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To J. D. Hooker   9 December [1857]



Survey of species with well-marked varieties: JDH’s Labiatae case a "great blow", but result is very generally consistent.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  9 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 217
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2182

To E. W. V. Harcourt   13 December [1857]


Thanks for offer of pigeons, if breeding is successful; hopes to go to poultry show to see them.

Several questions about the Boz or Booz pigeon of Tunis.

If any of EWVH’s birds die and he does not want the skin, perhaps he would send it to CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  13 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (MS. Harcourt dep. adds. 346, fols. 258–62)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2182F

From H. C. Watson   14 December [1857]


Will shortly return CD’s list of varieties of British plants. Discusses the situations in which different varieties of species are often found and the ranges of varieties relative to those of the species.

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  14 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A11–12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2183

To George Bentham   15 December [1857]


For his studies on fertility of crosses, asks GB to mark a list of pairs of Cucubalus as to whether they are varieties of the same species, or distinct species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Bentham
Date:  15 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Bentham Correspondence, Vol. 3, Daintree–Dyer, 1830–1884, GEB/1/3: f. 681
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2184

To E. W. V. Harcourt   15 December [1857]


Will not accept invitation to Hastings, or offer to send pigeons to Down.

Is looking forward to seeing pigeons at Crystal Palace poultry show.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward William Vernon Harcourt
Date:  15 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (MS. Harcourt dep. adds. 346, fols. 263–4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2184F

To T. H. Huxley   16 December [1857]


THH’s catalogue [THH and R. Etheridge, A catalogue of the collection of fossils in the Museum of Practical Geology (1865), part published in 1857] best résumé he has seen of science of natural history. On classification he is not quite sure that he wholly goes along with THH. Encloses a few criticisms of THH’s preface.[enclosure survives as copy only].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  16 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 151); DAR 145: 178
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2185

From George Bentham   [16 or 17 December 1857]


Returns CD’s lists [sent with 2184]. Confusion in genera of Silene is great in continental botanic gardens. One would have to know whether C. F. v. Gärtner had the right names for species in his experiments.

Author:  George Bentham
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 or17 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 160: 151
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2186

To W. D. Fox   17 December [1857]


Thanks WDF for his letter about a rabbit breed that he thinks is the Himalaya. He is particularly glad to hear of it because it breeds so true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  17 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 105)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2187

From J. D. Hooker   [17–23 December 1857]



Sending more Candolle volumes for survey of species with well-marked varieties.

Has begun his introduction [to Flora Tasmaniae]; will not make generalisations.

J. D. Dana’s pamphlet too metaphysical for JDH.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [17–23 Dec 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 104: 194
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2188

To George Bentham   18 December [1857]


Thanks GB for his answers [to 2184], which were as explicit as he expected. Cucubalus viscosus and italicus are extremely sterile together; all other forms extremely fertile. Other instances of infertility found by Gärtner.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Bentham
Date:  18 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Bentham Correspondence, Vol. 3, Daintree–Dyer, 1830–1884, GEB/1/3: f. 700a)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2189

From H. C. Watson   20 December [1857]


Finds he cannot annotate CD’s list of subspecies and varieties as wanted. Mentions again his difficulties with "species"; he "cannot find the proof of species being definite and immutable whatever they may seem to be at any one time and spot".

Author:  Hewett Cottrell Watson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  20 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 98: A13–14
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2190

To A. R. Wallace   22 December 1857


Comments on agreement of their respective views on distribution.

Reference to differences on subsidence.

Reports on progress of his work and praises ARW’s investigations.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  22 Dec 1857
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2192

From Edward Hewitt   22 December 1857


Replies to more queries about fowl hybrids.

Author:  Edward Hewitt
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  22 Dec 1857
Classmark:  DAR 166: 197
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2193

To J. D. Hooker   25 December [1857]



Species with marked varieties.

Dana’s pamphlet also too metaphysical for CD.

Natural selection chapter on hybridism completed.

Doubts JDH will resist theory in his introduction to Flora Tasmaniae.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  25 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 218
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2194

To J. D. Hooker   [June 1857]



Request for Floras of Pacific Islands and Greenland.

Individual variation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [June 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 222b
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2198

To William Sharpey, Secretary, Royal Society   24 January [1857]


Feels unqualified to offer advice on research by the expedition; he has never attended to natural history of the region. Suggests collecting Carboniferous plants and studying the geographical extension of sea-borne erratic boulders.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Sharpey
Date:  24 Jan [1857]
Classmark:  The Royal Society (MC17: 336)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2206

To Edward Sabine   16 March [1857]


Would rather not serve on Royal Society committee [for a North American exploring expedition]. Suggests subjects for geological investigation.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Edward Sabine
Date:  16 Mar [1857]
Classmark:  The Royal Society (MM4: 39)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2241

To J. S. Henslow   25 September [1857]


Thanks JSH for his magnificent present. Hopes Hooker will bring the specimens.

Have water-fowl ever been seen at Ipswich on Mr Ransome’s great tank?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Stevens Henslow
Date:  25 Sept [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 93: A58–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2329

To Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von Mueller   8 December [1857]


Asks whether British or north European perennial plants can, under cultivation, withstand the climate of S. Australia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich (Ferdinand) von Mueller
Date:  8 Dec [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 92: A31–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2378

To John Lubbock   [6 March 1857]


Voting to elect JL [a member of Athenaeum].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Date:  [6 Mar 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 146: 71
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2392
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