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Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

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  • … work preparing his ‘big book’ on species. Begun in May 1856 at the urging of Lyell, the manuscript …

George Robert Waterhouse

Summary

George Waterhouse was born on 6 March 1810 in Somers Town, North London. His father was a solicitor’s clerk and an amateur lepidopterist. George was educated from 1821-24 at Koekelberg near Brussels. On his return he worked for a time as an apprentice to…

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  • … became keeper of mineralogy in 1851 and keeper of geology in 1856, where he added substantially to …

Darwin’s observations on his children

Summary

Charles Darwin’s observations on the development of his children, began the research that culminated in his book The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, published in 1872, and his article ‘A biographical sketch of an infant’, published in Mind…

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  • … of two brief entries by Emma, made all the notes until July 1856, when the observations ceased. …
  • … a horrid mess) they like going into the mud.” 1856. May 21. Lenny lying on my lap, coolly …

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 …

Charles Lyell

Summary

As an author, friend and correspondent, Charles Lyell played a crucial role in shaping Darwin's scientific life. Born to a wealthy gentry family in Scotland in 1797, Lyell had a classical and legal education but by the 1820s had become entranced by…

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  • … the details of natural selection only many years later, in 1856. Despite his distaste for …

Bartholomew James Sulivan

Summary

On Christmas Day 1866, Bartholomew Sulivan sat down to write a typically long and chatty letter to his old friend, Charles Darwin, commiserating on shared ill-health, glorying in the achievements of their children, offering to collect plant specimens, and…

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  • … from South America, he joined the Board of Trade in 1856 but was forced to take medical leave in …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album

Summary

Here is a list of people that appeared in the photograph album Darwin received for his birthday on 12 February 1877 from scientific admirers in the Netherlands. Many thanks to Hester Loeff for identifying and researching them. No. …

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  • … Phil.nat.stud   Leiden 5 august 1856 Gouda 5 march 1946 …

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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  • … Darwin with information and bird specimens since at least 1856, read  Origin  through at least …

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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  • … that the colleague and friend who had first advised him in 1856 to write his essay on species could …

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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  • … teacher in the  Gymnasium  in Graz (1851) and Olomouc (1856). From 1858 to 1880, he taught natural …

People featured in the Dutch photograph album

Summary

List of people appearing in the photograph album Darwin received from scientific admirers in the Netherlands for his birthday on 12 February 1877. We are grateful to Hester Loeff for providing this list and for permission to make her research available.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Phil.nat.stud   Leiden 5 August 1856 Gouda 5 March 1946 …

Darwin’s queries on expression

Summary

When Darwin resumed systematic research on emotions around 1866, he began to collect observations more widely and composed a list of queries on human expression. A number of handwritten copies were sent out in 1867 (see, for example, letter to Fritz Muller…

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  • … extracts from Carl Johan Andersson, Lake Ngami (1856) on expression …

British Association meeting 1860

Summary

Several letters refer to events at the British Association for the Advancement of Science held in Oxford, 26 June – 3 July 1860. Darwin had planned to attend the meeting but in the end was unable to. The most famous incident of the meeting was the verbal…

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  • … in the world. From his work on Physiology, published in 1856, he gave his views in support of the …

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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  • … The scientific results of the  Beagle  voyage still dominated Darwin's working life, but …

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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  • … The letters from these years reveal the main preoccupations of Darwin’s life with a new intensity. …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

Summary

The year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend and supporter; Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and father of Darwin’s friend…

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  • … In 1865, the chief work on Charles Darwin’s mind was the writing of  The variation of animals and …
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