticks, tall & …
  • … New Cross we took a cab for Mr. Carey’s, & got there about 4, & were very kindly received by …

Darwin in letters, 1851-1855: Death of a daughter

Summary

The letters from these years reveal the main preoccupations of Darwin’s life with a new intensity. The period opens with a family tragedy in the death of Darwin’s oldest and favourite daughter, Anne, and it shows how, weary and mourning his dead child,…

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  • … of 1844 ( Foundations ; Correspondence  vols. 3 and 4). In particular, he undertook to …
  • … In 1850, he had written to Hooker ( Correspondence  vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 [June …

Virginia Isitt: Darwin’s secretary?

Summary

In an undated and incomplete draft letter to a “Miss I.”, Emma Darwin appears to be arranging for Miss I. to come to Down for a trial period as a secretary. When the letter first came to light, no one had heard of the mysterious “Miss I.” and, as far as we…

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  • … new husband] knows her. . . . We put Miss Isitt into No 4 for the present. After a time I shall turn …

Mary Everest Boole

Summary

Mary Everest was born in 1832 in Wickwar, Gloucestershire, daughter of Reverend Thomas Everest. Her uncle was George Everest, Surveyor General of India, after whom Mount Everest is named. Her family moved to France seeking to improve her father’s ill…

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  • … Mary Everest was born in 1832 in Wickwar, Gloucestershire, daughter of Reverend Thomas Everest. …

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…

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  • …  3d ed. , p. 12).  He had refined it yet further by the 4 th edition to only blue-eyed cats …
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