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To W. D. Fox   7 May [1855]

Summary

William Yarrell has assured him that call ducks cross freely with common varieties. CD would like a seven-day duckling and an old one that dies a natural death.

CD is depressed – all his experiments are going wrong, "all nature is perverse and will not do as I wish it". Feels he is getting out of his depth.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  7 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 90)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1678

To Charles Lyell   8 May [1855]

Summary

Mentions his paper ["Transportal of erratic boulders", Collected papers 1: 218–27]. Discusses ice-borne rock. Reference to unpublished paper on icebergs [?"Power of icebergs to make grooves", Collected papers 1: 252–5]. Remarks on scoring by icebergs. Comments on judgment of theories by Geological Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  8 May [1855]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.113)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1679

To J. D. Hooker   11 May [1855]

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Summary

JDH to be appointed Assistant Director at Kew.

On where to publish seed-salting paper. Floating problem perhaps more important than germination.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  11 May [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 131
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1680

To J. D. Hooker   15 [May 1855]

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Summary

CD upset because salted seeds do not float.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  15 [May 1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 147
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1681

To W. D. Fox   17 May [1855]

Summary

Asks WDF to induce schoolboys to collect eggs of lizards and snakes for him. He will see whether they float and stay alive on sea-water.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  17 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 91)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1683

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   21 May [1855]

Summary

Reports on his experiments on action of sea-water on seeds and the bearing of his investigations on the theory of centres of creation and Edward Forbes’s theory of continental extensions to account for distribution of organic forms. CD’s experiments confirm germination powers were retained after 42 days’ immersion by seven out of eight kinds of seeds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  21 May [1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 21, 26 May 1855, pp. 356–7
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1684

From Asa Gray   22 May 1855

Summary

Has filled up CD’s paper [see 1674].

Distribution and relationships of alpine flora in U. S.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  22 May 1855
Classmark:  DAR 106: D1–D2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1685

To W. D. Fox   23 May [1855]

Summary

He may insert his request for lizards’ eggs in Gardeners’ Chronicle.

His study of mongrel chicks is to ascertain whether the young of domestic breeds differ as much as their parents.

Has already sent a communication on means of distribution of plants by sea to Gardeners’ Chronicle [Collected papers 1: 255–8].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  23 May [1855]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 92)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1686

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   [before 26 May 1855]

Summary

Will be obliged if any reader can provide eggs of lizard Lacerta agilis. Wants to ascertain whether they float in sea-water. Offers reward of a few shillings to boys for collecting.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  [before 26 May 1855]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 21, 26 May 1855, p. 360
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1686A

To John Higgins   26 May 1855

Summary

Discusses his account.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Higgins
Date:  26 May 1855
Classmark:  Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/87)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1687

To J. D. Hooker   27 May [1855]

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Summary

CD’s seed paper in Gardeners’ Chronicle [Collected papers 1: 255–8];

CD attacks Forbes’s "Atlantis".

Considers solutions to floating problem. Decides to test Azores seeds.

Photographs and drawings of CD.

Plant movement experiments with Hedysarum gyrans.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  27 May [1855]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 132
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1688
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