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Sexual selection

Summary

Although natural selection could explain the differences between species, Darwin realised that (other than in the reproductive organs themselves) it could not explain the often marked differences between the males and females of the same species.  So what…

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  • … Although natural selection could explain the differences  between  species, Darwin realised that …

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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  • … bout of depressive illness led to his sudden resignation in 1850. It was not until his appointment …

New material added to the American edition of Origin

Summary

A ‘revised and augmented’ American edition of Origin came on the market in July 1860, and was the only authorised edition available in the US until 1873. It incorporated many of the changes Darwin made to the second English edition, but still contained…

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  • … Isidore Geoffroy Saint Hilaire, in his Lectures delivered in 1850 (of which a Résumé appeared in 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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  • … of the municipal  Oberrealschule  in Bratislava (1850), and since 1862 director of the Imperial …

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…

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  • … to have discovered the principle of natural selection in 1850: ‘This belief in Professor Owen that …

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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  • … clergyman and religious writer. Newman, Francis, 1850. Phases of faith; or, passages from the …

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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  • … frigate before resigning abruptly from active service in 1850. The third major phase of FitzRoy’s …

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…

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  • … village, he had helped to found the Down Friendly Club in 1850 and served as its treasurer for many …
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