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From George Robert Waterhouse   [February 1860]



It is not true that all the fossil cave bears are of the same species.

Author:  George Robert Waterhouse
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Feb 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 47: 152
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2674

To Asa Gray   1 February [1860]


CD is glad there is to be an American edition of Origin printed from the corrected 2d English edition.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  1 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2676

To Neil Arnott   16 February [1860?]


Discusses NA’s pamphlet on human progress. Suggests making it a book [A survey of human progress (1861)].

Comments on study of dead languages.

Denies that animals are "governed only by selfish motives".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Neil Arnott
Date:  16 Feb [1860?]
Classmark:  DAR 143: 22
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2677

To Richard Kippist?   1 February [1860]


CD is sending some books by carrier. Requests that he be given the 1st and also the 10th editions of Vestiges of creation [1844, 1853], and also the 2d edition of Baden Powell’s Unity of worlds [1856]. "No other editions will be of any service." [See Origin (1861), "Historical sketch".]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Kippist
Date:  1 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  Gallery of History (1997)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2678

To T. H. Huxley   2 [February 1860]


H. G. Bronn offers to superintend a German translation of Origin.

Bronn has reviewed Origin [Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie (1860), p. 112].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  2 [Feb 1860]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 80)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2679

To Herbert Spencer   2 February [1860]


Has prepared a historical sketch [of writers on origin of species] for foreign editions of Origin. It includes HS. He was too ill to provide it for the 1st ed.

Sorry Murray has not sent HS his copy of Origin, as he was instructed.

Huxley will put CD and E. A. Darwin down for HS’s gigantic [publishing] programme. Suggests Dr Drysdale be approached about it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Herbert Spencer
Date:  2 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  University of London, Senate House Library (MS.791/47)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2680

To John Murray   3 February [1860]


Has not yet obtained information for the most important correction for Journal of researches.

Has told P. T. A. Talandier that JM will declare that CD has full authority to give him right and profit of translation of Origin. Unless he hears by return, CD assumes JM does not object.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  3 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.86–87)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2681

To J. S. Henslow   3 February [1860]


Thanks for L. Jenyns’ very sensible letter [missing].

Will be delighted to see JSH whenever he can come.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  3 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A62
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2682

From Philip Lutley Sclater   [3? February 1860]



Lists land birds of Galapagos and discusses their distribution on mainland of S. America.

Author:  Philip Lutley Sclater
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [3? Feb 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 289
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2683

To P. L. Sclater   4 February [1860]


Thanks PLS for list of Galapagos birds.

Mentions note he will add to Journal [of researches (1860)]

and correction he will make in Origin [3d ed. (1861)].

Asks PLS about variability in "abnormal parts of birds".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Lutley Sclater
Date:  4 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.195)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2684

To T. H. Huxley   4 February [1860]


Will write to H. G. Bronn accepting his offer. Asks THH to write to R. A. von Kölliker.

French arrangements fall between two stools.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  4 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 105)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2685

To John Murray   4 February [1860]


Final arrangements for new edition of Journal of researches [1860]. Wants one copy to give to P. L. Sclater, who has aided him.

Asks that copy of Origin be sent immediately to Schweizerbart for German translation.

Asa Gray is going to bring out an edition of Origin.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  4 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.84–85)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2686

To Heinrich Georg Bronn   4 February [1860]


Discusses possible translation of Origin into German. Could HGB advise E. Schweizerbart [Stuttgart publisher] about good translator. Suggests Bronn edit the translation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Heinrich Georg Bronn
Date:  4 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  State Library of South Australia (Archival collections D 4639(L))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2687

To Charles Lyell   4 February [1860]


Suggests references in Journal of researches 2d ed. in response to a query about the antiquity of man. Perplexed about S. S. Haldeman and Haldeman 1843–4. Glad to hear about A. C. Ramsay. Has received letter from H. G. Bronn.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  4 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 146: 229
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2687F

To John Murray   5 February [1860]


Thanks JM for highly flattering extract from German newspaper.

Asks JM to take steps to reserve to CD right of translation in Germany.

If there is to be a new title-page to Journal of researches, it would be a "splendid puff" to put in "7th thousand", or if Colburn’s 1500 can be added: "8th thousand".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  5 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms.42152 ff.88–89)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2688

To J. D. Hooker   8 February [1860]



Urges JDH to work his essays into a book.

CD’s historical sketch ends with JDH’s introductory essay to Flora Tasmaniae.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 39
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2689

To C. J. F. Bunbury   9 February [1860]


Responds to CJFB’s criticisms of the Origin [see 2669].

If CD’s theory is a satisfactory explanation of the "principles of Homology, and of Embryology, and Rudimentary organs", the difficulty in imagining the transitions between classes of beings should not weigh against the understanding it provides such large classes of facts. Defends natural selection against criticism that it is not a vera causa. Comments on "Degeneracy", extinction of intermediate forms, and the effect of theory in natural history in opening up new fields of inquiry and giving rational instead of theological explanations of facts.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Date:  9 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  Suffolk Record Office, Bury St Edmunds (Bunbury Family Papers E18/700/1/9/6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2690

To J. S. Henslow   9 February [1860]


Sends directions for JSH’s journey to Bromley and Down.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  9 Feb [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A63–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2691

From P. L. Sclater   11 February 1860



Informs CD that Sylvicola aureola may be a distinct species but is a close ally of S. aestiva of N. and S. America and perhaps only a "climatic variety".

Author:  Philip Lutley Sclater
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  11 Feb 1860
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 290, DAR 205.7: 143
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2692

To Charles Lyell   12 [February 1860]


Encloses letters from H. G. Bronn, Asa Gray, and C. J. F. Bunbury, concerning the Origin.

Will send review by Gray and a notice by Bronn.

Says Bronn will superintend the German translation.

Comments on lecture by Huxley [at Royal Institution, 10 Feb 1860, Not. Proc. R. Inst. G. B. 3 (1858–62): 195–200]. Has remonstrated with him for saying sterility is "a universal and infallible criterion of species".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  12 [Feb 1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.196)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2693
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List of correspondents


Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

Matches: 16 hits

  • … Émile (8) Alice (2) Alison, R. E. …
  • … (1) Allen, Thomas (2) Allman, G. J. …
  • … (1) Appleton, C. E. C. B. (2) Appleton, T. G. …
  • … (5) Austin, A. D. (2) Austin, C. F. …
  • … (7) Axon, W. E. A. (2) Aylmer, I. E. …
  • … (3) Baldwin, J. D. (2) Balfour, F. M. …
  • … (1) Baranoff, W. (2) Barber, M. E. …
  • … (1) Barnard, Anne (2) Barnes, K. S. …
  • … (1) Barrois, J. H. (2) Bartlett, A. D. …
  • … (1) Batalin, A. F. (2) Bate, C. S. …
  • … (1) Bates, Frederick (2) Bates, H. W. …
  • … (1) Baumhauer, E. H. von (2) Baxter, E. B. …
  • … (3) Beale, L. S. (2) Beall, T. B. (1 …
  • … B. (1) Beck, John (2) Becker, L. E. …
  • … (3) Beger, Karl (2) Behrens, Frederick …
  • … (1) Bell, Robert (b) (2) Bell, Thomas …

Darwin The Collector


Look at nature more closely and create and record your own natural collections.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities provide an introduction to Charles Darwin, how and why he collected so many specimens …

Detecting Darwin


Who was Charles Darwin? What is he famous for? Why is he still important?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Pupils act as Darwin detectives, exploring clues about Darwin’s life and work. No prior knowledge …

Darwin’s reading notebooks


In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to read in Notebook C (Notebooks, pp. 319–28). In 1839, these lists were copied and continued in separate notebooks. The first of these reading notebooks (DAR 119…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Stoke’s Library 1 Cambridge. Library 2 Royal Coll of Surgeons [DAR *119 …
  • … de l’Homme,” by Dr. Pierquin, published in Paris (in 2 vols.), so long ago as 1839 4   …
  • … 1829]; read Letter to M. Therry [Broughton 1832]— a 2 d  Edit preparing in 1841.— Lesson …
  • … of habits of birds. Temminck Manuel D’ornithologie. 2 d  Edit: Introduction on migration of …
  • … Ker Porter’s Travels in Caucasus [R. K. Porter 1821–2] praised by Silliman poor Cyclop. of …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions


For such an iconic work, the text of Origin was far from static. It was a living thing that Darwin continued to shape for the rest of his life, refining his ‘one long argument’ through a further five English editions.  Many of his changes were made in…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … edition published, 1872   1 st to 2 nd editions I have …
  • … the voids caused by the action of His laws.” ( Origin 2d ed, p. 481).   2 nd …
  • … to a letter to Asa Gray he had yet to start it on 28 January, but on 2 February 1860 he told …
  • … “Origin” for the first time, for I am correcting for a 2 nd . French Edition; & upon my life, …

Dates of composition of Darwin's manuscript on species


Many of the dates of letters in 1856 and 1857 were based on or confirmed by reference to Darwin’s manuscript on species (DAR 8--15.1, inclusive; transcribed and published as Natural selection). This manuscript, begun in May 1856, was nearly completed by…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … nor was it recorded in Darwin's ‘Journal’. Chapter 2 is not extant but was recorded in Darwin& …
  • … [1] (not extant) 2 13 October 1856 …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick


Darwin made a famous comment about parallels between changes in language and species change. Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Leeds University, talks about the importance of the development of language to Darwin, what…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … to Darwin, how did language begin? 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? And …
  • … sense, a more developed moral sense, and so forth. 2. Was this an important topic for Darwin? …

Darwin And Evolution


What is evolution? What did Darwin discover and how did he come to his conclusions?

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Activities give an introduction to Charles Darwin and his theories of evolution. Specimens brought …

Darwin's Fantastical Voyage


Learn about Darwin's adventures on his epic journey.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … These activities explore Darwin’s life changing voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Using letters home, …

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots


Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth century. His journey back in time started when he decided to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an essay on Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … his wife sent birthday greetings and a photograph of their 2-year-old son named Darwin, who, they …
  • … materialism”’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, [after 2 June 1879 ]). As one of Darwin’s most ardent …
  • … other than Darwin’s sister Caroline (who was around 2 years old at the time of Erasmus’s death). …
  • … that plants were ‘mere machines’, reminding Francis on 2 June that he had long thought that …
  • … for certain movements’ ( second letter to Francis Darwin, 2 July [1879] ). Sachs guarded …
  • … for” &c are incessant’, Darwin joked on 2 July (first letter) . Much of the time, however, …
  • … their ‘tremendous journey’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [2 August 1879] ). The journey proved more …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments


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…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] ). However, Hooker, at the …
  • … idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was not until 25 …
  • … abstract of the paper was read before the Linnean Society on 2 February, and in April Darwin wrote …
  • … 1867), and Darwin summarised them in  Variation  2: 106–7, concluding, ‘it follows from Mr. Scott …
  • … and professional seniority ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ); but Darwin’s feelings …
  • … in healing this ugly breach’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 June 1865] ), Darwin seems to have …
  • … of weather-forecasting ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 May 1865 and nn. 2 and 5), and he may …

Home learning: 7-11 years


Do try this at home! Support your children’s learning by downloading our free and fun activities for those aged between 7-11 and 11-14 years, using Darwin’s letters.  

Matches: 1 hits

  • … More Detecting Darwin activities 2 Learn about Darwin and the Beagle …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep


In 1878, Darwin devoted most of his attention to the movements of plants. He investigated the growth pattern of roots and shoots, studying the function of specific organs in this process. Working closely with his son Francis, Darwin devised a series of…

Matches: 9 hits

  • … in plants , pp. 112–13). He explained to Francis on 2 July : ‘I go on maundering about the …
  • … tomorrow to Wurzburg,’ Darwin wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 2 June , ‘& work by myself will be …
  • … [before 17 July 1878] ), ‘a strong horizontal axis about 2 feet long which goes round by clockwork …
  • … animal instinct and intelligence. ‘Frank’s son, nearly 2 years old (& we think much of his …
  • … more expertly. ‘I conclude that a child—just under 2 years is inferior in intellect to a monkey.’ …
  • … & a baby in your house!’ ( letter to G. J. Romanes, 2 September [1878] ). More …
  • … seems to me quite ridiculous’ ( letter to John Price, 2 April [1878] ). When a wealthy businessman …
  • … was ‘deeply gratified’, remarking to Skertchly on 2 March : ‘It is the greatest possible …
  • … that such checks had been in action during the last 2 or 3 centuries, or even for a shorter time in …

Satire of FitzRoy's Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, by John Clunies Ross. Transcription by Katharine Anderson


[f.146r Title page] Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2nd 3rd and Appendix Volumes of the First / Edition Written / for and in the name of the Author of those / Volumes By J.C. Ross. / Sometime Master of a…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2 nd 3 rd and Appendix Volumes of …
  • … many Kentledge pigs – and almost as heavy – limited the 2 nd to 700 pages of easily readable type …
  • … for commanding under it an H.C. Cruizer [ vf.147v p.2 ] of considerably greater tonnage – and …
  • … making a quick passage to the Southward. In the 2 nd that the expression “sailed from …
  • … in singing ^of^ jovial sea songs even on Wednesdays *[2] [ f.158r p.23 ] instead of the …

Interview with Emily Ballou


Emily Ballou is a writer of novels and screenplays, and a prize-winning poet. Her book The Darwin Poems, which explores aspects of Darwin’s life and thoughts through the medium of poetry, was recently published by the University of Western Australia Press.…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … some of these poems today, and? 2. The idea of writing about Darwin …

Interview with Tim Lewens


Dr Tim Lewens is a Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Organisms and artifacts (2004), which examines the language and arguments for design in biology and philosophy, and of…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … you for the flattering introduction. 2. The unusual role Darwin plays today …

Interview with Pietro Corsi


Pietro Corsi is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford. His book Evolution Before Darwin is due to be published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. Date of interview: 17 July 2009 Transcription 1: Introduction …

Matches: 1 hits

  • … surrounding evolutionary theories. 2. The situation in France …

Interview with John Hedley Brooke


John Hedley Brooke is President of the Science and Religion Forum as well as the author of the influential Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 1991). He has had a long career in the history of science and…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Paul. It’s a very great pleasure. 2. Victorian spiritualism and the …

Interview with Randal Keynes


Randal Keynes is a great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, and the author of Annie’s Box (Fourth Estate, 2001), which discusses Darwin’s home life, his relationship with his wife and children, and the ways in which these influenced his feelings about…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … which came to my mind as I read his book. 2. Darwin's influences …

Fake Darwin: myths and misconceptions


Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, with full debunking below...

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Many myths have persisted about Darwin's life and work. Here are a few of the more pervasive ones, …
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