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Darwin Correspondence Project

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Teitelbaum, Michael S. 2006. History of population policies up to 1940. In Demography: analysis and synthesis: a treatise in population, edited by Graziella Caselli et al. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

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  • … books/demography-analysis-and-synthesis-four-volume-set/caselli/978-0-08-045485-6 26 …

From George Edward Frere   8 October 1864

Summary

Responds to the letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 8 October 1864].

Author:  George Edward Frere
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  08 Oct 1864
Classmark:  DAR 271.6: 2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4631G

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  • … DAR 271.6: 2 George Edward Frere 08 Oct 1864 Charles Robert Darwin …

To J. S. Burdon Sanderson   26 June [1873]

Summary

Would welcome JSBS visit to discuss Drosera. Nitrogenous fluids can act as ferments only if they act merely by exciting molecular movement in adjoining molecules.

Glass and cotton excite movement and cause cell contents to change visibly. Huxley coming to see this phenomenon.

Studied effect of poisons 12 or 15 years ago to see whether the action was similar to that on nervous tissue.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott Burdon Sanderson, baronet
Date:  26 June [1873]
Classmark:  University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections (Darwin - Burdon Sanderson letters RBSC-ARC-1731-1-08)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8952

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  • … Burdon Sanderson letters RBSC-ARC-1731-1-08) Charles Robert Darwin Down 26 June [1873] …

From Fritz Müller   12 September 1875

Summary

Has read CD’s book on Drosera [Insectivorous plants] and found that it presents new material and is very interesting.

Has discovered that the parasites he thought he had found in Melipona nests are in fact true females. It is remarkable that they differ so greatly from the sterile females and males of their species.

Author:  Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  12 Sept 1875
Classmark:  Möller ed. 1915–21, 2: 318; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (PrP 08-0011)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10155A

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  • … 2: 318; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (PrP 08-0011) Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller …

From David Forbes   1 March 1872

Summary

Sends information on composition of chalk at Shoreham and Folkestone.

Author:  David Forbes
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Mar 1872
Classmark:  DAR 164: 149
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8233

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  • … Carbonate of Lime – 98 . 40 — of Magnesia 0 . 08 Insoluble (silicious rock debris) 1 . 10 …

From Asa Gray   22 May 1877

Summary

Asked C. E. Bessey whether Lithospermum longiflorum was dimorphic like its relatives. Encloses CEB’s reply.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  22 May 1877
Classmark:  DAR 110: B53–7, DAR 165: 196
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10969

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  • … Corolla 1.08 Style 1.08 Stamens .93 Anthers .08 Anthers dried up and old. " Flower 4 th . …

From John Traherne Moggridge   6 March [1867]

Summary

Observations on Ophrys plants and Thymus vulgaris. Encloses sketch of different forms of T. vulgaris [see Forms of flowers, p. 302].

Author:  John Traherne Moggridge
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Mar [1867]
Classmark:  DAR 109: A90–1, DAR 111: B47
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5433

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  • … in Forms of flowers , pp.  293–7, 307–08. His notes on the genus are in DAR 109: A41–3, …
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Abstract of Darwin’s theory

Summary

There are two extant versions of the abstract of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. One was sent to Asa Gray on 5 September 1857, enclosed with a letter of the same date (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Asa Gray, 5 September [1857] and enclosure).…

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  • … adapts living beings to his wants,— may be said 8  to make the wool of one sheep good for …
  • … ‘very’ does not appear in the printed version. 8 The phrase is not italicised in the printed …
  • … note, in ink, that reads: ‘This was sent to A. Gray 8 or 9 months ago, I think October 1857 [‘or …

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…

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  • … no tours, no large Zoolog. Collect. no books. Cambridge[8] Professorship, either Geolog. or Zoolog.— …
  • … manuscript is in: Cambridge University Library,  DAR 210.8:1 Second note [July 1838] …
  • … manuscript is in Cambridge University Library, DAR 210.8:2 Notes [1] The note was …

Results of the Darwin Online Emotions Experiment

Summary

Thanks to all who took part in our online emotions experiment – over 18,000 of you! The formal stage of the experiment is now over, but it will be staying online as an activity, so if you don’t want to know the results, look away now.  If you’d like to…

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  • … especially apparent with photographs 6 (crying from grief), 8 (suffering), 9 (deep grief) and 11 …
  • … crying from grief – 12 seconds; grief and despair – 8 seconds) before making a decision.  They also …

Controversy

Summary

The best-known controversies over Darwinian theory took place in public or in printed reviews. Many of these were highly polemical, presenting an over-simplified picture of the disputes. Letters, however, show that the responses to Darwin were extremely…

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  • … Letter 6104 — Wallace, A. R. to Darwin, C. R., 8 [Apr] 1868 Wallace says if Darwin is not …

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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  • … at such times, she was never in the least degree 8 cross, peevish or impatient; & it was …
  • … 7 Syme 1821, now in the Darwin Library—CUL. 8 ‘degree’  interl . Henrietta …

Publications

Summary

‘. . . a work of magisterial scholarship, meticulous in every respect.’ Quarterly Review of Biology The Darwin Correspondence Project is locating and researching all known letters to and from Charles Darwin, and is publishing complete texts together…

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  • … edition will ultimately comprise 30 volumes. Volumes 1 to 8 of the main edition are also available …

The "wicked book": Origin at 157

Summary

Origin is 157 years old.  (Probably) the most famous book in science was published on 24 November 1859.  To celebrate we have uploaded hundreds of new images of letters, bringing the total number you can look at here to over 9000 representing more than…

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  • … Origin is 157 years old.  (Probably) the most famous book in science was published on 24 …

Elizabeth Darwin born

Summary

Daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) born

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  • … Daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) born …

Divergence

Summary

In a later account of how he had come to the evolutionary ideas published in Origin, Darwin wrote: 'Of all the minor points, the last which I appreciated was the importance & cause of the principle of Divergence' (to Ernst Haeckel, [after 10]…

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  • … of Divergence' (to Ernst Haeckel, [after 10] August – 8 October [1864]). Darwin set …

Books on the Beagle

Summary

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

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  • … Books are to be taken, or returned in morning before ½ past 8. Books are never on any account …

Scientific Networks

Summary

Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

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  • … Letter 7124 — Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, H. E., [8 February 1870] Darwin writes to his …

Frances Power Cobbe

Summary

Cobbe was born in Dublin, Ireland, and educated at home, at Newbridge House, county Dublin, except for two years at a school in Brighton: she hated the school. After she left, she kept house for her mother and father, and after her mother's death for…

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  • … Cobbe was born in Dublin, Ireland, and educated at home, at Newbridge House, county Dublin, except …

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…

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  • … far more than  Origin had (see  Correspondence  vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January …

Caroline Kennard

Summary

Kennard’s interest in science stemmed from her social commitments to the women's movement, her interests in nature study as a tool for educational reform, as well as her place in a tightly knit network of the Bostonian elite. Kennard was one of a…

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  • … at home and in school. At the organizational meeting on May 8, 1895, Kennard presented a paper on a …

Have you read the one about....

Summary

... the atheistical cats, or the old fogies in Cambridge? We've suggested a few - some funny, some serious - but all letters you can read here.

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  • … ... the atheistical cats, or the old fogies in Cambridge? We've suggested a few - some funny, some …

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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  • … daughters….”  Descent (1871), vol. 2, p. 329. 8) “Man is more powerful in body and mind …

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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  • … ( Correspondence vol. 11, Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, 8 December [1863]). In his letter to J. D. …

George Peacock

Summary

George Peacock was born 9 April 1791 in Denton near Darlington in Yorkshire. He was the son of a clergyman, the Rev. Thomas Peacock, curate of Denton for 50 years and school master. George was educated at Sedbergh School, Cumbria and Richmond School in…

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  • … health started to deteriorate from around this time. He died 8 November 1858 and is remembered most …

Variation under domestication

Summary

Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment A fascination with domestication Throughout his working life, Darwin retained an interest in the history, techniques, practices, and processes of domestication. Artificial selection, as practiced by plant and…

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  • … Letter 1837 — Darwin to Thwaites, G.H.K. 8 Mar 1856 Darwin writes to George Thwaites, a …

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…

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  • … on 9 leaves thin Gelatine on 4 White of egg on 6 Saliva on 8 Urine on 11 Mucus on 4 infusion of meat …
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