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Darwin Correspondence Project



Joseph Dalton Hooker
Joseph Dalton Hooker
CUL DAR 257: 114
Cambridge University Library

Darwin in letters, 1847-1850: Microscopes and barnacles

Darwin's study of barnacles, begun in 1844, took him eight years to complete. The correspondence reveals how his interest in a species found during the Beagle voyage developed into an investigation of the comparative anatomy of other cirripedes and finally a comprehensive taxonomical study of the entire group. Despite struggling with a recurrent illness, he continued to write on geologicy, and published notes on the use of microscopes.  Three more children, Elizabeth, Francis, and Leonard, were born during this period, but the death of Darwin's father in 1848 left the family well-provided for.  

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