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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 ?   4 May [1873]


Explains that his publisher has erred in announcing his book [Cross and self-fertilisation] prematurely. [See 8890 and 8897.]

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  4 May [1873]
Classmark:  Remember When Auctions (Catalogue 41: 16 March 1997)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8897A

To ?   18 July [1873?]


Comments on ability of recipient to move his scalp.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  18 July [1873?]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.430)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8982

To Nature   [before 24 July 1873]


Sends a letter from J. D. Hague confirming his earlier observation [see 8788] of frightened behaviour of ants when they come upon dead ants. CD had asked for confirmation because J. T. Moggridge had suggested that the ants’ behaviour was alarm at the scent of the observer’s fingers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nature
Date:  [before 24 July 1873]
Classmark:  Nature, 24 July 1873, p. 244
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8985

To Nature   20 September [1873]


CD, in commenting on Wyville Thomson’s "Notes from the Challenger" [Nature 8 (1873): 347–9], recapitulates his work on rudimentary male cirripedes [Living Cirripedia], especially the complementary males attached to hermaphrodites. Offers an explanation, on evolutionary grounds, of their function and size.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nature
Date:  20 Sept [1873]
Classmark:  Nature, 25 September 1873, pp. 431–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9061

To ?   28 November [1873]


Will not require assistance of correspondent’s cousin in correcting his MS [2d ed. of Descent]. His son [George] will undertake it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  28 Nov [1873]
Classmark:  Cleveland Health Sciences Library (Robert M. Stecher collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9163

To ?   9 January 1873


Has pleasure in signing the [missing] enclosure, with every word of which he fully agrees.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  9 Jan 1873
Classmark:  Private collection
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8728F

To the Spectator   11 January 1873


Discusses two factors possibly causing modification of body or mind of an organism; habit and direct action of external conditions on the one hand, and selection, natural or artificial, on the other; considers their relative importance.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Spectator
Date:  11 Jan 1873
Classmark:  Spectator, 18 January 1873, p. 76.
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8731

To Nature   [before 13 February 1873]


Sends a letter from William Huggins about a case of inherited fright in three generations of mastiffs. Discusses the different origins of instincts and their inheritance.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nature
Date:  [before 13 Feb 1873]
Classmark:  Nature, 13 February 1873, pp. 281–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8765

To Nature   [before 13 March 1873]


Recounts instances suggesting that animals have a sense of direction.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Nature
Date:  [before 13 Mar 1873]
Classmark:  Nature, 13 March 1873, p. 360
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8809

To ?   6 January [1873 or 1874]


"If you will apply to any bookseller whatever you will procure a copy.–– Publisher Murray."

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  6 Jan [1873-4]
Classmark:  John Wilson (n.d.) (dealer)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-7429A

To ?    2 January [1873 or 1874]


CD appreciates the correspondent’s suggestion.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Unidentified
Date:  2 Jan [1873-4]
Classmark:  Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Nachl. 141 (Slg. Adam) 33, Darwin, Charles)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-8139F

To J. D. Hooker   20 December [1873]



His indignation at the malignant, odious, hypocrite Owen’s attack on JDH. History of Secretaryship [of Royal Society in Nature 9 (1873): 129–30] was best answer to Owen.

Is hard at work on new edition of Descent – a truly awful job.

No use going on with experiments on effects of water on bloom-divested leaves. May have erred. Or it may be that water is only injurious when there is a good supply of actinic rays. Will wait until spring.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  20 Dec [1873]
Classmark:  DAR 95: 308–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9187

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   22 December 1873


Concerning secretion of "bloom";

movements of Robinia.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Date:  22 Dec 1873
Classmark:  Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Thiselton-Dyer, W. T., Letters from Charles Darwin 1873–81: 3–4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9189

To C. G. Ehrenberg   30 December 1873


Thanks CGE for gift of his latest work [Mikrogeologische Studien (1873)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg
Date:  30 Dec 1873
Classmark:  Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Nachlass Ehrenburg Nr. 321)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9192

To James Crichton-Browne   30 December 1873


Will do what he can to help JC-B with his work on expression of patients suffering from general paralysis.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Crichton-Browne
Date:  30 Dec 1873
Classmark:  DAR 143: 346
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9193

To W. E. Gladstone   [before 16 January 1873]


Encourages the government to keep the herbarium and library of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Ewart Gladstone
Date:  [before 16 Jan 1873]
Classmark:  Fourth report of the Royal Commission on Scientific Instruction and the Advancement of Science 1874 [C.884] XXII.1 (pp. 31–2)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9206F

To A. W. Bennett   11 March [1873]


Asks about woodblocks of illustrations for Climbing plants [1875].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred William Bennett
Date:  11 Mar [1873]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.438)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-9350
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letter (278)
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Darwin, C. R.[X]
Hooker, J. D. (29)
Burdon Sanderson, J. S. (13)
Darwin, G. H. (12)
Darwin, Francis (10)
Frankland, Edward (10)
Tyndall, John (7)
Unidentified (7)
Baxter, W. W. (6)
Lyell, Charles (6)
Nature (6)
Carus, J. V. (5)
Crichton-Browne, James (5)
Huxley, T. H. (5)
Wallace, A. R. (5)
Farrer, T. H. (4)
Krefft, Gerard (3)
Thiselton-Dyer, W. T. (3)
Bennett, A. W. (2)
Blackley, C. H. (2)
Brunton, T. L. (2)
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