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Darwin Correspondence Project
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From A child of God   [after 24 February 1871?]


Urges CD to repent and seek salvation through Christ.

Author:  Unidentified
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 24 Feb 1871?]
Classmark:  DAR 201: 1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13770

From J. W. Abernethy   [after 18 February 1871]


A poem, "Burns to Darwin".

Author:  Julian Willis Abernethy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 18 Feb 1871]
Classmark:  DAR 140.4: 26
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13771

To Miss Fenwick   8 February [1871–82]


Sends two waste sheets of MS of Descent; Miss F can cut out any portion she likes.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Miss Fenwick
Date:  8 Feb [1871-82]
Classmark:  John Hay Library, Brown University (Hay MSS Ms.44.31)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13806

From St George Jackson Mivart   24 February [1871]


Would be pleased if CD called.

Author:  St George Jackson Mivart
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  DAR 171: 182
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5926

From James Anderson   [after 24 February 1871?]


Sends two books detailing a new medical method that will produce "a state of health & vigour on every occasion & in every instance" and is applicable to "the entire circle of animated nature" [William Hibbert, Important discovery. Hibbert’s new theory and practice of medicine (1870) and The new theory and practice of medicine (1870)]. The volumes apply to animals and man. Subsequent books will detail the method for insects and plants.

[Letter erroneously addressed to E. A. Darwin, and forwarded by EAD to CD.]

Author:  James Anderson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 24 Feb 1871?]
Classmark:  DAR 159: 72
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7407

From E. F. Lubbock   [after 24 February 1871]


Verses on the Origin and Descent.

Author:  Ellen Frances Hordern; Ellen Frances Lubbock
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 24 Feb 1871]
Classmark:  DAR 170: 7
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7419

To J. D. Hooker   1 February [1871]


Returns pamphlets.

B. T. Lowne’s observation [Mon. Microsc. J. 4 (1870): 326–30] that boiling does not kill certain moulds is curious, but then how account for absence of all living things in Pasteur’s experiment?

Always delighted to see a word in favour of Pangenesis.

Thiselton-Dyer’s paper ["On spontaneous generation and evolution", Q. J. Microsc. Sci. 10 (1870): 333–54] is Spencerian.

The chemical conditions for first production of life are said to exist at present, but in some warm little pond today such matter would be absorbed or devoured, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  1 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  DAR 94: 188–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7471

From C.-F. Reinwald   1 February 1871


Has left Paris because of the war.

J. J. Moulinié and Carl Vogt are at work on Descent, which CR plans to publish in Paris.

Author:  Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 176: 93
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7472

From W. W. Reade   1 February 1871


Sir Andrew Smith says Hottentots and Kaffirs laugh till they cry.

Author:  William Winwood Reade
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 176: 45
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7473

From R. F. Cooke   3 February 1871


Encloses a letter [missing] from C. Reinwald, publisher of the French edition of Descent [1872].

Vincenzi [of Unione, Turin – publisher of Italian translation] has not yet paid the account.

Author:  Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 171: 385
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7474

From Erasmus Wilson   3 February 1871


On irritation of cutaneous nerves exciting responses in unconnected skin muscles.

Author:  William James Erasmus (Erasmus) Wilson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 181: 130
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7475

To Asa Gray   5 February [1871]


Sends questions on expressions of Laura Bridgman.

Has finished Descent. Believes that parts, like that on moral sense, will aggravate AG.

Working on an essay on expression.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  5 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (86)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7476

From W. E. Darwin   6 February 1871


Does shut eyes when scratching himself. Will ask Langstaff about muscles used when playing flute. Is back at work but hobbling around.

Author:  William Erasmus Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Feb 1871
Classmark:  Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 43)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7476F

From W. B. Dawkins   8 February 1871


The box of bones sent by CD has led to a series of explorations. Reports on Yorkshire cave-hunting.

Author:  William Boyd Dawkins
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 162: 125
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7477

To James Crichton-Browne   8 February 1871


Will send copy of Descent.

Comments on JC-B’s MS on expression among insane. Asks about weeping in insane men. Do idiots laugh when pleased?

Thanks for photographs of insane. Asks for additional photographs.

Comments on Henry Maudsley [Body and mind (1870)].

Pointed ears in the insane.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Crichton-Browne
Date:  8 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 143: 333
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7478

From Felice Finzi   9 February 1871


Sends a publication to Darwin.

Asks for a portrait.

Author:  Felice Finzi
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 164: 118
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7478A

From Thomas Meehan   10 February 1871


Sends CD some remarks he made before the Academy of Natural Sciences [Philadelphia].

TM is indebted to the Origin for first suggesting to him which observations might be useful to those working out the greater laws of nature.

Author:  Thomas Meehan
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 171: 108
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7479

To R. F. Cooke   10 February [1871]


Asks that a presentation copy [of Descent?] be sent to Edward Blyth. Comments on publication.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Date:  10 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  DAR 143: 278
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7480

To R. F. Cooke   14 February [1871]


Discusses presentation copies [of Descent]. Dallas returned proofs of index on Friday. Asks for John Stuart Mill’s address.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Francis Cooke; John Murray
Date:  14 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  DAR 143: 279
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7481

To J. V. Carus   15 February [1871]


Hopes German edition [of Descent] has not yet been printed because he has fallen into a most serious blunder [about sexual selection never acting on the young] on pp. 297–9 of vol. 1.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Julius Victor Carus
Date:  15 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 23–24)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7482
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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 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 …

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 …

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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