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To ?   2 May [1869 or later]

Summary

"When a man has laboured hard in science & has proved that he is capable of original research, he may [some]times indulge in speculation [&] the public will indulge him. But even in this case it is a common error to speculate too largely, for speculation is far easier than observation or experiments . . ."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  2 May [1869-82]
Classmark:  Sotheby’s (dealers) (28 March 1983)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13866A

To William Bowman   16 May [1869–81]

Summary

"I shall not be in London on Monday, but I have written to my Brother to ask him to aid you"

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bowman, 1st baronet
Date:  16 May [1869-81]
Classmark:  George Houle Autographs (dealer) (Catalogue 61 or 81, March 1992)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13781

From Francis Darwin   [before 8 May 1869]

Summary

Reports what he must pay for university courses. Forgets what CD wants to know about vermiform appendage.

Author:  Francis Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 8 May 1869]
Classmark:  DAR 274.1: 12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6519F

To Linnean Society, President and Council   [10 May 1869]

Summary

Referee report on paper by Richard Spruce on sacs in Melastoma [see 6690]. CD says RS’s suggestions that sacs are inherited is not supported and should be deleted.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Linnean Society, President and council
Date:  [10 May 1869]
Classmark:  The Linnean Society of London
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6722

From J. J. Weir   [1–13] May 1869

Summary

South Down sheep: variability in colouring and patterning of lambs compared with constancy of adult coat.

Author:  John Jenner Weir
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [1–13] May 1869
Classmark:  DAR 181: 79
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6723

From A. W. Bennett   3 May 1869

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Summary

Sends CD some notes [missing] on the mode of fertilisation of winter-flowering plants, and outlines his conclusions regarding the different types of winter-flowerers and the means by which they are fertilised.

Author:  Alfred William Bennett
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 May 1869
Classmark:  DAR 76: B176–7
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6724

To Charles Lyell   4 May [1869]

Summary

Asks for a photograph of CL to be used by a society [in Serbia].

Comments on article by Wallace ["Sir Charles Lyell on geological climates and the Origin", Q. Rev. 126 (1869): 359–94].

Has finished new edition of Origin [5th (1869)]

and is back at work on sexual selection [Descent].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  4 May [1869]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.369)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6725

To J. V. Carus   4 May 1869

Summary

Discusses changes in 5th edition of Origin owing to new evidence. CD now places more value on action of external conditions; thinks lapse of time [required for development of species] not so great as some geologists have thought, and single variations [saltations] of even less importance compared with individual differences.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Julius Victor Carus
Date:  4 May 1869
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 41–42)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6726

From T. H. Farrer   5 May 1869

Summary

Justifies his use of term "degraded" by comparing contrivances for cross-fertilisation in different species of Viola.

Author:  Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 May 1869
Classmark:  DAR 111: A79–80
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6727

From Charles Lyell   5 May 1869

Summary

Recalls Cuvier’s reaction to Principles of geology.

Comments on Wallace’s article in the Quarterly Review [see 6684].

Not opposed to ARW’s idea that Supreme Will might direct variation.

Quotes passage in letter from ARW arguing for causes other than selection in determining human abilities.

Discusses excavation of lakes by glaciers.

J. P. Lesley does not believe ice-sheets involved in eroding Appalachians.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 May 1869
Classmark:  Lyell 1881, 2: 441; DAR 85: A100–1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6728

From J. D. Caton   5 May 1869

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Summary

Females have no preference for particular males in deer and elk. Observations on sexual behaviour and characteristics of elk, deer, bison, and other animals.

Author:  John Dean Caton
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 May 1869
Classmark:  DAR 83: 170–1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6729

To T. H. Farrer   6 May [1869]

Summary

Dislikes the use of the term "degradation" as applied to the closed flowers of Viola species. Species with such self-fertilising flowers also have flowers adapted for crossing. The development of closed flowers adapted to ensure a sufficient stock of seed is progressive.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Farrer, 1st Baron Farrer
Date:  6 May [1869]
Classmark:  Linnean Society of London (LS Ms 299/1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6730

To J. D. Hooker   [before 7 May 1869]

Summary

Asks whether in Slavonic races the hair of the beard and head are different colours.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [before 7 May 1869]
Classmark:  DAR 94: 133
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6731

From T. H. Huxley   7 May 1869

Summary

H. M. S. Nassau, surveying Magellan Straits, has found fossils at Gallegos River. They have been sent to THH by R. O. Cunningham [naturalist of H. M. S. Nassau]. Skull of entirely new ungulate mammal.

Author:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 May 1869
Classmark:  DAR 166: 319
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6732

From Harrison William Weir   7 May 1869

Summary

Daisies.

A tame rabbit with a litter of 18.

Author:  Harrison William Weir
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 May 1869
Classmark:  DAR 181: 71
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6733

From George Bentham   7 May 1869

Summary

The Linnean Society Council wants CD to review two papers, with reference to their value for publication.

Author:  George Bentham
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 May 1869
Classmark:  DAR 160: 162
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6734

To T. H. Huxley   8 May [1869]

Summary

Thanks for [D. D. Cunningham’s] letter. Had hoped for a better haul but delighted to hear of the curious fossil.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  8 May [1869]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 268)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6735

To Spiridion Brusina   8 May [1869]

Summary

Sends photograph of Sir C. Lyell and Professor Owen, generally considered our most distinguished [British] naturalists. Includes the requested photograph of himself [see 6720].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Spiridion Brusina
Date:  8 May [1869]
Classmark:  Archives of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts (XV-48/AI 340)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6736A

From Asa Gray   9 May [1869]

Summary

Encloses Mrs Gray’s notes on expression among Arabs.

Author:  Asa Gray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 May [1869]
Classmark:  DAR 165: 168
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6737

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   9 May [1869]

Summary

In response to a query from a Mr D. T. Fish, CD reaffirms his view of the efficiency of worms in bringing up in their intestines fine soil from below the surface. Reports on observations, during the past 25 years, which confirm his views.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  9 May [1869]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette (1869): 530
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6738
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