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From Bernard Peirce Brent    [after August 1856]

Summary

On his breeding of Jacobin pigeons. How reciprocal crosses to produce mules work among canaries, goldfinches, linnets, and green linnets.

Will soon forward copies of Cottage Gardener for June.

Author:  Bernard Peirce Brent
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after Aug 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 160.2: 298
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2850

From H. C. Watson   26 November 1856

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Summary

Responds to CD’s query on Subularia and Limosella. There are discrepancies among authorities on whether Subularia flowers out of water. Limosella certainly flowers out of water.

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  26 Nov 1856
Classmark:  DAR 207: 19
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2002

From George Howard Darwin   [28 November 1856]

Summary

Letter from school with instructions where to put away his belongings at home.

Author:  George Howard Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [28 Nov 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 251: 2222
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2003F

From George Dickie   1 December 1856

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Summary

His observations on Subularia: has never seen it in flower in the air.

Author:  George Dickie
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Dec 1856
Classmark:  DAR 207: 16
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2009

From T. V. Wollaston   [11 or 18 December 1856]

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Summary

Informs CD that the "dishonest mollusks" were collected in May 1855 in Porto Santo. Describes some Madeira species. Though believing in "species" more and more, these may be "mere insular modifications".

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [11 or 18] Dec 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 301
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2013

From J. D. Hooker   7 December 1856

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Summary

Has done New Zealand flora calculations. Results support CD’s theory of necessity of crossing. Trees tend to have separate sexes.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Dec 1856
Classmark:  DAR 100: 113–14
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2014

From J. D. Dana   8 December 1856

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Summary

Agassiz has informed him that the mice and rats of Mammoth Cave are American in type.

Alludes to CD’s doubt of the principle that "progress of life on the globe is parallel with the development in different tribes". Outlines his own ideas on the "unfolding of the type-idea" and its "parallelism with the law of development in the embryo".

Author:  James Dwight Dana
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Dec 1856
Classmark:  DAR 205.9: 378
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2016

From H. C. Watson   [28 December 1856]

Summary

Notes on the comparative rarity of intermediate forms between species, and the varying relationships those forms may have to one or both species between which they are intermediate.

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [28 Dec 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A15–18
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2023

From Thomas Davidson   29 December 1856

Summary

His experience confirms CD’s view that some species and even some genera of Brachiopoda are consistently more variable than others, and that such variable forms are variable in all localities and at all periods. Similarly a species that shows a lack of variability does so at all points in time and space. Discusses the causes of variability. [See Natural selection, p. 106.]

Author:  Thomas Davidson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  29 Dec 1856
Classmark:  DAR 162: 116
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2024

From T. V. Wollaston   [early November 1856]

Summary

Variability of certain features within insect genera.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [early Nov 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 181: 138
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2030

From J. D. Hooker   [16 November 1856]

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Summary

JDH not happy with CD’s explanation of the absence of north temperate forms in the Southern Hemisphere, given his explanation for the spread of sub-arctic forms to the south. [CD’s note is in response to JDH’s criticism.]

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 Nov 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 100: 162–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1622

From George Gulliver   20 January [1856]

Summary

Discusses the similarity in size, shape, and structure of the blood corpuscles of the Aves. Notes differences between the corpuscles of the domestic dog and some wild species.

Author:  George Gulliver
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  DAR (CD library – Gulliver, George 1846)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1632

From W. D. Fox   8 March [1856]

Summary

Is trying to procure some cocks for CD.

Believes Scotch deerhounds are mongrels.

Author:  William Darwin Fox
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Mar [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 164: 174
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1646

From Thomas Vernon   Wollaston [February 1856]

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Summary

Sends Madeira specimens, including frogs recently introduced into the island, and flourishing.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [Feb 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 299
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1806

From S. P. Woodward   [after 4 June 1856]

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Summary

Note on cases of representative shells that are not clearly either varieties or species.

Author:  Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 4 June 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 205.9: 403
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1807

From Edward Blyth   8 January [1856]

Summary

Encloses "notes for Mr. D" [see 1818] and a memorandum on the wild cattle of southern India [see 1819].

Breeds of silky fowl of China and Malaya. Black-skinned fowl.

Doubts any breed of canary has siskin blood; all remain true to their type.

Wild canary and finch hybrids.

Hybrids between one- and two-humped camels.

Does not regard zebra markings on asses as an indication of interbreeding but as one of the many instances of markings in the young which more or less disappear in the adult.

Crossing of Coracias species at the edges of their ranges.

Regional variations and intergrading between species of pigeons.

Regards the differences in Treron as specific [see Natural selection, p. 115 n. 1].

Gives other instances of representative species or races differing only in certain details of colouring.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Jan [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A110–13, A117–21
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1817

From John Davy   10 January 1856

Summary

On the vitality of the ova of the Salmonidae at different stages of development.

Author:  John Davy
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Jan 1856
Classmark:  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 8 (1856–7): 27–33
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1819A

From Edward Blyth   23 January 1856

Summary

Believes the goldfish originates from a wild, gold variety of Chinese carp.

Gallinaceous birds.

Crested turkeys.

EB divides the gallinaceous birds into five families on anatomical distinctions.

Wild dog species of India and Asia; ranges of some species, specific identity of others.

The fauna of the Seychelles.

Breeding of fowls in India and Africa.

Occurrence of turkeys in Africa.

Refers to some of his own papers giving fuller details of points raised previously.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Jan 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A122–A125
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1825

From Charles James Fox Bunbury   7 February 1856

Summary

Has heard CD is much interested in questions relating to varieties and species. Mentions a case of a seminal variety of Colletia spinosa, described by John Lindley, which appears identical with another wild species of Colletia from S. America. Hopes CD will one day "enlighten us very much" on "the laws of species". There are many different views on the limits of species; M. F. Dunal made 50 species of Solanum which George Bentham considers are all varieties of S. nigrum.

Author:  Charles James Fox Bunbury, 8th baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 160: 374, DAR 205.4: 97
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1830

From Edward Blyth   23 February 1856

Summary

Opposition to EB within the Asiatic Society.

Possibility of establishment of a zoological garden at Calcutta.

Has seen Gallus varius alive for the first time.

Will procure domestic pigeons for CD; could CD pay for them by returning hardy creatures, such as macaws and marmosets, which EB can sell for a high price in India?

Does not recall his authority for genealogy of the asses of Oman. If a genuine wild ass exists EB believes it will be in south Arabia.

Infertility of Irish and Devon red deer.

Details of an unusual species of wild dog.

Fertility of canine hybrids. General tendency toward hybrid sterility.

Has skins of hybrid Coracias and the parent species.

Wide-ranging species; skua found in Europe and Australia, but not in the tropics.

Author:  Edward Blyth
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  23 Feb 1856
Classmark:  DAR 98: A128–A132
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1832
Document type
letter (69)
Addressee
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Date
1856
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06 (9)
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