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From Karl von Scherzer   20 October 1868


Describes departure of expedition to China, Japan, and South America.

Copy of CD’s queries provided to expedition.

Invites CD to make suggestions for scientific work to be carried out.

Author:  Karl von Scherzer
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Oct 1868
Classmark:  DAR 177: 50
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6425

To W. D. Fox   21 October [1868]


Reminds WDF to write about the "great magpie marriage". Sexual selection an "everlasting subject".

News of his children.

Asks for information on instances of sexual preference in animals and data on numbers of males and females born in various domesticated species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  21 Oct [1868]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 149); DAR 266
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6426

To August Weismann   22 October 1868


Fears copy of AW’s publication [Über die Berechtigung der Darwin’schen Theorie (1868)] lost in mail. Asks for another.

Glad AW approves of his work

and objects to Nägeli’s law of perfection.

Thinks Moritz Wagner overrates necessity for emigration and isolation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Leopold Friedrich August (August) Weismann
Date:  22 Oct 1868
Classmark:  DAR 148: 341
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6427

From J. P. M. Weale   23 October 1868



Describes Lappago aleina, a species of South African grass,

and reports his observations on locusts and their feeding habits.

Author:  James Philip Mansel Weale
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Oct 1868
Classmark:  DAR 46.1: 93a–94a
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6428

To Karl von Scherzer   25 October 1868


Thanks KvS for information about expression.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Karl von Scherzer
Date:  25 Oct 1868
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.356)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6429

To G. H. K. Thwaites   26 October [1868]


Encloses Queries about expression.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Henry Kendrick Thwaites
Date:  26 Oct [1868]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.335)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6431

From T. H. Farrer   26 October 1868


Delighted with mechanisms of Salvia and Viola. How can anyone who compares structure of Viola cornuta and common violet still suppose them to be separate creations?

Author:  Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Oct 1868
Classmark:  DAR 164: 47
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6432

From John Price   28 October 1868


Congratulates CD on success at Cambridge [of George Darwin].

Would like CD to study the anomalous Cardamine pratensis.

Author:  John Price
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Oct 1868
Classmark:  DAR 174: 75
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6434

To T. H. Farrer   29 October [1868]


Suggests THF write a paper on violets. Asa Gray, once a sceptic, now declares he is convinced whole structure of a flower is adapted for a cross with another individual.

Urges THF not to give up Pangenesis lightly. "It has thrown light on my mind in regard [to] a great series of complex phenomena."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer
Date:  29 Oct [1868]
Classmark:  Linnean Society of London (LS Ms 299/9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6435

From W. D. Fox   29 October [1868]


Thanks CD for a recent letter.

Reports on his health, which has been bad for 12 months.

Sends extracts of works on domestication.

Discusses the pairing of various birds; comments on the pugnacity of partridges, pheasants, male guinea-fowl, and peacocks.

Gives proportions of sexes in pheasants.

Author:  William Darwin Fox
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  29 Oct [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 189; DAR 193: 112; DAR 83: 187, DAR 84.1: 128–30, DAR 86: A87–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6436

To B. D. Walsh   31 October 1868


Thanks BDW for extracts about "drumming" [of male Cicada to attract females].

Asa Gray and Hooker doubt that 13–year and 17–year Cicada forms should be considered distinct species. CD is inclined to agree with them.

Suggests observations be made of ratio of females to males in the rarer form.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Benjamin Dann Walsh
Date:  31 Oct 1868
Classmark:  Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago (Walsh 16)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6437

To Sven Nilsson   31 October [1868]


Thanks SN for the reference about the reindeer, received via Hooker.

CD wishes to ascertain whether there is any relation between the period of development of a character and its transmission to one sex alone.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Sven Nilsson
Date:  31 Oct [1868]
Classmark:  Lund University Library Special Collections (Sven Nilsson papers)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6438

From Fritz Müller   31 October 1868


Writes on various observations and discoveries on dimorphic and trimorphic plants.

Author:  Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  31 Oct 1868
Classmark:  DAR 142: 98, 103
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6439

From John Lubbock   2 November [1868]


Would like to borrow CD’s carriage on polling day.

Author:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Nov [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 170: 65
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6443

From M. T. Masters   2 November 1868


After examining a basket of piebald potatoes he does believe them to be a graft-hybrid as Friedrich Hildebrand might suggest.

Author:  Maxwell Tylden Masters
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Nov 1868
Classmark:  DAR 171: 78
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6444

From T. H. Farrer   2 November 1868


The conversion of Asa Gray must be a pleasure.

CD’s doctrine accounts for and gives a vera causa of structures.

Discusses F. Hildebrand’s book.

Author:  Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Nov 1868
Classmark:  DAR 164: 48
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6445

To W. D. Fox   4 November 1868


Much interested in WDF’s letter on inheritance and courtship of birds. CD "in a great muddle" on many points.

Asks for further information on proportion of sexes in sheep.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  4 Nov 1868
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 150)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6447

From Friedrich Hildebrand   4 November 1868


Potato graft-hybrid fails to give potatoes.

August Weismann requests Wallace’s address to find out about experiments on butterflies hinted at in Variation.

Author:  Friedrich Hermann Gustav (Friedrich) Hildebrand
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Nov 1868
Classmark:  DAR 166: 210
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6448

From John Lubbock   6 November [1868]


Arrangements for polling.

Author:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Nov [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 170: 66
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6449

To Ernst Haeckel   7 November 1868


Thanks for [Natürliche] Schöpfungsgeschichte [1868]. "What an indomitable worker you are."

Agrees with EH’s Entstehung des Menschengeschlechts [1868].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Date:  7 Nov 1868
Classmark:  Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A-Abt. 1: 1–52/19)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6450
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