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To ?   25 February [1871]


Thanks for two reviews of Descent. Second is "most fair, kind and carefully abstracted".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  25 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  The New York Public Library. Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations. Manuscripts and Archives Division. (Miscellaneous papers)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7513

From A child of God   [after 24 February 1871?]


Urges CD to repent and seek salvation through Christ.

Author:  Unidentified
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 24 Feb 1871?]
Classmark:  DAR 201: 1
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-13770

To John Tyndall   [27 February 1871]


Thinks JT’s discovery of a glycerine respirator is an interesting practical discovery. CD has been wondering about the hairs in our nostrils, but doubts that JT has explained their function, since there are hardly enough.

Will ask W. Ogle to observe hairs in nostrils of different races.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Tyndall
Date:  [27 Feb 1871]
Classmark:  DAR 261.8: 7 (EH 88205945)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7518

From John Murray   27 February [1871]


First edition [issue] of Descent is exhausted. Asks CD to send corrections at once for a new printing of at least 1000 copies.

Author:  John Murray
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  27 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  DAR 171: 390
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7519

From Anton Dohrn   28 February 1871


Thanks CD for Variation.

From his work on insect embryology he sees a great parallelism between insect and vertebrate embryology.

The zoological station is slowly advancing.

Author:  Felix Anton (Anton) Dohrn
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 162: 206
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7520

To Francis Darwin   [28 February 1871]


Says Descent is "selling like Mad.––" Murray will print another 1500 or 2000 copies. Has received £630 for the 2500.

On Monday he visited Mivart, who is a charming man.

He seemed to be taken aback by CD’s points about the larynx and giraffe.

[See 7507 and 7519.]

He seemed to have forgotten CD’s argument regarding the formation of the greyhound.

Discussed the larynx and the silence of the Cetaceans.

If FD mentions any of this to [Marlborough Robert] Pryor, ask him not to mention it to anyone else "as it is perhaps rather a breach of confidence to repeat even to friends private conversation."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Darwin
Date:  [28 Feb 1871]
Classmark:  DAR 271.4: 2 and 4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7520A

From George Rolleston   [after 22 February 1871]


Suggests alteration in Descent [1st ed. 7th thousand] in citing pagination of George Busk’s paper "The caves of Gibraltar" [Trans. Int. Congr. Prehist. Archaeol. 3 (1868): 106–67].

Author:  George Rolleston
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [after 22 Feb 1871]
Classmark:  DAR 176: 210
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7521

From Hermanus Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen   [before 21 February 1871]



Notes on Variation and Descent.

Author:  Hermanus Hartogh Heijs van Zouteveen
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [before 21 Feb 1871]
Classmark:  DAR 90: 26–7
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7529

To W. E. Darwin   11 February [1871]


Would like precise details about pouting of English children to add to his information about children of savages.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Erasmus Darwin
Date:  11 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  Natural History Museum (General Special Collections MSS DAR 31)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8208

To J. D. Hooker   1 February [1871]


Returns pamphlets.

B. T. Lowne’s observation [Mon. Microsc. J. 4 (1870): 326–30] that boiling does not kill certain moulds is curious, but then how account for absence of all living things in Pasteur’s experiment?

Always delighted to see a word in favour of Pangenesis.

Thiselton-Dyer’s paper ["On spontaneous generation and evolution", Q. J. Microsc. Sci. 10 (1870): 333–54] is Spencerian.

The chemical conditions for first production of life are said to exist at present, but in some warm little pond today such matter would be absorbed or devoured, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  1 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  DAR 94: 188–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7471

From C.-F. Reinwald   1 February 1871


Has left Paris because of the war.

J. J. Moulinié and Carl Vogt are at work on Descent, which CR plans to publish in Paris.

Author:  Charles-Ferdinand Reinwald
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 176: 93
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7472

From W. W. Reade   1 February 1871


Sir Andrew Smith says Hottentots and Kaffirs laugh till they cry.

Author:  William Winwood Reade
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 176: 45
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7473

From Erasmus Wilson   3 February 1871


On irritation of cutaneous nerves exciting responses in unconnected skin muscles.

Author:  William James Erasmus (Erasmus) Wilson
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 181: 130
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7475

To Asa Gray   5 February [1871]


Sends questions on expressions of Laura Bridgman.

Has finished Descent. Believes that parts, like that on moral sense, will aggravate AG.

Working on an essay on expression.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Asa Gray
Date:  5 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  Gray Herbarium of Harvard University (86)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7476

From W. E. Darwin   6 February 1871


Does shut eyes when scratching himself. Will ask Langstaff about muscles used when playing flute. Is back at work but hobbling around.

Author:  William Erasmus Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Feb 1871
Classmark:  Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 43)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7476F

From W. B. Dawkins   8 February 1871


The box of bones sent by CD has led to a series of explorations. Reports on Yorkshire cave-hunting.

Author:  William Boyd Dawkins
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 162: 125
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7477

To James Crichton-Browne   8 February 1871


Will send copy of Descent.

Comments on JC-B’s MS on expression among insane. Asks about weeping in insane men. Do idiots laugh when pleased?

Thanks for photographs of insane. Asks for additional photographs.

Comments on Henry Maudsley [Body and mind (1870)].

Pointed ears in the insane.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Crichton-Browne
Date:  8 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 143: 333
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7478

From Felice Finzi   9 February 1871


Sends a publication to Darwin.

Asks for a portrait.

Author:  Felice Finzi
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 164: 118
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7478A

From Thomas Meehan   10 February 1871


Sends CD some remarks he made before the Academy of Natural Sciences [Philadelphia].

TM is indebted to the Origin for first suggesting to him which observations might be useful to those working out the greater laws of nature.

Author:  Thomas Meehan
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Feb 1871
Classmark:  DAR 171: 108
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7479

To J. V. Carus   15 February [1871]


Hopes German edition [of Descent] has not yet been printed because he has fallen into a most serious blunder [about sexual selection never acting on the young] on pp. 297–9 of vol. 1.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Julius Victor Carus
Date:  15 Feb [1871]
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Slg. Darmstaedter Lc 1859: Darwin, Charles, Bl. 23–24)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7482
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