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From Charles Lyell   [before 20 November 1860]


Discusses the possibility of a land-bridge connecting Biscay with Ireland and the consequent occurrence in southern Ireland of Asturian plants which are absent from England.

Asks if Hooker or anyone has criticised Edward Forbes’ botanical migration of five floras in the British Isles ["On the connexion between the distribution of existing fauna and flora of the British Isles, and the geological changes which have affected their area", Mem. Geol. Surv. G. B. 1 (1846): 336–432].

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 20 Nov 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 170.2: 80
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2902

To Charles Lyell   1 September [1860]


Discusses at length CL’s criticisms of natural selection.

Comments on possible former connection between the Galapagos and South America.

Discounts survival of mammals on atolls.

Discusses reptile origin of mammals.

Discounts development of a mammal on an island and the descent of mammals from a bird.

The antiquity of islands.

Comments on bats of New Zealand. Geographical distribution of seals. Discusses Amblyrhynchus.

Glad CL will read his MS on origin of dogs [Variation 1: 15–43].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  1 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.225)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2903

To W. B. Tegetmeier   1 September [1860]


Regrets he has nothing that he could contribute to the Field and cannot spare the time to work out anything on bees’ cells.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Bernhard Tegetmeier
Date:  1 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2904

To J. D. Hooker   2 September [1860]



CD has a low opinion of British entomologists.

Lyell’s ingenious difficulties with natural selection show he is in earnest.

Asks JDH to observe beetles and variation of stripes in mules on his Syrian tour.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  2 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 73
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2905

To A. G. More   5 September [1860]


Discusses Spiranthes. Did AGM see dipterous insects insert proboscis?

Asks for information about Epipactis.

Describes fertilisation of Orchis pyramidalis.

Has received moth with pollen from O. pyramidalis.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alexander Goodman More
Date:  5 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Royal Irish Academy (A. G. More papers RIA MS 4 B 46)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2906

To a bookseller   6 September [1860]


Asks that Fraser’s Magazine for July or the review from it on Origin (Hopkins 1860) be sent to Asa Gray.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Bookseller.
Date:  6 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Bernard Quaritch (dealers) 2003
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2906F

To John Innes   6 September [1860]


Etty [Henrietta Darwin] much improved.

Reference to his "hobby of striped asses".

Sceptical of JBI’s "curious stories" on spirit-tapping: "believe nothing one hears & only half of what one sees".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  6 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2907

To J. D. Hooker   6 September [1860]



Thanks JDH for agreeing to observe coats of asses and mules in Middle East.

Asks for observations on vigour of plants as JDH ascends mountains.

Ad hominem article in Athenæum [review of John Tyndall, Glaciers of the Alps, 1 Sept 1860, pp. 280–2].

Reports extensive experiments on Drosera.

Observations on orchid anatomy.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  6 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 115: 74
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2908

From Charles Lyell   8 September 1860


Believes CD’s argument against special creation based on absence of terrestrial mammals on islands isolated before Pliocene era is very strong. However, the absence means Cetacea and bats have not modified towards terrestrial existence. There is similar lack of development of bats and rodents in Australia. Constancy among land shells of Madeira over long period shows that the majority of their species are immutable: a minority of "metamorphic" species maintains the overall number of true species while extinction removes many. Emphasis on the role of extinction discomfits CD’s opponents since the power of generation of new species ought to keep pace. Mentions Ammonite deposits with reference to CD’s comments on their apparent sudden extinction [Origin, pp. 321–2]. Perhaps absence of transmutation on slowly subsiding atolls indicates the slow rate of selective change.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Sept 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VI, pp. 179–86
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2908A

To T. H. Huxley   10 September [1860]


Sends Asa Gray’s review [of Origin]. Asks THH’s advice on getting it reprinted in England.

Hooker’s expedition to Syria.

Disgraceful review of Tyndall’s book in Athenæum.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  10 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 135–6)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2909

To Asa Gray   10 September [1860]


Has received second part of AG’s Atlantic Monthly article ["Darwin on the origin of species", 6 (1860): 109–16, 229–39], and would like to have it reprinted in England with the first part.

Regrets no reviewer has touched upon embryology, which he feels provides one of his strongest arguments.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  10 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (34)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2910

To George Gordon   11 September [1860]


Asks whether GG can provide a few fresh specimens of Goodyera.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gordon
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Elgin Museum (Gordon Archive 60.13)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2911

To John Innes   11 September [1860]


Going to sea-side for Etty’s health.

Asks JBI further questions about a striped donkey he had reported to CD.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Brodie Innes
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2912

To Daniel Oliver   11 September [1860]


Requests observations on Drosera and Dionaea,

and asks DO to look up Buchanan and Wight on insectivorous plants ["Conspectus of Indian Utricularia", Hooker’s J. Bot. 1 (1849): 372–4].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  11 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 9 (EH 88205993)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2913

To Charles Lyell   12 September [1860]


Additional response, at length, to CL’s criticisms of natural selection. Comments on failure of rodents to develop in Australia. Argues that most species become extinct and do not develop. Discusses variability, especially variability of rudimentary organs. Extinction among ammonites. Survival of Ornithorhynchus. Descent of marsupials and placentals. Emphasises embryological argument for descent of species.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  12 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.226)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2915

To Daniel Oliver   15 [September 1860]


Thanks for reference to Annales des Sciences Naturelles.

Requests DO observe rate at which Australian Drosera closes.

On detection of nitrogen in organic fluids.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Daniel Oliver
Date:  15 [Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 261.10: 10 (EH 88205994)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2917

To George Varenne Reed   15 September [1860]


The family will move to sea-side because of his daughter Henrietta’s health. When they return he will be glad to send Leonard twice a week for tutoring. Frank is in a low form at school but is doing very well.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Varenne Reed
Date:  15 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Buckinghamshire Record Office (D22.39.4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2918

To Gardeners’ Chronicle   15 September [1860]


Asks for any published reference providing account of the movement of the viscid hairs or leaves of Drosera lunata, an Indian Drosera which Lindley cites in Vegetable kingdom, p. 433.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Gardeners’ Chronicle
Date:  15 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 22 September 1860, p. 853
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2918A

From Thomas Vernon Wollaston   [16 September 1860]



Has received a batch of S. African specimens which contain many of the Atlantic genera he found in Madeira and the Canaries.

Author:  Thomas Vernon Wollaston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [16 Sept 1860]
Classmark:  DAR 205.3: 302
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2919

To George Gordon   17 September [1860]


Thanks GG for specimens of Goodyera. The rostellum structure is near to that of Epipactis and CD is almost certain that the action is the same.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Gordon
Date:  17 Sept [1860]
Classmark:  Elgin Museum (Gordon Archive 60.14)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2920
Document type
letter (479)
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Hooker, J. D. (61)
Lyell, Charles (56)
Huxley, T. H. (31)
Gray, Asa (29)
Oliver, Daniel (26)
Murray, John (b) (18)
Henslow, J. S. (13)
Cresy, Edward, Jr (11)
Bronn, H. G. (9)
Unidentified (8)
Lubbock, John (7)
More, A. G. (7)
Tegetmeier, W. B. (7)
Williams & Norgate (7)
Higgins, John (6)
Darwin, W. E. (5)
Drummond, James (a) (5)
Fox, W. D. (5)
Innes, J. B. (5)
Miller, W. H. (5)
Sclater, P. L. (5)
Bookseller. (4)
Gardeners’ Chronicle (4)
Murray, Andrew (4)
Rodwell, J. M. (4)
Carpenter, W. B. (3)
Harvey, W. H. (3)
Masters, M. T. (3)
Pictet de la Rive, F. J. (3)
Quatrefages de Bréau, Armand de Quatrefages (3)
Spencer, Herbert (3)
Thwaites, G. H. K. (3)
Watson, H. C. (3)
Wyman, Jeffries (3)
Blomefield, Leonard (2)
Bond, Frederick (2)
Brent, B. P. (2)
Bridges, Thomas (b) (2)
Bunbury, C. J. F. (2)
Cattell, John (2)
Daubeny, C. G. B. (2)
Doubleday, Henry (2)
Falconer, Hugh (2)
Forbes, David (2)
Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore (2)
Gordon, George (b) (2)
Gärtner, Emma (2)
Hardy, Charles (2)
Jenyns, Leonard (2)
Kippist, Richard (2)
Lamont, James (2)
Masters, William (2)
Patterson, Robert (2)
Powell, Baden (2)
Ramsay, A. C. (2)
Reed, G. V. (2)
Rolleston, George (2)
Silliman, Benjamin, Jr (2)
Skirving, R. S. (2)
Smith, Frederick (a) (2)
Smith, J. T. (2)
Stainton, H. T. (2)
Stewardson, Thomas (2)
Wallace, A. R. (2)
Wallich, G. C. (2)
Waterhouse, G. R. (2)
Wedgwood, F. M. (2)
Westwood, J. O. (2)
Woodward, S. P. (2)
Ansted, D. T. (1)
Arnott, Neil (1)
Bartlett, A. D. (1)
Bates, H. W. (1)
Blewitt, Octavian (1)
Boott, Francis (1)
Cottage Gardener (1)
Dana, J. D. (1)
Darwin, E. A. (1)
Entomologist’s Weekly Intelligencer (1)
Eyton, T. C. (1)
Fawcett, Henry (1)
Galton, Francis (1)
Gaudin, C.-T. (1)
Greg, W. R. (1)
Griffin, Charles (1)
Günther, Albert (1)
Hawkshaw, John (1)
Holland, Miss (1)
Hutton, F. W. (1)
Jelski, Aleksander (1)
Jukes, J. B. (1)
Lincecum, Gideon (1)
Marshall, William (1)
Meade, R. H. (1)
Murchison, R. I. (1)
Norman, Ebenezer (1)
Phillips, John (1)
Prestwich, Joseph (1)
Reeks, Trenham (1)
Rolfe, R. M. (1)
Royal College of Surgeons (1)
Sharpey, William (1)
Smith, Elder & Co (1)
Trübner, Nicholas (1)
Victoria, queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and empress of India (1)
Watkins, Frederick (1)
Way, Albert (1)
Wedgwood, Elizabeth (1)
Wedgwood, Hensleigh (1)
Whewell, William (1)
Wollaston, T. V. (1)
secretary of Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (1)
01 (56)
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