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To Nature   7 and 11 May [1874]


Thanks Nature correspondents for their observations on destruction of primroses [Nature 9 (1874): 509; 10 (1874): 6–7]. Reports an error in his observations: ovules, as well as nectar, are taken by the birds. As the habit of cutting off primrose flowers is widespread, CD concludes it is instinctive in bullfinches.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nature
Date:  7 and 11 May [1874]
Classmark:  Nature, 14 May 1874, pp. 24–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9444

From T. L. Brunton   23 May 1874



Comments on his examination of slides [of milk casein?] sent by CD.

Surprised by CD’s finding that a drop of one per cent hydrochloric acid stops digestion of albumen by Drosera.

Author:  Thomas Lauder Brunton, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 May 1874
Classmark:  DAR 58.1: 120–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-10512

To Japetus Steenstrup   23 May [1874 or 1875?]


"With kind regards, & many thanks for Prof. Steenstrup’s Photograph, which is most highly valued by C. Darwin"

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Johannes Japetus Smith (Japetus) Steenstrup
Date:  23 May [1874-5]
Classmark:  Det Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen (tipped into a copy of Orchids)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5098

From T. M. Story-Maskelyne   4 May 1874


Reply to CD’s letter in Nature ["Flowers of the primrose", Collected papers 2: 183–4]. She has a canary that eats primroses.

Author:  Thereza Mary Story-Maskelyne
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 May 1874
Classmark:  DAR 177: 263
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9426

From J. M. Grandclément   [May 1874]


He was chagrined to read in Descent CD’s statement that smallpox vaccine has saved thousands of lives. He has found no scientific reason to believe in the prophylactic effect of the vaccine. In epidemic of 1870–1, smallpox killed more vaccinated persons than were killed by cholera, against which there is no vaccine, in 1853–4. Cites the difficulties in arriving at a conclusive proof of vaccine’s effectiveness.

Author:  Joseph Marie Grandclément
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [May 1874]
Classmark:  DAR 165: 87
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9436

From W. W. Keen   [May–June? 1874]


CD’s theory has his qualified support.

He suggests the inheritance of syphilis as an example of sexual selection.

Gives an example of inherited expression in his wife’s and daughter’s frowns.

Author:  William Williams Keen
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [May–June? 1874]
Classmark:  DAR 169: 2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9437

From Leonard Darwin   3 May 1874


Experiments on sensitive plants.

Author:  Leonard Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 May 1874
Classmark:  DAR 161: 77
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9438

To F. S. B. François de Chaumont   4 May 1874


Returns FDeC’s certificate for the Royal Society signed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Stephen Bennet François de Chaumont
Date:  4 May 1874
Classmark:  Wellcome Collection (RAMC/473/5) Trustees of the Army Medical Services Museum
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9439

To Easton and Anderson   4 May [1874]


CD’s son Horace wishes to continue at Easton and Anderson’s Works. CD trusts they will not bind him to long hours of work as this would be against medical advice.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Easton and Anderson
Date:  4 May [1874]
Classmark:  DAR 97: C55
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9440

To J. S. Burdon Sanderson   5 May [1874]


Thanks for the acid digestion experiments, which can be printed as they are. CD trying Drosera on dentine and enamel.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Scott Burdon Sanderson, baronet
Date:  5 May [1874]
Classmark:  University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections (Darwin - Burdon Sanderson letters RBSC-ARC-1731-1-4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9441

From J. F. McLennan   5 May 1874


Would like to see C. S. Wake’s paper ["Marriage among primitive peoples", Anthropologia 1 (1873–5): 197–207].

Will return L. H. Morgan’s work [? Systems of consanguinity (1871)].

Murray suggests Macmillan’s are more likely to reprint JFMcL’s Primitive marriage.

Author:  John Ferguson McLennan
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  5 May 1874
Classmark:  DAR 171: 20
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9442

From T. M. Reade   7 May 1874


Studying glacial drift in NW. England, he finds evidence of intense glacial activity, but the molluscan fauna does not appear to indicate a low sea temperature. Requests information on Tierra del Fuego molluscs for comparison.

Author:  Thomas Mellard Reade
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 May 1874
Classmark:  DAR 176: 27
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9443

To Béla Weisz   8 May 1874


Would be interesting to discuss political economy in light of evolution. Recommends Walter Bagehot Physics and politics [1872] and Descent in which source of moral sense is discussed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Béla Weisz
Date:  8 May 1874
Classmark:  DAR 148: 3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9445

From W. D. Fox   8 May [1874]


Has left Delamere and settled on the Isle of Wight.

Author:  William Darwin Fox
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 May [1874]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 197
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9446

From J. F. McLennan   8 May 1874


Thanks for issue of Anthropologia. Would be pleased if CD would write to Murray on his behalf.

Author:  John Ferguson McLennan
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 May 1874
Classmark:  DAR 171: 21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9447

From Michael Foster   [before 9 May 1874]


Encloses a report on state of appeal for Naples Zoological Station.

Author:  Michael Foster
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 9 May 1874]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 167
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9448

To William Crookes   9 May [1874]


Regrets he cannot comply with request because of his work and poor health.

Delighted to have seen correspondent’s "wonderful experiment" at Royal Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Crookes
Date:  9 May [1874]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9449

To T. M. Reade   9 May 1874


Interested in TMR’s investigation of drift. Narrative 1: 545–6 contains catalogue of shells collected. Much struck by marine productions of Tierra del Fuego.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Mellard Reade
Date:  9 May 1874
Classmark:  University of Liverpool Library (TMR1.D.7.1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9450

To John Murray   9 May [1874]


Recommends that JM consider publishing a new edition of J. F. McLennan’s Primitive marriage [1865]. CD considers it very valuable and not too indelicate.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Murray
Date:  9 May [1874]
Classmark:  National Library of Scotland (John Murray Archive) (Ms. 42152 ff. 347–347A)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9451

To Michael Foster   9 May [1874]


CD is rather disappointed by the money raised for Dohrn. Had hoped for £700–800.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Michael Foster
Date:  9 May [1874]
Classmark:  Michael Silverman (dealer): (January 2001)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9452
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