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Power of movement in plants

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Family experiments Darwin was an active and engaged father during his children's youth, involving them in his experiments and even occasionally using them as observational subjects. When his children…

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  • … life is important to understanding Darwin's science? 4. What is the tone of the …

Bibliography of Darwin’s geological publications

Summary

This list includes papers read by Darwin to the Geological Society of London, his books on the geology of the Beagle voyage, and other publications on geological topics.  Author-date citations refer to entries in the Darwin Correspondence Project’s…

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  • … of the Geological Society of London  2 (1838): 542-4.  [ Shorter publications , pp.  35-7.  F1646 …
  • … of the Geological Society of London  2 (1838): 552-4.  [ Shorter publications , pp.  37-9.  F1647 …
  • … a higher level.  Proceedings of the Geological Society  4 (1848): 315-23.  [ Shorter publications …

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…

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  • … you about Darwin’s network of scientific exchange? 4. Why is Darwin interested to know …

Barnacles

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Darwin and barnacles Darwin’s interest in Cirripedia, a class of marine arthropods, was first piqued by the discovery of an odd burrowing barnacle, which he later named “Mr. Arthrobalanus," while he was…

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  • … specimens from so many different parts of the world? 4. How did Darwin's observations of …

Julia Wedgwood

Summary

Charles Darwin’s readership largely consisted of other well-educated Victorian men, nonetheless, some women did read, review, and respond to Darwin’s work. One of these women was Darwin’s own niece, Julia Wedgwood, known in the family as “Snow”. In July…

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  • … a dialogue. Macmillan’s Magazine 2 (1860): 134–8; 4 (1861): 237-47. Wedgwood Barbara and …

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

Summary

George Eliot was the pen name of celebrated Victorian novelist Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880). She was born on the outskirts of Nuneaton in Warwickshire and was educated at boarding schools from the age of five until she was 16. Her education ended when she…

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  • … George Eliot was the pen name of the celebrated Victorian novelist Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880). She …

Earthworms

Summary

As with many of Darwin’s research topics, his interest in worms spanned nearly his entire working life. Some of his earliest correspondence about earthworms was written and received in the 1830s, shortly after his return from his Beagle voyage, and his…

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  • … his relationship to them through the correspondence? 4. What do you think of Darwin's …

Darwin in letters, 1844–1846: Building a scientific network

Summary

The scientific results of the Beagle voyage still dominated Darwin's working life, but he broadened his continuing investigations into the nature and origin of species. Far from being a recluse, Darwin was at the heart of British scientific society,…

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  • … of the essay of 1844 to read (see  Correspondence  vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 [February …

Living and fossil cirripedia

Summary

Darwin published four volumes on barnacles, the crustacean sub-class Cirripedia, between 1851 and 1854, two on living species and two on fossil species. Written for a specialist audience, they are among the most challenging and least read of Darwin’s works…

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  • … established Ray Society (minutes of council meeting, 4 February 1848), founded to publish by …

John Lubbock

Summary

John Lubbock was eight years old when the Darwins moved into the neighbouring property of Down House, Down, Kent; the total of one hundred and seventy surviving letters he went on to exchange with Darwin is a large number considering that the two men lived…

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  • … of Lubbock’s book were less welcome.  ‘I have read 4 or 5 Chapters with extreme interest,’  Darwin …

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…

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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…

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  • … ‘ which will make a large-sized pamphlet. ’ On the 4 October, in a letter to T. C. Eyton …

The evolution of honeycomb

Summary

Honeycombs are natural engineering marvels, using the least possible amount of wax to provide the greatest amount of storage space, with the greatest possible structural stability. Darwin recognised that explaining the evolution of the honey-bee’s comb…

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  • … several (3) they can judge distance to certain extent, & (4) those that make their spheres or …

Essay: What is Darwinism?

Summary

—by Asa Gray WHAT IS DARWINISM? The Nation, May 28, 1874 The question which Dr. Hodge asks he promptly and decisively answers: ‘What is Darwinism? it is atheism.’ Leaving aside all subsidiary and incidental matters, let us consider–1. What the…

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  • … physical causes in the production of intended effects; but 4. To the gradual accumulation of …

What did Darwin believe?

Summary

What did Darwin really believe about God? the Christian revelation? the implications of his theory of evolution for religious faith? These questions were asked again and again in the years following the publication of Origin of species (1859). They are…

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  • … Paul’s letter to Galatians, chapter six: ‘read [verses] 4, 5, 6, as practical’. Some of the …

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…

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  • … months’ work was lost at the beginning of the year and, on 4 August, Darwin records that he was …

Essay: Natural selection & natural theology

Summary

—by Asa Gray NATURAL SELECTION NOT INCONSISTENT WITH NATURAL THEOLOGY. Atlantic Monthly for July, August, and October, 1860, reprinted in 1861. I Novelties are enticing to most people; to us they are simply annoying. We cling to a long-accepted…

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  • … species, except the hypothesis of a common origin. 4. Here the fact of the antiquity of …
  • … which in tone and fairness is admirably in contrast with—4. The article in the Edinburgh Review for …

Robert FitzRoy

Summary

Robert FitzRoy was captain of HMS Beagle when Darwin was aboard. From 1831 to 1836 the two men lived in the closest proximity, their relationship revealed by the letters they exchanged while Darwin left the ship to explore the countries visited during the…

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  • … ed., Narrative of the Beagle voyage, 1831-1836 , 4 vols. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2012. …

Darwin in letters, 1860: Answering critics

Summary

On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwin’s Origin of species, printing off another 3000 copies to satisfy the demands of an audience that surprised both the publisher and the author. It wasn't long, however, before ‘the…

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  • … adjourned, leaving Darwin ‘master of the field after 4 hours battle’ (letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 …

Review: The Origin of Species

Summary

- by Asa Gray THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES BY MEANS OF NATURAL SELECTION (American Journal of Science and Arts, March, 1860) This book is already exciting much attention. Two American editions are announced, through which it will become familiar to many…

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  • … of ascertaining it, at least in many cases; also, 4. That the most flourishing and dominant species …
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