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To ?   9 October [1856]


Thanks for offer of Helix for experiment. Asks for assistance. Mentions failure of his own experiment involving Helix pomatia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  9 Oct [1856]
Classmark:  Houghton Library, Harvard University (Autograph File, D)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1972

From T. V. Wollaston   [early November 1856]


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

To J. A. H. de Bosquet   [before 3 November 1856]


Discusses shipment of skins of carrier pigeons.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Augustin Hubert de Bosquet
Date:  [before 3 Nov 1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.138)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2031

To W. B. Tegetmeier   28 [September 1856]


Specifies pigeons in which he is interested. Has become almost more interested in rabbits than anything else.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  28 [Sept 1856]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2068

To George Varenne Reed   8 September [1856]


George is not so low at school as CD anticipated. He keeps at the top of his class, thanks to GVR’s labours.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Varenne Reed
Date:  8 Sept [1856]
Classmark:  Buckinghamshire Record Office (D22/39/1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2139

To Leonard Horner    [1856–7]


Thanks LH for memorandum [missing] by K. R. Lepsius.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Leonard Horner
Date:  [1856–7]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2618

From Bernard Peirce Brent    [after August 1856]


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

To Francis Galton    4 February [1856]


Can FG use his influence with Rev. [Erhardt] to get information about domesticated poultry in Africa for CD?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Galton
Date:  4 Feb [1856]
Classmark:  UCL Library Services, Special Collections (GALTON/1/1/9/5/7/4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3059

To Hugh Falconer    16 April [1856]


Invites him to visit. JDH and one or two others coming.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Hugh Falconer
Date:  16 Apr [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 144: 18
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3509

To E. W. V. Harcourt   23 August [1856]


Has received [C. L.?] Brehm’s work [unspecified]. Will return it in two or three weeks.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  23 Aug [1856]
Classmark:  Wellcome Collection
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-4598

To Walter Baldock Durrant Mantell   [before 10 April 1856]



CD asks whether New Zealand tribes have an idea of beauty in women which is "like ours"; WBDM answers, "Yes".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Walter Baldock Durrant Mantell
Date:  [before 10 Apr 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 85: A99
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6520

To T. H. Huxley   13 [December 1856]


Pleased by what THH says on cement glands and organs in higher Crustacea. Content to be moderately right.

Hopes THH will dissect the Conchoderma.

Asks for cases of organs in which there is no apparent transition from other organs or in which transition can be shown in an unexpected way and for instances of odd and inexplicable connections between parts, such that if one part varies the other varies also.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  13 [Dec 1856]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 44, 375)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2020

To J. M. Herbert   18 November [1856]


Defers a visit with Lieutenant Blakiston; "my wife is out of health & expects her confinement in a few weeks, & I cannot possibly receive any one here or leave home . . ."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Maurice Herbert
Date:  18 Nov [1856]
Classmark:  Sotheby’s New York (June 1991); Remember When Antiquities (catalogue 26, 1992); Gerard A. J. Stodolski Inc. (1995)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2020A

To James Dwight Dana   21 December [1856]


Thanks for sending paper on geological development (Dana 1856). Discusses infertility of species. Discusses first part of Asa Gray’s paper (A. Gray 1856–7). Thanks for note on the Cave Rat. Discusses a new species of fossil cirripede, in the genus Chthamalus. Explains his interest in pigeon breeding.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  21 Dec [1856]
Classmark:  Catherine Barnes (dealer) (2003)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2020F

To Thomas Davidson   23 December [1856]


Asks TWStCD about variation among brachiopods.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Davidson
Date:  23 Dec [1856]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.142)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2021

To W. H. Harvey   24 December [1856]


W. J. Hooker thinks Harvey will be willing to give information on reproduction of higher marine plants.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Henry Harvey
Date:  24 Dec [1856]
Classmark:  Swann Auction Galleries (dealers) (21 April 2011)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2021F

To J. D. Hooker   24 December [1856]



On the variety of species definitions prevalent among naturalists.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  24 Dec [1856]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 187
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2022

From H. C. Watson   [28 December 1856]


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


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

To John Lubbock    [March? 1856]


JL is studying Cynipidae. CD sends galls for his examination.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  [Mar? 1856]
Classmark:  DAR 263: 10 (EH 88206459)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2028
Document type
letter (256)
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Hooker, J. D. (39)
Tegetmeier, W. B. (24)
Lyell, Charles (12)
Lubbock, John (10)
Woodward, S. P. (10)
Fox, W. D. (9)
Gray, Asa (8)
Huxley, T. H. (8)
Watson, H. C. (8)
Harcourt, E. W. V. (7)
Blyth, Edward (6)
Henslow, J. S. (6)
Wollaston, T. V. (6)
Bunbury, C. J. F. (5)
Dana, J. D. (5)
Bentham, George (4)
Darwin, W. E. (4)
Eyton, T. C. (4)
Mantell, W. B. D. (4)
Berkeley, M. J. (3)
Birch, Samuel (3)
Edmondston, Laurence (3)
Gray, J. E. (3)
Lubbock, J. W. (b) (3)
Andersson, C. J. (2)
Bosquet, J. A. H. de (2)
Daniell, W. F. (2)
Darwin, G. H. (2)
Davidson, Thomas (2)
Davy, John (2)
Gosse, P. H. (2)
Herbert, J. M. (2)
Higgins, John (2)
Layard, E. L. (2)
Murray, John (b) (2)
Phillips, John (2)
Babington, C. C. (1)
Bakewell, R. H. (1)
Brent, B. P. (1)
Covington, Syms (1)
Dickie, George (1)
Elliot, Walter (1)
Everest, Robert (1)
Falconer, Hugh (1)
Galton, Francis (1)
Gardeners’ Chronicle (1)
Gulliver, George (1)
Gurney, J. H. (1)
Hancock, Albany (1)
Harvey, W. H. (1)
Holland, Miss (1)
Horner, K. M. (1)
Horner, Leonard (1)
Hutton, Thomas (1)
Lowe, R. T. (1)
Lubbock, Harriet (1)
Lyell, K. M. (1)
Morris, John (1)
Norman, Ebenezer (1)
Oldfield, H. A. (1)
Reed, G. V. (1)
Richardson, John (1)
Robillard, Victor de (1)
Royal Society of London (1)
Sabine, Edward (1)
Secretary, Royal Society (1)
Spencer, Herbert (1)
Stainton, H. T. (1)
Thompson, John (1)
Thwaites, G. H. K. (1)
Unidentified (1)
Wallace, Peter (1)
Wedgwood, F. E. E. (1)
Wedgwood, Godfrey (1)
Westwood, J. O. (1)
Yarrell, William (1)
01 (19)
02 (10)
03 (15)
04 (20)
05 (24)
06 (33)
07 (26)
08 (19)
09 (18)
10 (14)
11 (34)
12 (24)
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