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To Nature   [before 3 April 1873]


Comments on article ["Perception and instinct in lower animals", Nature 7 (1871): 377–8].

Explains his contention that "many of the most wonderful instincts have been acquired, independently of habit, through the preservation of useful variations of pre-existing instincts". Cites examples: sterile workers of several species of social insects have acquired different instincts; movements of tumbler pigeons. Speculates that "many instincts have originated from modification or variations in the brain".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nature
Date:  [before 3 Apr 1873]
Classmark:  Nature, 3 April 1873, pp. 417–18
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8838

To Nature   [before 3 April 1873]


"The following fact with respect to the habits of ants, which I believe to be quite new, has been sent to me by a distinguished geologist, Mr J. D. Hague [see 8788]; and it appears well worth publishing."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nature
Date:  [before 3 Apr 1873]
Classmark:  Nature, 10 April 1873, pp. 443–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8853

To ?   28 April 1873


"I was born in the town of Shrewsbury Feb. 12, 1809."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  28 Apr 1873
Classmark:  Swann Galleries (dealer) (26 April 1984)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8888A

To Samuel Butler   1 April [1873]


Comments on SB’s book [The fair haven (1873)]. CD is struck by SB’s dramatic power – thinks he could write "a really good novel". Surprised at strength of case SB makes that Jesus did not die on the cross. SB’s identity will soon be universally known: Leslie Stephen knows he is the author.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Samuel Butler
Date:  1 Apr [1873]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 34486 D: 60–1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8835

From William Main   2 April 1873


Having now read Expression, WM repeats his criticism of "antithesis". Explains his theory of up-and-down-tending lines.

Author:  William Main
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  2 Apr 1873
Classmark:  DAR 171: 28
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8836

To N. D. Doedes   2 April 1873


The impossibility of conceiving that the universe arose through chance is the chief argument for the existence of God, but CD has never been able to decide whether this is an argument of real value. Safest to believe that the subject is beyond man’s intellect, "but man can do his duty".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nicolaas Dirk Doedes
Date:  2 Apr 1873
Classmark:  DAR 139.12: 11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8837

To G. H. Darwin   [3 April 1873]


Anxious to have GHD come home because of his poor health. Recommends Huxley’s physician (Andrew Clark) – an advocate of milk diet.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  George Howard Darwin
Date:  [3 Apr 1873]
Classmark:  DAR 210.1: 10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8839

To J. D. Hague   3 April [1873]


Has sent JDH’s letter to Nature ["Perception in ants", Nature 7 (1873): 443–4].

Sons recall kindness received from JDH and others in America.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Duncan Hague
Date:  3 Apr [1873]
Classmark:  DAR 144: 394
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8840

From N. D. Doedes   4 April 1873


Debates the existence of God.

Author:  Nicolaas Dirk Doedes
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Apr 1873
Classmark:  DAR 162: 202
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8841

To J. D. Hooker   [6 April 1873]


Wants to discuss raising a testimonial fund for Huxley and whether Huxley would stand this.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [6 Apr 1873]
Classmark:  DAR 94: 261–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8843

From Adolph Reuter   6 April 1873


Sends photograph of a diseased roebuck shot by Prince Frederick Charles of Prussia.

Author:  Adolf Reuter
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  6 Apr 1873
Classmark:  DAR 176: 128
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8844

To Thomas Davidson   7 April 1873


Thanks TWStCD for catalogue of his Cretacean fossils.

Regrets he cannot visit Brighton.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Thomas Davidson
Date:  7 Apr 1873
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.426)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8845

From J. D. Hooker   [7 April 1873]



Thinks the Huxley fund should be done. Difficulty will be getting him to accept it.

Author:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [7 Apr 1873]
Classmark:  DAR 103: 153–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8847

From Charles Voysey   7 April 1873


Sends his 6th volume.

Author:  Charles Voysey
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Apr 1873
Classmark:  DAR 180: 17
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8848

To Francis Darwin   [before 15 April 1873]


Sends to Pantlludw [North Wales] bottle of formic acid. FD and Amy [Darwin] can search for spawn. If found, keep in two basins and add 6 drops of acid to one and look for differences.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Francis Darwin
Date:  [before 15 Apr 1873]
Classmark:  DAR 271.4: 6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8848A

From John Tyndall   8 April [1873]


William Spottiswoode was not at home, but JT sought out Herbert Spencer. Spencer will come with JT to see CD [about the Huxley fund].

Author:  John Tyndall
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Apr [1873]
Classmark:  DAR 106: C10
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8849

To John Tyndall   8 April [1873]


CD will write to William Spottiswoode about the fund for Huxley. CD is raising his subscription to £300. "We have done a good day’s work … [it] gives me a higher opinion of human nature than I had before, though I am not one of those who think lowly of mankind."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Tyndall
Date:  8 Apr [1873]
Classmark:  DAR 261.8: 13 (EH 88205951)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8850

To William Spottiswoode   [8 April 1873]


Discusses the arrangements being made to present a gift to Huxley [see 8872].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Spottiswoode
Date:  [8 Apr 1873]
Classmark:  DAR 96: 169–70
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8851

From John Tyndall   9 April [1873]


Is convinced that the "brotherly spirit of the transaction" will cause Huxley not to raise objections.

Author:  John Tyndall
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  9 Apr [1873]
Classmark:  DAR 106: C11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8852

From John Tyndall   10 April 1873


W. G. Armstrong and T. H. Farrer have both contributed [to the Huxley fund].

Author:  John Tyndall
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  10 Apr 1873
Classmark:  DAR 106: C12
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8855
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