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Emma Darwin


Emma Darwin, Charles Darwin's wife and first cousin, was born Emma Wedgwood, the eighth and youngest child of Josiah Wedgwood II and Bessy Allen. Her father was the eldest son of the famous pottery manufacturer, Josiah Wedgwood I. Her mother was one…

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  • Emma Darwin, Charles Darwin's wife and first cousin, was born Emma Wedgwood, the eighth and …
  • … father's eldest sister, Susannah, had married Robert Waring Darwin of Shrewsbury, and had six …
  • … found Maer at times more cheerful than his own home. It was Emma's father he turned to for …
  • … by fields. Eight more children were born (Mary, Henrietta Emma, George Howard, Elizabeth, Francis, …
  • … Charles Waring), and Anne died at the age of 10. Charles and Emma also cared for their grandson …
  • … London to stay with relatives two or three times a year, and Emma also managed to organise holidays …
  • … on the American Civil War). After Charles's death, Emma divided her time between Down …
  • … Horace also lived in Cambridge. Despite the fact that Emma and Charles were rarely separated …
  • … home. A great deal of her correspondence survives in the Darwin Archive–CUL, along with her …

Julia Wedgwood


Charles Darwin’s readership largely consisted of other well-educated Victorian men, nonetheless, some women did read, review, and respond to Darwin’s work. One of these women was Darwin’s own niece, Julia Wedgwood, known in the family as “Snow”. In July…

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  • Charles Darwins readership largely consisted of other well-educated Victorian men, nonetheless, …
  • theological modernism. At the zenith of her reputation Julia Wedgwood was a considered one of the
  • ailing elderly relatives. Towards the end of her life Julia Wedgwood regretted that she had not had
  • day. Snow had a particularly notable exchange with Darwin over a review she wrote of Origin
  • the defender of DarwinismPhilalethes.” Importantly, Wedgwoods review suggests that natural
  • means by which Gods creatures reach his ultimate goal. Darwin praised Julias Macmillans review, …
  • Darwinism and Christianity, it is unsurprising that Wedgwood structured her review of Origin as
  • DarwinismPhilalethes” (lover of truth). Importantly, Wedgwoods review suggests that natural
  • means by which Gods creatures reach His ultimate goal. As Wedgwood wrote: The
  • the question, Whence do they originally spring? Wedgwoods review was well-received by
  • rare event with my critics. [Letter  July 11, [1861] from Darwin, C.D. to Wedgwood, F.J.] …
  • a large family circle. As a result of her familial position, Wedgwood spent much of her adult life
  • On 8 March 2013, International Womens Day, when the Darwin Correspondence Project hosted an event
  • of the women encountered in Charles Darwins letters, Snow Wedgwood was one of our priority figures

Engagement to Emma Wedgwood


Darwin proposes to his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, and is accepted

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  • Darwin proposes to his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, and is accepted …

List of correspondents


Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. Click on a name to see the letters Darwin exchanged with that correspondent.    "A child of God" (1) Abberley,…

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  • … Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. …
  • … Dareste, Camille (9) Darwin family (1) …
  • … Elizabeth (9) Darwin, Emma (191) …
  • … Hermenegildo (1) Gisborne, Emma (1) …
  • … J.-B. P. (1) Gärtner, Emma (2) …
  • … Niven, James (1) Nixon, Emma (1) …
  • … Peel, Jonathan (5) Pender, Emma (1) …
  • … Elizabeth (11) Wedgwood, Emma (191) …
  • … Wrigley, Alfred (8) Wuttke, Emma (1) …

Women’s scientific participation


Observers | Fieldwork | Experimentation | Editors and critics | Assistants Darwin’s correspondence helps bring to light a community of women who participated, often actively and routinely, in the nineteenth-century scientific community. Here is a…

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  • … |  Editors and critics  |  Assistants Darwins correspondence helps bring to light a
  • community. Here is a selection of letters exchanged between Darwin and his workforce of women
  • Women: Letter 1194 - Darwin to Whitby, M. A. T., [12 August 1849] Darwin
  • peculiarities in inheritance. Letter 3787 - Darwin, H. E. to Darwin, [29 October
  • plants in her garden. Letter 4523 - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, [6 June 1864] …
  • … . Letter 5745 - Barber, M. E. to Darwin, [after February 1867] Mary Barber
  • a trip to Egypt. Letter 7223 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., [8 June 1867 - 72] …
  • Darwin's daughter, Henrietta. Letter 7179 - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, [5
  • her observations on the expression of emotion in dogs with Emma Darwin. Letter 8676
  • New Zealand. Letter 6453 - Langton, E. to Wedgwood, S. E., [9 November 1868] …
  • Letter 5756 - Langton, E. & C. to Wedgwood S. E., [after 9 November 1868] Darwin
  • lakes in Pennsylvania. Letter 3681  - Wedgwood, M. S. to Darwin, [before 4 August
  • on holiday in Llandudno. Letter 4823  - Wedgwood, L. C. to Darwin, H. E., [May 1865] …
  • any way he can. Letter 8144 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., [5 January 1872] …
  • of hillside worm casting ridges. Letter 8169 - Wedgwood, L. to Darwin, [20 January, …
  • on the common. Men: Letter 385  - Wedgwood, S. E. & J. to Darwin, [10
  • summer holiday in Margate. Letter 7433  - WedgwoodF. to Darwin, [9 January
  • E. to Darwin, W. E., [January 23rd 1887]: Emma Darwin tells her eldest son, William, …
  • E. to Darwin, W. E. , (March, 1862 - DAR 219.1:49) Emma Darwin updates her son, William, …
  • is a great critic”, thought the article worth reprinting, Emma was less convinced. Letter

Hensleigh Wedgwood


Hensleigh Wedgwood, Emma Darwin’s brother and Charles’s cousin, was a philologist, barrister and original member of the Philological Society, which had been created in 1842. In 1857, while Wedgwood was preparing a dictionary of English etymology, he wrote…

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  • How can an English bishop and a French évêque help Darwin explain his theories about species and
  • in various other Indo-European languages. Hensleigh Wedgwood, Emma Darwins brother and
  • Society, which had been created in 1842. In 1857, while Wedgwood was preparing a dictionary of
  • with the extinct word episcopus. ” Charles Darwin dropped the bishops, but used the

Dining at Down House


Sources|Discussion Questions|Experiment Dining, Digestion, and Darwin's Domestic Life While Darwin is best remembered for his scientific accomplishments, he greatly valued and was strongly influenced by his domestic life. Darwin's…

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  • … Questions | Experiment Dining, Digestion, and Darwin's Domestic Life …
  • … and they partook in his scientific endeavours. One of Darwin's defining characteristics …
  • … provides into the bright and engaging personalities of the Darwin children and of family life in the …
  • … traveling on horseback while ill. Letter 465 —Emma Wedgwood (Emma Darwin) to Charles …
  • … agreeable” for her sake. Letter 3626 —Emma Darwin to T. G. Appleton, 28 June [1862] …
  • … on the difficulties of finding a suitable cook. Emma Darwin to Henrietta Darwin, [4 …
  • … among other things, for Darwin’s complaints. Emma Darwin to Henrietta Darwin, [14 April …
  • … who was travelling in the south of France at the time, Emma describes typical nineteenth-century …
  • … Scottish medium, Daniel Dunglass Home, with Galton. Emma Darwin to Henrietta Darwin, [4 …
  • … taste of Darwin's life at Down House, recreate recipes from Emma Darwin's cookbook and …
  • … food that Darwin ate, using authentic recipes from his wife Emma Darwin’s cookbook. Our menu …
  • … were particularly intrigued by this letter written from Emma to Charles before they were married …

Darwin and women: a selection of letters


A shorter version of this film is available on the Cambridge University Press video stream.   Darwin and Women focusses on Darwin's correspondence with women and on the lives of the women he knew and wrote to. It includes a large number of…

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  • University Press video stream .   Darwin and Women focusses on Darwin's
  • number of hitherto unpublished letters between members of Darwin's family and their friends
  • and their relationships, social and professional, with Darwin. The letters included are by turns
  • servants, that set them in an accessible narrative context. Darwin's famous remarks on women& …
  • from the book's editor, Samantha Evans, in her blogs on ' Emma Darwin and women's



As with many of Darwin’s research topics, his interest in worms spanned nearly his entire working life. Some of his earliest correspondence about earthworms was written and received in the 1830s, shortly after his return from his Beagle voyage, and his…

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  • Questions | Experiment Earthworms and Wedgwood cousins As with many of
  • months before he died in March 1882. In the same way that Darwin cast a wide net when seeking
  • of his own family, in particular his nieces, Lucy and Sophy Wedgwood, the daughters of Emma Darwin& …
  • selection. His book Fertilisation of Orchids (1862) was Darwin's "flank movement
  • was a study of incredible empirical detail that demonstrates Darwin's creative experimental
  • … (be it geology or evolutionary theory) was a subject that Darwin had contemplated from his earliest
  • SOURCES Papers Darwin, C.R. 1840. On the formation of mould. Transactions of the
  • Earthworms Letter 385 - Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood & Josiah Wedgwood to Darwin
  • were fertilised. Letter 8137 - William Darwin to Charles Darwin, 1 January 1872
  • of stone at Stonehenge. In his reply of two days later, Darwin wrote, “Your letter & facts are
  • 8144 , 8169 , and 8171 - Between Charles Darwin and Lucy Wedgwood, January 1872
  • for her observations. Letter 12745 - Darwin to Sophy Wedgwood, 8 October 1880
  • Letter 13406 - Mary Catherine Stanley (Lady Derby) to Darwin, 16 October 1881 Among

The "wicked book": Origin at 157


Origin is 157 years old.  (Probably) the most famous book in science was published on 24 November 1859.  To celebrate we have uploaded hundreds of new images of letters, bringing the total number you can look at here to over 9000 representing more than…

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  • book appeared.   You can now see examples of letters to Darwin from nearly 250 different people, and
  • Lyell , and Joseph Hooker , the two men who arranged for Darwins and Wallaces ideas to be made
  • Asa Gray who was an important sounding board for Darwins emerging ideas, and Thomas Huxley
  • scrap from 1857 comparing his views on species to DarwinsOthers, like Hugh Falconer , …
  • the less well-known scientific collaborators who became Darwin's correspondents, Mary Treat
  • and friends, including letters between Charles and his wife Emma, and several of their children: …
  • Amy  Ruck, was co-opted as an observer in WalesLucy Wedgwood , Darwins neice, was one of
  • of Down in Kent, and a lifelong friend of both Charles and Emma, sent information on pigeons
  • of water thrown over me on rising William Darwin Fox , Charless cousin and another
  • C. Watson J. J. Weir H. W. Bates Hensleigh Wedgwood J. S. Henslow C. S

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms


There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1880 on this website.  The full texts of the letters are not yet available online but are in volume 28 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin, published by Cambridge…

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  • There are summaries of all Darwin's letters from the year 1880 on this website.  The full texts
  • 28 of the print edition of The correspondence of Charles Darwin , published by Cambridge
  • to adapt to varying conditions. The implications of Darwins work for the boundary between animals
  • studies of animal instincts by George John Romanes drew upon Darwins early observations of infants, …
  • of evolution and creation. Many letters flowed between Darwin and his children, as he took delight
  • Financial support for science was a recurring issue, as Darwin tried to secure a Civil List pension
  • with Samuel Butler, prompted by the publication of Erasmus Darwin the previous year. …
  • Charles Harrison Tindal, sent a cache of letters from two of Darwins grandfathers clerical friends
  • divines to see a pigs body opened is very amusing’, Darwin replied, ‘& that about my
  • registry offices, and produced a twenty-page history of the Darwin family reaching back to the
  • the world’ ( letter from J. L. Chester, 3 March 1880 ). Darwins sons George and Leonard also
  • and conciliate a few whose ancestors had not featured in Darwins Life . ‘In an endeavour to
  • could laugh’ ( letter from W. E. Darwin to Charles and Emma Darwin, 22 July 1880 ).         …
  • Butler, 3 January 1880 ). At the top of Butlers letter, Emma Darwin wrote: ‘it means war we think’ …
  • my excitement’ ( letter from Horace Darwin to Emma Darwin, [18 September 1880] ). Darwins
  • We find that the light frightens them’ ( letter to Sophy Wedgwood, 8 October [1880] ).      …
  • October 1880 ). The president of the society explained to Emma that the members of the union wished
  • … …“Come of Age”‘ ( letter from W. C. Williamson to Emma Darwin, 2 September 1880 ). In April, …
  • year was marked by the loss of several close family members. Emmas brother Josiah Wedgwood III died
  • Surrey, which became a regular destination for Charles and Emma, and also a site of scientific

What did Darwin believe?


What did Darwin really believe about God? the Christian revelation? the implications of his theory of evolution for religious faith? These questions were asked again and again in the years following the publication of Origin of species (1859). They are…

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  • What did Darwin really believe about God? the Christian revelation? the implications of
  • rhetoric of crusading secularists, many of whom take Darwin as an icon. But Darwin was very
  • Letters became an important medium through which Darwins readers sought to draw him out on matters
  • the religious implications of his work. Letters written to Darwin by persons unknown to him became
  • own. Mary Booles letter In December 1866 Darwin received a letter from Mary Boole, a
  • See the letter Boole, like a number of Darwins readers, found a way of reconciling the
  • with some form of religious belief. But when Boole asks Darwin about specific points of belief, such
  • See the letter In his response to Boole, Darwin implies that certain questions are beyond
  • Science, or by the so calledinner consciousness”’. Darwin does not dismiss different forms of
  • into such territory in this letter to a stranger. Emma Darwin In what is
  • matters many years earlier with his cousin and fiancée, Emma Wedgewood. In their correspondence, …
  • but we gain a sense of what the couple discussed from Emmas words to him: My reason
  • It is clear from other correspondence that one of Emmas most cherished beliefs was in an afterlife. …
  • she means so in eternity. There is a marked tension in Emmas letter between reason and feeling, and
  • to himself, and allowed his differences of belief with Emma to remain for the most part submerged. …
  • members of the Darwin family, offer a fuller perspective on Emmas religious beliefs. The documents
  • over Scriptural or doctrinal authority, as a foundation for Emmas views. They also show that Emmas
  • was another important religious tradition in the Darwin and Wedgwood families. Josiah Wedgwood, who
  • Unitarian school in Shrewsbury. The circle with whom he and Emma socialised when in London included
  • were regular guests of Darwins brother Erasmus, and of Emmas brother, Hensleigh Wedgwood and his
  • liturgy. But we know, from Francis Darwins comments, that Emma used to make the family turn round
  • to recite the creed, with its Trinitarian formula. Emmas copy of the New Testament, …
  • to have been inauthentic, or added by later authors. Emmas Bible also contains some
  • as practical’. Some of the Biblical commentary that Emma and Charles read in this period
  • writer. Wallace, Alfred Russel. Naturalist. Wedgwood, Josiah. Master potter and

Casting about: Darwin on worms


Earthworms were the subject of a citizen science project to map the distribution of earthworms across Britain (BBC Today programme, 26 May 2014). The general understanding of the role earthworms play in improving soils and providing nutrients for plants to…

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  • for plants to flourish can be traced back to the last book Darwin wrote, snappily-titled The
  • on their habits, which was published in 1881. Despite Darwins fears that a book on earthworms might
  • out in his Natural History of Selborne of 1789 (a book Darwin claimed hadmuch influence on my
  • a new field in natural history, and almost a century later Darwin argued that all fields had passed
  • had been inspired by observations made by his uncle, Josiah Wedgwood of the uniform structure of the
  • variety of strange things he persuaded people to do. Darwin concluded that worms had no sense
  • a metal whistle and to being shouted at, but also to Francis Darwin playing the bassoon, and to Emma
  • realising that this negative evidence was also valuable to Darwin. Thomas Henry Farrer , …
  • existence of worms at that altitude. By the 1870s, Darwin was also drawing on the work of
  • him. Soon worm excrement was trusted to postal services, and Darwin acquired casts from India and
  • observations he had gathered to write a book on the subject. Darwin brought to the topic the
  • bigger souls than anyone wd suppose’ ( letter to W. E. Darwin, 31 January [1881] (CUL DAR 210.6: …

Darwin’s observations on his children


Charles Darwin’s observations on the development of his children, began the research that culminated in his book The Expression of the emotions in man and animals, published in 1872, and his article ‘A biographical sketch of an infant’, published in Mind…

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  • Charles Darwins observations on the development of his children,[1began the
  • is available below . As with much of his other work, Darwin gathered additional information on the
  • lunatics, the blind, and animals. And as early as 1839 Darwin had begun to collect information on
  • the expression of emotions. As the following transcript of Darwins notes reveals, he closely
  • William Erasmus, the stages of his development suggesting to Darwin those expressions which are
  • The tone of the manuscript reflects an aspect of Darwins character clearly perceived by Emma during
  • … “What does that prove”.’[6For in these notes, Darwins deep scientific curiosity transcends his
  • that on occasion he refers to William asit’. Darwin possessed the ability to dissociate
  • memories.[8Yet, though the dissociation was essential for Darwins scientific goal, the notes here
  • period but in far less detail. By September 1844, Henrietta Emma was one year old, and there are a
  • 1850; and Horace, born 18 May 1851. It appears to have been Emma who resumed the observations on the
  • the notebook and, with the exception of two brief entries by Emma, made all the notes until July
  • certainly during first fortnight at sudden sounds. & at Emmas moving 3 [11]  When
  • … & inwards as in sleep.[14] Six weeks old & 3 days, Emma saw him smilenot only with
  • his eyes becoming fixed & the movements of his arms ceasing. Emma argues that his smiles were
  • made in the little noises he was uttering that he recognized Emma by sight when she came close to
  • been caused by the novelty of the situation producing fear. Emma thinks that when he was vaccinated
  • whole expression appearing pleased.— Recognizes Emma Anne & myself perfectlydoes not find
  • was called.— 29 th . Cried at the sight of Allen Wedgwood[32Is able to catch hold of a
  • Ladywere repeated.— 26 th . Cried, when Emma left off playing the pianoforte.— Did this
  • Anny says Papa pretty clearly—[40A few days ago Emma gave her doll, but she sensibly shuddered, …
  • to play with in farther part of room, she immediately led Emma by the hand towards the tea-chest. I
  • on quite suddenly.—[43] On the 13 th . of March Emma positively ascertained that what the
  • things & when choleric he will hurl books or sticks at Emma. About a month since; he was running
  • … “oh kind Doddy” “kind Doddy”— April 2 d . Emma had left her handkerchief on the other side
  • th ——42. Willys observation on dress very curious: Emma put on a pair of boots, which she had not
  • the first day I put on a new dull-coloured trowsers. Emma one morning put on an unconspicuous bonnet
  • … & then gave him a kiss.— Nov. /54/ Whenever Emma or I came home from a journey, Lenny has
  • … [6Correspondence  vol. 2, letter from Emma Wedgwood, [23 January 1839] . [7]  …

The death of Anne Elizabeth Darwin


Charles and Emma Darwin’s eldest daughter, Annie, died at the age of ten in 1851.   Emma was heavily pregnant with their fifth son, Horace, at the time and could not go with Charles when he took Annie to Malvern to consult the hydrotherapist, Dr Gully.…

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  • We have lost the joy of the Household Charles and Emma Darwins eldest daughter, Annie, …
  • to Malvern to consult the hydrotherapist, Dr Gully. Darwin wrote a memorial of his daughter
  • recorded her own reactions in a poignant set of notes, which Emma Darwin kept. Links to a
  • and illness follow the transcriptions. Charles Darwins memorial of Anne Elizabeth
  • over any story at all melancholy; or on parting with Emma even for the shortest interval. Once when
  • this showed itself in never being easy without touching Emma, when in bed with her, & quite
  • dressed herself up in a silk gown, cap, shawl & gloves of Emma, appearing in figure like a
  • over  ‘y. 4 An interlineation in pencil in Emma Darwins hand reads: ‘Mamma: what shall
  • death To W. D. Fox, [ 27 March 1851 ] To Emma Darwin,  [17 April 1851] …

Natural Science and Femininity


Discussion Questions|Letters A conflation of masculine intellect and feminine thoughts, habits and feelings, male naturalists like Darwin inhabited an uncertain gendered identity. Working from the private domestic comfort of their homes and exercising…

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  • thoughts, habits and feelings, male naturalists like Darwin inhabited an uncertain gendered identity
  • feminine powers of feeling and aesthetic appreciation, Darwin and his male colleagues struggled to
  • Letters Letter 109 - Wedgwood, J. to Darwin, R. W., [31 August 1831] Darwin
  • professional work on his return. Letter 158 - Darwin to Darwin, R. W., [8 & 26
  • and taking in the aesthetic beauty of the world around him. Darwin describes thestrikingcolour
  • made up of meals, family time and walks into town with Emma. Letter 555 - Darwin to
  • an Infant ’. Letter 2781 - Doubleday, H. to Darwin, [3 May 1860] Doubleday
  • borders of his garden. Letter 2864 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [12 July 1860] …
  • saw anything so beautiful”. Letter 4230 - Darwin to GardenersChronicle, [2 July 1863] …
  • thedelicate siliceous shellsmight at least provide Darwin with aesthetic pleasure. …
  • in his home. Letter 6453 - Langton, E. to Wedgwood, S. E., [9 November 1868] …

Darwin in letters, 1871: An emptying nest


The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, with the publication in February of his long-awaited book on human evolution, Descent of man. The other main preoccupation of the year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression.…

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  • The year 1871 was an extremely busy and productive one for Darwin, seeing the publication of his
  • book out of my head’. But  a large proportion of Darwins time for the rest of the year was devoted
  • way, and the initial reception of the book in the press. Darwin fielded numerous letters from
  • offered sharp criticism or even condemnation. Darwin had expected controversy. ‘I shall be
  • a bare-faced manner.”‘ The most lively debate centred on Darwins evolutionary account of the
  • taste. Correspondence with his readers and critics helped Darwin to clarify, and in some cases
  • year was the preparation of his manuscript on expression. Darwin continued to investigate the
  • also brought a significant milestone for the family, as Darwins eldest daughter Henrietta was
  • during several past years, has been a great amusement’. Darwin had been working fairly continuously
  • work on species theory in the late 1830s. In recent years, Darwin had collected a wealth of material
  • to human evolution was comparatively small, reflecting Darwins aim of  showing kinship with animals
  • he istorn to piecesby people wanting copies’, Darwin wrote to his son Francis on 28 February
  • letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 March 1871 ). The profits for Darwin were considerable. After
  • man.’ Promoting the book As usual, Darwin did his best to obtain a wide and favourable
  • … (see Correspondence vol. 19Appendix IV). Four of Darwins five sons received a copy, and his
  • received a special acknowledgment in the form of a gift. Darwin credited her for whatever he had
  • … ‘to keep in memory of the book’ ( letter to H. E. Darwin, 20 March 1871 ). Reaction
  • 1871). The geologist William Boyd Dawkins remarked on Darwins booksreception amongstartisans
  • his own family circle, especially his cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood, whom Darwin had cited on the origin
  • passing temptation of hunting it’ ( Descent  2: 392). Wedgwood, however, denied that a simple
  • or remorse. The true essence of conscience, according to Wedgwood, was shame, and he went so far as
  • by the presence of its master. ( Letter from Hensleigh Wedgwood, [39 March 1871] .) Some
  • Morley. George and Henrietta remarked upon his dispute with Wedgwood. Darwins theory of the moral
  • and morally bound. In one particularly long letter to Wedgwood, Darwin alluded to the pain of
  • agreement is a satisfaction to me’ ( letter to Hensleigh Wedgwood, 9 March 1871 ). A
  • home, Leith Hill Place in Surrey, and CDs niece Lucy Wedgwood collected and weighed the dried
  • … & sherry’ ( letter from H. E. Litchfield to Charles and Emma Darwin, [5 November 1871] ). Her

Henrietta Darwin's diary


Darwin's daughter Henrietta kept a diary for a few momentous weeks in 1871. This was the year in which Descent of Man, the most controversial of her father's books after Origin itself, appeared, a book which she had helped him write. The small…

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  • Charles Darwins daughter Henrietta wrote the following journal entries in March and
  • 1871 in a small lockable, leather-bound notebook now in the Darwin Archive of Cambridge University
  • excised within it, presumably by Henrietta herself. Darwins letters in 1870 and 1871 ( …
  • scepticism; many of her arguments are reminiscent of Darwins own discussion of religious belief in
  • on a discussion with her cousin, Frances Julia (Snow) Wedgwood, about religion and free will in
  • written one of  Descent  (see letter from Charles and Emma Darwin to F. J. Wedgwood, [March 1871?] …
  • period of their courtship. We are grateful to William Darwin for permission to publish the
  • 6 Laura May Forster . 7 Frances Julia Wedgwood (Snow) and George Eliot. The



Design|Personal Belief|Beauty|The Church Perhaps the most notorious realm of controversy over evolution in Darwin's day was religion. The same can be said of the evolution controversy today; however the nature of the disputes and the manner in…

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  • … the most notorious realm of controversy over evolution in Darwin's day was religion. The same …
  • … nineteenth century were different in important ways. Many of Darwin's leading supporters were …
  • … their religious beliefs with evolutionary theory. Darwin's own writing, both in print and …
  • … much as possible. A number of correspondents tried to draw Darwin out on his own religious views, …
  • … political contexts. Design Darwin was not the first to challenge …
  • … on the controversial topic of design. The first is between Darwin and Harvard botanist Asa Gray, …
  • … second is a single letter from naturalist A. R. Wallace to Darwin on design and natural selection. …
  • … of each fragment at the base of my precipice”. Darwin and Wallace Letter 5140 …
  • … fittest” instead of “Natural Selection”. Wallace urges Darwin to stress frequency of variations. …
  • … members of his own family. Letter 441 — Wedgwood, Emma to Darwin, C. R., [21–22 Nov …
  • … conscientious doubts”. Letter 471 — Darwin, Emma to Darwin, C. R., [c. Feb 1839] …

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year


The year 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working on second editions of Coral reefs and Descent of man; the rest of the year was mostly devoted to further research on insectivorous plants. A…

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  • 1874 was one of consolidation, reflection, and turmoil for Darwin. He spent the early months working
  • dispute over an anonymous review that attacked the work of Darwins son George dominated the second
  • and traveller Alexander von Humboldts 105th birthday, Darwin obliged with a reflection on his debt
  • … ). The death of a Cambridge friend, Albert Way, caused Darwins cousin, William Darwin Fox, to
  • from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such reminiscences led Darwin to the self-assessment, ‘as for one
  • I feel very old & helpless The year started for Darwin with a weeks visit to
  • Andrew Clark, whom he had been consulting since August 1873. Darwin had originally thought that
  • …  ( letter to B. J. Sulivan, 6 January [1874] ). Darwin mentioned his poor health so frequently in
  • 1874 ). Séances, psychics, and sceptics Darwin excused himself for reasons of
  • by George Henry Lewes and Marian Evans (George Eliot), but Darwin excused himself, finding it too
  • the month, another Williams séance was held at the home of Darwins cousin Hensleigh Wedgwood. Those
  • imposter’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 27 January 1874 ). Darwin agreed that it wasall imposture’ …
  • stop word getting to America of thestrange newsthat Darwin had alloweda spirit séanceat his
  • the first three months of the year and, like many of Darwins enterprises in the 1870s, were family
  • 21, letter to Smith, Elder & Co., 17 December [1873] ). Darwin himself had some trouble in
  • and letter to Charles Lyell, [13 January 1874] ). Darwin blamed his illness for the
  • … . In his preface ( Coral reefs  2d ed., pp. vvii), Darwin reasserted the priority of his work. …
  • for the absence of coral-reefs in certain locations. Darwin countered with the facts that low
  • whole coastline of a large island. Dana also thought that Darwin had seen fringing reefs as proof of
  • satisfaction. Assisted in the wording by his wife, Emma, and daughter Henrietta, he finally wrote a
  • a comfortable cabin ( see letter from Leonard Darwin to Emma Darwin, [after 26 June -- 28 September
  • to become Darwins secretary. They rented Down Lodge and Emma Darwin wrote, ‘They have . . . made
  • the average in prettiness & snugness’ ( letter from Emma Darwin to J. B. Innes, 12 October
  • letter to Down School Board, [after 29 November 1873] ). Emma saw agreat blessingin the rumour
  • dead uncles position of vicar of Deptford ( letter from Emma Darwin to J. B. Innes, 12 October
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