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From Jeffries Wyman   [c. 15] September 1860

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Summary

Cases of monstrosities becoming transmissible.

Comments on passages in Origin on the blindness of the tucu-tucu (Ctenomys) and Mammoth Cave rats.

Author:  Jeffries Wyman
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [c. 15] Sept 1860
Classmark:  DAR 47: 165–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2901

To Charles Lyell   1 September [1860]

Summary

Discusses at length CL’s criticisms of natural selection.

Comments on possible former connection between the Galapagos and South America.

Discounts survival of mammals on atolls.

Discusses reptile origin of mammals.

Discounts development of a mammal on an island and the descent of mammals from a bird.

The antiquity of islands.

Comments on bats of New Zealand. Geographical distribution of seals. Discusses Amblyrhynchus.

Glad CL will read his MS on origin of dogs [Variation 1: 15–43].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  1 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.225)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2903

To W. B. Tegetmeier   1 September [1860]

Summary

Regrets he has nothing that he could contribute to the Field and cannot spare the time to work out anything on bees’ cells.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  1 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2904

To J. D. Hooker   2 September [1860]

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Summary

CD has a low opinion of British entomologists.

Lyell’s ingenious difficulties with natural selection show he is in earnest.

Asks JDH to observe beetles and variation of stripes in mules on his Syrian tour.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  2 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 73
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2905

To A. G. More   5 September [1860]

Summary

Discusses Spiranthes. Did AGM see dipterous insects insert proboscis?

Asks for information about Epipactis.

Describes fertilisation of Orchis pyramidalis.

Has received moth with pollen from O. pyramidalis.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Goodman More
Date:  5 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Royal Irish Academy (A. G. More papers RIA MS 4 B 46)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2906

To a bookseller   6 September [1860]

Summary

Asks that Fraser’s Magazine for July or the review from it on Origin (Hopkins 1860) be sent to Asa Gray.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Bookseller.
Date:  6 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Bernard Quaritch (dealers) 2003
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2906F

To John Innes   6 September [1860]

Summary

Etty [Henrietta Darwin] much improved.

Reference to his "hobby of striped asses".

Sceptical of JBI’s "curious stories" on spirit-tapping: "believe nothing one hears & only half of what one sees".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  6 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2907

To J. D. Hooker   6 September [1860]

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Summary

Thanks JDH for agreeing to observe coats of asses and mules in Middle East.

Asks for observations on vigour of plants as JDH ascends mountains.

Ad hominem article in Athenæum [review of John Tyndall, Glaciers of the Alps, 1 Sept 1860, pp. 280–2].

Reports extensive experiments on Drosera.

Observations on orchid anatomy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  6 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 74
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2908

From Charles Lyell   8 September 1860

Summary

Believes CD’s argument against special creation based on absence of terrestrial mammals on islands isolated before Pliocene era is very strong. However, the absence means Cetacea and bats have not modified towards terrestrial existence. There is similar lack of development of bats and rodents in Australia. Constancy among land shells of Madeira over long period shows that the majority of their species are immutable: a minority of "metamorphic" species maintains the overall number of true species while extinction removes many. Emphasis on the role of extinction discomfits CD’s opponents since the power of generation of new species ought to keep pace. Mentions Ammonite deposits with reference to CD’s comments on their apparent sudden extinction [Origin, pp. 321–2]. Perhaps absence of transmutation on slowly subsiding atolls indicates the slow rate of selective change.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Sept 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VI, pp. 179–86
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2908A

To a bookseller   9 September [1860]

Summary

Orders one copy of the issue of the Atlantic Monthly for last August (but not worth sending to America for) and two copies of the issue for next October.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  9 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  International Autograph Auctions Ltd (dealers) (14 December 2013 lot 403)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2908F

To T. H. Huxley   10 September [1860]

Summary

Sends Asa Gray’s review [of Origin]. Asks THH’s advice on getting it reprinted in England.

Hooker’s expedition to Syria.

Disgraceful review of Tyndall’s book in Athenæum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  10 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 135–6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2909

To Asa Gray   10 September [1860]

Summary

Has received second part of AG’s Atlantic Monthly article ["Darwin on the origin of species", 6 (1860): 109–16, 229–39], and would like to have it reprinted in England with the first part.

Regrets no reviewer has touched upon embryology, which he feels provides one of his strongest arguments.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  10 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (34)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2910

To George Gordon   11 September [1860]

Summary

Asks whether GG can provide a few fresh specimens of Goodyera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gordon
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Elgin Museum (Gordon Archive 60.13)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2911

To John Innes   11 September [1860]

Summary

Going to sea-side for Etty’s health.

Asks JBI further questions about a striped donkey he had reported to CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2912

To Daniel Oliver   11 September [1860]

Summary

Requests observations on Drosera and Dionaea,

and asks DO to look up Buchanan and Wight on insectivorous plants ["Conspectus of Indian Utricularia", Hooker’s J. Bot. 1 (1849): 372–4].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 9 (EH 88205993)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2913

To Charles Lyell   12 September [1860]

Summary

Additional response, at length, to CL’s criticisms of natural selection. Comments on failure of rodents to develop in Australia. Argues that most species become extinct and do not develop. Discusses variability, especially variability of rudimentary organs. Extinction among ammonites. Survival of Ornithorhynchus. Descent of marsupials and placentals. Emphasises embryological argument for descent of species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  12 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.226)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2915

To Daniel Oliver   15 [September 1860]

Summary

Thanks for reference to Annales des Sciences Naturelles.

Requests DO observe rate at which Australian Drosera closes.

On detection of nitrogen in organic fluids.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  15 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 10 (EH 88205994)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2917

To George Varenne Reed   15 September [1860]

Summary

The family will move to sea-side because of his daughter Henrietta’s health. When they return he will be glad to send Leonard twice a week for tutoring. Frank is in a low form at school but is doing very well.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Varenne Reed
Date:  15 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Buckinghamshire Record Office (D22.39.4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2918

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   15 September [1860]

Summary

Asks for any published reference providing account of the movement of the viscid hairs or leaves of Drosera lunata, an Indian Drosera which Lindley cites in Vegetable kingdom, p. 433.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  15 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 22 September 1860, p. 853
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2918A

From Thomas Vernon Wollaston   [16 September 1860]

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Summary

Has received a batch of S. African specimens which contain many of the Atlantic genera he found in Madeira and the Canaries.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 302
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2919
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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…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Gray, Asa 9 May [1869] [Alexandria, Egypt] …
  • … Gray, Jane 9 May [1869] [Alexandria, Egypt] …
  • … Gray, Asa 8 & 9 May 1869 Florence, Italy (about …

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

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: 4 hits

  • … that it was ‘dry as dust’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 9 September 1879 ). He was also unsatisfied …
  • … which is crowned with glory’ ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 February 1879 ). The botanist and …
  • … ). Darwin welcomed Krause’s suggestion, but warned him on 9 June not to ‘expend much powder & …
  • … (Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [27 August 1879] (DAR 219.9: 201)). Celebrity and honours …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex

Summary

The quantity of Darwin’s correspondence increased dramatically in 1868 due largely to his ever-widening research on human evolution and sexual selection.Darwin’s theory of sexual selection as applied to human descent led him to investigate aspects of the…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … Darwin asked Murray to intervene, complaining on 9 January , ‘M r . Dallas’ delay … is …
  • … on the auditory organs of Orthoptera and Coleoptera on 9 September . Darwin annotated a letter …
  • … from the south of France to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood on 9 Novembe r, describing sphinx moths that …
  • … direct result of natural selection ( Variation  2: 185–9). Wallace seized upon this point in a …
  • … Katherine ( letter from C. M. Hawkshaw to Emma Darwin, 9 February [1868] ). Darwin’s eldest son, …
  • … from Fritz Müller, 22 April 1868 , 17 June 1868 , 9 September 1868 , and 31 October 1868 …
  • … A different order of pride was expressed on 9 November by Ernst Haeckel on the birth of his son …

Darwin in letters, 1862: A multiplicity of experiments

Summary

1862 was a particularly productive year for Darwin. This was not only the case in his published output (two botanical papers and a book on the pollination mechanisms of orchids), but more particularly in the extent and breadth of the botanical experiments…

Matches: 7 hits

  • … excited Darwin, who exclaimed to Gray ( letter to Asa Gray, 9 August [1862] ), ‘I am almost stark …
  • … , whether the Book will sell’ ( letter to John Murray, 9 [February 1862] ). To his son, William, …
  • … better fun’ than species ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1862] ), he responded to the …
  • … active young wolves’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 9 October 1862 ). Darwin had managed to …
  • … to read any paper or speak’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 [April 1862] ). A visit in October from …
  • … me go away for an hour after dinner & retire to my room at 9 o clock I do not think it would …
  • … as true as gospel, so it must be true’ ( to J. D. Hooker, 9 May [1862] ). the real …

Books on the Beagle

Summary

The Beagle was a sort of floating library.  Find out what Darwin and his shipmates read here.

Matches: 2 hits

  • … the  Narrative  (2: 18). CD, in his letter to Henslow, 9 [September 1831] , discussing the …
  • … Desaulses de.  Voyage autour du monde . . . 1817–20.  9 vols., 4 vols. plates, Paris, 1824–44. …

Francis Galton

Summary

Galton was a naturalist, statistician, and evolutionary theorist. He was a second cousin of Darwin’s, having descended from his grandfather, Erasmus. Born in Birmingham in 1822, Galton studied medicine at King’s College, London, and also read mathematics…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … into an entirely new province of knowledge’ ( 9 December 1859 ). He soon became interested in …

Women’s scientific participation

Summary

Observers | Fieldwork | Experimentation | Editors and critics | Assistants Darwin’s correspondence helps bring to light a community of women who participated, often actively and routinely, in the nineteenth-century scientific community. Here is a…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L to Darwin, [8 & 9 May 1869] Jane Loring Gray, …
  • … Letter 6453 - Langton, E. to Wedgwood, S. E., [9 November 1868] Darwin’s nephew, …
  • … 5756 - Langton, E. & C. to Wedgwood S. E., [after 9 November 1868] Darwin’s …
  • … Letter 7433  - Wedgwood,  F. to Darwin, [9 January 1871] Darwin’s brother-in-law, …
  • … Letter 8153  - Darwin to  Darwin, W. E., [9 January 1872] Darwin thanks his son …

Darwin & Glen Roy

Summary

Although Darwin was best known for his geological work in South America and other remote Beagle destinations, he made one noteworthy attempt to explain a puzzling feature of British geology.  In 1838, two years after returning from the voyage, he travelled…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … field guide to Glen Roy: To Charles Lyell, 9 August [1838] To Charles Lyell, …

Darwin in letters, 1869: Forward on all fronts

Summary

At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  Origin. He may have resented the interruption to his work on sexual selection and human evolution, but he spent forty-six days on the task. Much of the…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … by his perfectibility principle (Nägeli 1865, pp. 28–9). In further letters, Hooker tried to provide …
  • … hatred—’ ( from Asa Gray and J. L. Gray, 8 and 9 May [1869] ). James Crichton-Browne and …
  • … of the soil ( letter to  Gardeners’ Chronicle , 9 May [1869] ). In March, Darwin received …
  • … I do not care to follow him’ ( letter from T. H. Farrer, 9 October 1869 ). Farrer ventured to …
  • … on summit of a mountain.—’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 9 July [1869] ).  Earlier in the year, …

Capturing Darwin’s voice: audio of selected letters

Summary

On a sunny Wednesday in June 2011 in a makeshift recording studio somewhere in Cambridge, we were very pleased to welcome Terry Molloy back to the Darwin Correspondence Project for a special recording session. Terry, known for his portrayal of Davros in Dr…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Beagle voyage, to a letter to C. A. Kennard written on 9 January 1882 , only shortly before …

Jane Gray

Summary

Jane Loring Gray, the daughter of a Boston lawyer, married the Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1848 and evidence suggests that she took an active interest in the scientific pursuits of her husband and his friends. Although she is only known to have…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … (letter from Asa Gray and J. L. Gray, 8 and 9 May 1869 ) Darwin cited Gray’s …
  • … book shows that they spent 14s on a backgammon board on 9 November 1868, a few days after leaving …

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…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … my teeth at my own folly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] ). After his venture into the …
  • … … who dare speak out’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] ). The others listed were himself, …
  • … to Asa Gray, 20 April [1863] , letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 May 1863] , and memorandum from G. H …

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution

Summary

The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex’.  Descent was the culmination of over three decades of observations and reflections on…

Matches: 2 hits

  • … ‘is the bane of existence!’ ( letter to William Ogle, 9 November 1870 ). Researching …
  • … demons and spirits were white ( letter from W. W. Reade, 9 November 1870 ). Keen for more …

Darwin in letters, 1878: Movement and sleep

Summary

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: 3 hits

  • … Cactus’, he wrote to William Turner Thiselton-Dyer on 9 May. He later noted that in many Cacteae the …
  • … about the radicles’, he wrote to Thiselton-Dyer on 9 May . ‘The apex is sensitive, & instead …
  • … ‘I am what may be called a rich man’, he replied on 9 December, ‘on the other hand I have 5 sons …

The Lyell–Lubbock dispute

Summary

In May 1865 a dispute arose between John Lubbock and Charles Lyell when Lubbock, in his book Prehistoric times, accused Lyell of plagiarism. The dispute caused great dismay among many of their mutual scientific friends, some of whom took immediate action…

Matches: 5 hits

  • … Lyell telling him about the letter to the Athenæum . 9  In the same letter, Darwin …
  • … about C. Lyell 1863a are discussed in Bynum 1984, pp. 154–9. 7. See Correspondence …
  • … letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] and n. 7. 9. See Correspondence vol. 11, …
  • … 11, letter from J. D. Hooker, [24 March 1863] and n. 9. In his published review, Lubbock wrote …
  • … Emma Darwin to Henrietta Emma Darwin, [1 June 1865] (DAR 219.9: 28). 24. See the …

Photograph album of German and Austrian scientists

Summary

The album was sent to Darwin to mark his birthday on 12 February 1877 by the civil servant Emil Rade, and contained 165 portraits of German and Austrian scientists. The work was lavishly produced and bound in blue velvet with metal embossing. Its ornate…

Matches: 0 hits

Six things Darwin never said – and one he did

Summary

Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly attributed to Darwin that never flowed from his pen.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Spot the fakes! Darwin is often quoted – and as often misquoted. Here are some sayings regularly …

Vivisection: first sketch of the bill

Summary

Strictly Confidential Mem: This print is only a first sketch. It is being now recast with a new & more simple form – but the substance of the proposed measure may be equally well seen in this draft. R.B.L. | 2 586 Darwin and vivisection …

Matches: 3 hits

  • … to be killed after painful experiments. “ 9. —Unlicensed persons making painful …
  • … liable to penalties of Cruelty to Animals Act. 9.—Any person not holding a licence under …
  • … and restrictions contained in sections numbered 8, 9, 10, 11, of the said act. (Signed) …

Darwin’s reading notebooks

Summary

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: 21 hits

  • … (read) Smellie Philosophy of Zoology [Smellie 1790–9]. Fleming Ditto [Fleming 1822] …
  • … Read Aristotle to see whether any of my views are ancient 9 Study with profound care …
  • … read Audubons Ornithol: Biography [Audubon 1831–9]— 4 Vols. well worth reading [DAR …
  • … de leurs genres, par M. Latreille, 1 vol. 8vo. 9 s . [Latreille 1825] Mémoire sur la …
  • … [Fabricius 1603]. referred to by Hallam [Hallam 1837–9] D r . Lord has written some new …
  • … 1842] Coleridge. Literary Remains [Coleridge 1836–9] Inconsistency of Human wishes. …
  • … and cheaper Edition, with Plates and Woodcuts. Post 8vo., 9 s . 6 d . [Knapp] 1838] Read …
  • … Duke of Wellington’s Dispatches [Wellesley 1834–9] Carlyles Oliver Cromwell [Carlyle 1845] …
  • … Knight’s facts on dogs instincts Veterinary. vol: 9. p. 229. “A comparative view of the form …
  • … 6. Birds of the Game kind [Jardine 1834b]. 9. Columbidæ (Pigeons.) [Selby 1835] 11. …
  • … vol. Ludlows Memoirs [Ludlow 1698–9] Memoirs of Plumer Ward by Hon …
  • … to the Study of Insects 1868. U. States [Packard 1868–9] (an excellent large Book) [DAR …
  • … of W. S. Landors Imaginary Conversations [Landor 1824–9]— very poor Sir J 57  Browne’s …
  • … 1831] 4 vols 25 Phillips Geology [J. Phillips 1837–9] Lardners 2 nd  vol March 16 …
  • … Miscellaneous Works & several reviews [Carlyle 1838–9] Nov 8 th  Murchison Silurian …
  • … Decemb. Several more of Carlyles Essays [Carlyle 1838–9]— —— Skimmed Ordinaire on Volcanos …
  • … are some few references at end of Hallam [Hallam 1837–9]) Feb. 12 th  Charlsworths Journal …
  • … 4 th . Hallam’s Hist. Lit. 4 vols. [Hallam 1837–9]— good 15 th  Failed in reading Dryden …
  • … Shelley says is victorious & decisive 72 Octob. 9 th  Lindley’s Theory of Hort. …
  • … of Botany ]. 2. vols. 1801 to 1806. extracted. 9 th  Müllers Physiology [Müller 1837–42] 2 …
  • … 24 th . Smellie’s Philos. of Nat. Hist. [Smellie 1790–9] (one vol) d[itt]o— May 20 th . …

Darwin & coral reefs

Summary

The central idea of Darwin's theory of coral reef formation, as it was later formulated, was that the islands were formed by the upward growth of coral as the Pacific Ocean floor gradually subsided. It overturned previous ideas and would in itself…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … he arrived at his coral reef theory. Autobiography , pp. 98-9 No statement of Darwin' …
  • … the channels and lagoons of the islands ( Narrative  2: 38-9), so it may be presumed that he was …
  • … wants to be sure they will visit the South Sea Islands:  [9 September 1831] . The first …
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