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Darwin Correspondence Project
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From John Higgins   1 March 1848

Summary

Agrees to pay Mr Mason as requested.

Author:  John Higgins
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Mar 1848
Classmark:  Lincolnshire Archives (HIG/4/2/1/11)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1161

To John Phillips   7 March [1848]

Summary

JP’s reference was clear, but seems to be different from the case cited by W. Hopkins about erratic conglomerate boulders. Asks for more details on the latter. CD does not think much of Hopkins’ paper ["Elevation and denudation of the district of the lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland", Q. J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 4 (1848): 70–98].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  7 Mar [1848]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1162

To John Phillips   [12? March 1848]

Summary

Thanks JP for his note and reference. CD’s paper will not deal with the general question of erratics but only their transportal from a lower to a higher level ["The transportal of erratic boulders", Collected papers 1: 218–27]. His notion is that the boulders were transported by coast-ice, not drifting icebergs, and that during the period of transportal the land was subsiding. Can JP tell him whether the raised conglomerate boulders he observed were rounded or angular?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Phillips
Date:  [12? Mar 1848]
Classmark:  Oxford University Museum of Natural History Archive Collections (John Phillips collection))
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1163

To J. F. W. Herschel   [21 March 1848]

Summary

Sends MS of his chapter on geology for Manual [Collected papers 1: 227–50]. Fears it may be too long. Does not much like it but can do no better. After hesitation, has recommended books. Defends his point that mere collection of rock specimens is "of hardly any use to Geology".

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  John Frederick William Herschel, 1st baronet
Date:  [21 Mar 1848]
Classmark:  The Royal Society (HS6: 14)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1164

To Robert Ball   25 March [1848]

Summary

Cannot give information about hook. Fuegian women fish without hooks.

Robert Mallet’s suggestion about space for specimens on board men-of-war forwarded to Sir J. Herschel.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Robert Ball
Date:  25 Mar [1848?]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (Fellows' Papers 54.i)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1165

To Richard Owen   [26 March 1848]

Summary

Describes his new microscope and its advantages for dissecting. Suggests RO might discuss topic [in his contribution to J. F. W. Herschel, ed., Manual of scientific enquiry (1849)].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Richard Owen
Date:  [26 Mar 1848]
Classmark:  Archives of the New York Botanical Garden (Charles Finney Cox Collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1166

To William Alexander Baillie Hamilton    28 March [1848]

Summary

Sir John Herschel has not received the parcel of "Scientific Instructions", which was posted on the 15th. He requests an accurate search at the Admiralty.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Alexander Baillie Hamilton
Date:  28 Mar [1848]
Classmark:  The National Archives (TNA) (ADM/5580 009075)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-1166A
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Darwin in letters, 1860: Answering critics

Summary

On 7 January 1860, John Murray published the second edition of Darwin’s Origin of species, printing off another 3000 copies to satisfy the demands of an audience that surprised both the publisher and the author. It wasn't long, however, before ‘the…

Matches: 24 hits

  • … learn that the book was on sale even in railway stations ( letter to Charles Lyell, 14 January …
  • … the book, thinking that it would be nice easy reading.’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 22 May [1860] ). …
  • … he told Hooker, did not at all concern his main argument ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1860] …
  • … his theory would have been ‘ utterly  smashed’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). (A …
  • … from right principles of scientific investigation.—’ ( letter to J. S. Henslow, 8 May [1860] ). …
  • … a theory solely by explaining an ample lot of facts.’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 18 February [1860] ). …
  • … phenomena it comes in time to be admitted as real.’ ( letter to C. J. F. Bunbury, 9 February [1860] …
  • … natural selection did not necessarily lead to progression ( letter to Charles Lyell, 18 [and 19 …
  • … considered it more a failure than a success ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 February [1860] ). …
  • … naturalists because more accustomed to reasoning.’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 18 May 1860 ). …
  • … two physiologists, and five botanists ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 March [1860] ). Others, like …
  • … tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 3 April [1860] ). By the …
  • … favour of change of form’, namely those of embryology ( letter to Asa Gray, 10 September [1860] ). …
  • … his study of the geographical distribution of species ( see letter from T. H. Huxley, 6 August 1860 …
  • … ‘man is in same predicament with other animals’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860] )— he …
  • … book had become ‘topics of the day’ at the meeting in a letter from Hooker written from Oxford. …
  • … Darwin ‘master of the field after 4 hours battle’ (letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 July 1860). Other …
  • … that ‘this row is best thing for subject.—’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). Further …
  • … if the whole were already proved) to his own views.—’ ( letter from J. S. Henslow to J. D. Hooker, …
  • … ‘how differently different opposers view the subject’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 15 February [1860] …
  • … studying the first published piece: 'I said in a former letter that you were a Lawyer; but I …
  • … that these visits have led to changed structure.’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 27 April [1860] ). …
  • … several months later, ‘just as at a game of chess.’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 19 [July 1860] ). …
  • … substance from non=nitrogenised substances.’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 31 [August 1860] ). Relying …

Darwin in letters, 1868: Studying sex

Summary

The quantity of Darwin’s correspondence increased dramatically in 1868 due largely to his ever-widening research on human evolution and sexual selection.Darwin’s theory of sexual selection as applied to human descent led him to investigate aspects of the…

Matches: 22 hits

  • … in satisfying female preference in the mating process. In a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace in 1864, …
  • … of changing the races of man’ (Correspondence vol. 12, letter to A. R. Wallace, 28 [May 1864] ). …
  • … book would take the form of a ‘short essay’ on man ( letter to Ernst Haeckel, 3 July 1868 ). But …
  • … as well say, he would drink a little and not too much’ ( letter to Albert Günther, 15 May [1868] ) …
  • … would be a great loss to the Book’. But Darwin’s angry letter to Murray crossed one from Dallas to …
  • … of labour to remuneration I shall look rather blank’ ( letter from W. S. Dallas, 8 January 1868 ). …
  • … if I try to read a few pages feel fairly nauseated’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 February [1868] ). …
  • … reviews. On 7 August 1868 , he wrote him a lengthy letter from the Isle of Wight on the formation …
  • … would strike me in the face, but not behind my back’ ( letter to John Murray, 25 February [1868] ) …
  • … ignorant article… . It is a disgrace to the paper’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 24 February [1868] …
  • … ‘he is a scamp & I begin to think a veritable ass’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 September [1868] …
  • … wrote of the colour of duck claws on 17 April 1868 . The letter was addressed to ‘the Rev d  C. …
  • … proved very fruitful. On 1 May , Darwin received a letter from George Cupples, who was encouraged …
  • … with the enthusiastic breeder, who apologised in a letter of 11–13 May 1868 for his ‘voluminuous …
  • … kind almost heroic, in you to sacrifice your hair and pay 3 d  in the cause of science …
  • … canary (letters from J. J. Weir, [26] March 1868 and 3 June 1868 ). ‘It was very kind’, …
  • … he later added, ‘for it is clear that I have none’ ( letter to J. J. Weir, 30 May [1868] ). …
  • … to various classes, a dim ray of light may be gained’ ( letter to H. T. Stainton, 21 February [1868 …
  • … on 9 September . Darwin annotated a letter sent on 3 April by Henry Doubleday that contained a …
  • … you have communicated to me’ ( letter to Fritz Müller, 3 June 1868 ). it is a fatal …
  • … of species through the study of monstrosities, remarked on 3 April , ‘your works are destined to …
  • … admirer of your genius’, wrote Frederick Behrens on 3 December , ‘I presume you are much plagued …

Women’s scientific participation

Summary

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…

Matches: 27 hits

  • … Observers Women: Letter 1194 - Darwin to Whitby, M. A. T., [12 August …
  • … silkworm breeds, or peculiarities in inheritance. Letter 3787 - Darwin, H. E. to …
  • … observations of cats’ instinctive behaviour. Letter 4258 - Becker, L. E. to Darwin, …
  • … to artificially fertilise plants in her garden. Letter 4523 - Wedgwood, L. C. to …
  • … be made on seeds of Pulmonaria officinalis . Letter 5745 - Barber, M. E. to …
  • … Expression from her home in South Africa. Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L …
  • … Expression during a trip to Egypt. Letter 7223 - Darwin to Wedgwood, L. C., …
  • … expression of emotion in her pet dog and birds. Letter 5817 - Darwin to Huxley, T. …
  • … is making similar observations for him. Letter 6535 - Vaughan Williams , M. S. …
  • … of a crying baby to Darwin's daughter, Henrietta. Letter 7179 - Wedgwood, …
  • … briefly on her ongoing observations of wormholes. Letter 8611 - Cupples, A. J. …
  • … expression of emotion in dogs with Emma Darwin. Letter 8676 - Treat, M. to Darwin, …
  • … birds, insects or plants on Darwin’s behalf. Letter 8683 - Roberts, D. to …
  • … of an angry pig and her niece’s ears. Letter 8701 - Lubbock, E. F . to Darwin, …
  • … that she make observations of her pet cats. Letter 8989 - Treat, M. to Darwin, [28 …
  • … on her experiments with fly-catching Drosera . Letter 9426 - Story …
  • … without the birds attacking the buds and flowers. Letter 9616 - Marshall, T. to …
  • … and her father of plants and insects. Men: Letter 2221 - Blyth, E. to Darwin …
  • … and bird observations from Calcutta. Letter 3634 - Darwin to Gray, A., [1 July 1862 …
  • … shores of mountain lakes in Pennsylvania. Letter 3681  - Wedgwood, M. S. to Darwin, …
  • Letter 10439 - Treat, M. to Darwin, [3 April 1876] Mary Treat describes a field trip …
  • … her fieldwork on the common. Men: Letter 385  - Wedgwood, S. E. & J. to …
  • Letter 1219  - Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, [3 February 1849] Hooker passes on news of …
  • Letter 4258 - Becker, L. E. to Darwin, [31 July 1863] Lydia Becker details her …
  • … them. Letter 2069  - Tenant, J. to Darwin, [31 March 1857] James Tenant, …
  • Letter 2781  - Doubleday, H. to Darwin, [3 May 1860] Doubleday describes his …
  • … read to check that she can understand it. Letter 3896 - Darwin to Huxley, T. H, …

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms

Summary

‘My heart & soul care for worms & nothing else in this world,’ Darwin wrote to his old Shrewsbury friend Henry Johnson on 14 November 1880. Darwin became fully devoted to earthworms in the spring of the year, just after finishing the manuscript of…

Matches: 20 hits

  • … my grandfather’s character is of much value to me’ ( letter to C. H. Tindal, 5 January 1880 ). …
  • … have influenced the whole Kingdom, & even the world’ ( letter from J. L. Chester, 3 March 1880 …
  • … delighted to find an ordinary mortal who could laugh’ ( letter from W. E. Darwin to Charles and …
  • … much powder & shot’ ( Correspondence vol. 27, letter from Ernst Krause, 7 June 1879 , and …
  • … modified; but now I much regret that I did not do so’ ( letter to Samuel Butler, 3 January 1880 ). …
  • … and ‘decided on laying the matter before the public’ ( letter from Samuel Butler, 21 January 1880 …
  • … and uncertain about what to do. He drafted two versions of a letter to the Athen æum , sending …
  • … in which he will have the last word’, she warned ( letter from H. E. Litchfield, [1 February 1880] …
  • … who will fight to the end’, added her husband Richard ( letter from R. B. Litchfield, 1 February …
  • … him & given him Darwinophobia? It is a horrid disease’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 February …
  • … squashing the ‘mosquito inflated to an elephant’ ( letter from Ernst Krause, 9 December 1880 ). …
  • … inches of soil as a protection against enemies.’ ‘Your letter … made me open my eyes’, Gray replied …
  • … to the same species, should behave so differently.’ ( Letter to Asa Gray, 17 February 1880 .) But …
  • … of the plant in its native habitat. He forwarded a letter from a botanist and schoolteacher in …
  • … ‘Where is the profit for Author or publisher?’ ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 20 July 1880 ). ‘I must …
  • … money by science, I must now lose some for science’ ( letter to R. F. Cooke, 21 July 1880 ). The …
  • … without any corresponding structural differentiations’ ( letter from F. M. Balfour, [22 November …
  • … In former years I was, also, rarely fit to see anybody’ ( letter to S. H. Haliburton, 13 December …
  • … he pretended, ‘but the subject has amused me’ ( letter to W. C. McIntosh, 18 June 1880 ). Members …
  • … back. Then we saw a steam tram—imagine my excitement’ ( letter from Horace Darwin to Emma Darwin, …

Darwin’s reading notebooks

Summary

In April 1838, Darwin began recording the titles of books he had read and the books he wished to read in Notebook C (Notebooks, pp. 319–28). In 1839, these lists were copied and continued in separate notebooks. The first of these reading notebooks (DAR 119…

Matches: 18 hits

  • … Surgeons [DAR *119: 1] Books to be Read 3 “Traité de la Folie des …
  • … on Annals of Nat. Hist. [Jenyns 1838] Prichard; a 3 d . vol [Prichard 1836–47] Lawrence [W. …
  • … [Reimarius 1760] The Highlands & Western Isl ds  letter to Sir W Scott [MacCulloch 1824 …
  • … ou Traité de Tératologie, par I. Geoffroy-Saint Hilaire, 3 vols. 8vo. et atlas de 20 planches. ibid, …
  • … of Human wishes. 28 Bacon’s Essays [Bacon 1825–36].— Butler. 3. first sermons …
  • … 1834–40]: In Portfolio of “abstracts” 34  —letter from Skuckard of books on Silk Worm …
  • … M rs  Fry’s Life [Fry 1847] Horace Walpoles letter to C t . of Ossory [Walpole 1848] …
  • … Asiatic Society ]—contains very little Macleay’s letter to D r  Fleming [Macleay 1830] …
  • … [Heer 1854].— Hooker has it.— Very important Hookers letter Jan. 1859 Yules Ava [Yule 1858] …
  • … of the material from these portfolios is in DAR 205, the letter from William Edward Shuckard to …
  • … ( Notebooks , pp. 319–28). 55  The letter was addressed to Nicholas Aylward Vigors …
  • … to William Jackson Hooker. See  Correspondence  vol. 3, letter to J. D. Hooker, [5 or 12 November …
  • … 119: 21b Broughton, William Grant. 1832.  A letter in vindication of   the principles of …
  • … by Bekhur to   Garoo and the Lake Manasarowara: with a letter from … J.   G. Gerard, Esq. …
  • … 1830. On the dying struggle of the dichotomous sytem. In a letter to N. A. Vigors.  Philosophical …
  • … *119: 8v., 22v.; *128: 165 ——. 1850a. Letter to the Rev. John Bachman, on the question of …
  • … art of improving the   breeds of domestic animals. In a letter addressed to the   Right Hon. Sir …
  • … 1820.  Remarks on the improvement of   cattle, &c. in a letter to Sir John Saunders Sebright, …

Language: key letters

Summary

How and why language evolved bears on larger questions about the evolution of the human species, and the relationship between man and animals. Darwin presented his views on the development of human speech from animal sounds in The Descent of Man (1871),…

Matches: 11 hits

  • … whom he exchanged information and ideas. Letter 346: Darwin, C. R. to Darwin, C. S., 27 Feb …
  • … Caucasian languages separated from one stock.” Letter 2070: Wedgwood, Hensleigh to Darwin, …
  • … is the grinding down of former continents.” Letter 3054: Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, 2 …
  • … former,—which I tell him is perfectly logical.” Letter 5605: Darwin, C. R. to Müller, J. F. …
  • … whilst young, do they scream & make loud noise?” Letter 7040: Wedgwood, Hensleigh to …
  • … speech from gradually growing to such a stage” Letter 8367: Darwin, C. R. to Wright, …
  • … & thus unconsciously altering the breed. Letter 8962: Darwin, C. R. to Max Müller, …
  • … judge of the arguments opposed to this belief[.]” Letter 10194: Max Müller, Friedrich to …
  • … want, at least in the Science of Language […]” Letter 9887: Dawkins, W. B. to Darwin, C. R. …
  • … hold that language is not a test of race […]” Letter 11074: Sayce, A. H. to Darwin, C. R., …
  • … of wanting to eat, for this movement makes a sound like the letter m.” “For some time past I have …

Darwin in letters, 1865: Delays and disappointments

Summary

The year was marked by three deaths of personal significance to Darwin: Hugh Falconer, a friend and supporter; Robert FitzRoy, captain of the Beagle; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and father of Darwin’s friend…

Matches: 26 hits

  • … The death of Hugh Falconer Darwin’s first letter to Hooker of 1865 suggests that the family …
  • … having all the Boys at home: they make the house jolly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] …
  • … had failed to include among the grounds of the award ( see letter from Hugh Falconer to Erasmus …
  • … may well rest content that I have not laboured in vain’ ( letter to Hugh Falconer, 6 January [1865] …
  • … always a most kind friend to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] …
  • … for our griefs & pains: these alone are unalloyed’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1865 …
  • … gas.— Sic transit gloria mundi, with a vengeance’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1865] ). …
  • … added, ‘I know it is folly & nonsense to try anyone’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] …
  • … than anything else. I am able most days to work for 2 or 3 hours & this makes all the difference …
  • … ineffective, and Darwin had given it up by early July ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, [10 July 1865] …
  • … of anything, & that almost exclusively bread & meat’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 15 August [1865] …
  • … better, attributing the improvement to Jones’s diet ( see letter to T. H. Huxley, 4 October [1865] …
  • … he was ‘able to write about an hour on most days’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 22 December [1865] ). …
  • … others very forward, except the last & concluding one’ ( letter to John Murray, 31 March [1865] …
  • … my book will be ready for the press in the autumn’ ( letter to John Murray, 4 April [1865] ). In …
  • … however, ‘I am never idle when I can do anything’ ( letter to John Murray, 2 June [1865] ). It was …
  • … might be more willing to bear the expense of the woodcuts ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865 …
  • … & I loathe the whole subject like tartar emetic’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 19 January [1865] ) …
  • … you will be an unnatural parent, for it is your child’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 19 April 1865 ; …
  • … needed for references, probably from the Linnean Society ( letter to [Richard Kippist], 4 June …
  • … in or before November 1864 ( Correspondence vol. 12, letter to Ernst Haeckel, 21 November [1864 …
  • … 1865 that he had just finished hearing it read aloud ( letter to Fritz Müller, 10 August [1865] ). …
  • … Müller’s name ( see letter from Fritz Müller, [12 and 31 August, and 10 October 1865] ; since it …
  • … the serenity of the Christian world’ (Brewster 1862, p. 3). John Hutton Balfour, though he had sent …
  • … resurrection of Jesus Christ  ( letter to Samuel Butler, 30 September [1865] ). He later sent a …
  • … of reform and reorganisation ( letter from J. D. Hooker, [3 November 1865] ). The death of …

Rewriting Origin - the later editions

Summary

For such an iconic work, the text of Origin was far from static. It was a living thing that Darwin continued to shape for the rest of his life, refining his ‘one long argument’ through a further five English editions.  Many of his changes were made in…

Matches: 10 hits

  • … ( to Charles Layton, 24 November [1869] ). From the 3 rd edition on, each English …
  • … buried Darwin under a blizzard of letters (see especially letter to Charles Lyell, 11 October …
  • … getting permission to quote prominently from Kingsley’s letter in the revised summary: A …
  • … ( Origin 2d ed, p. 481).   2 nd to 3 rd editions; US edition …
  • … sufficiently acknowledged earlier work.  According to a letter to Asa Gray he had yet to start …
  • … an animal’s colour and its immunity to poison (see letter from Jeffries Wyman, [ c . 15] …
  • … changes, was doomed to disappointment.   3 rd to 4 th editions …
  • … to include at least one change only previously made in the 3 rd German edition . I …
  • … hitherto slurred it over. In his Christmas Day letter to his old friend Joseph Hooker, …
  • … of population increase in elephants in response to a letter published in the Athenaeum by a …

Darwin in letters, 1875: Pulling strings

Summary

‘I am getting sick of insectivorous plants’, Darwin confessed in January 1875. He had worked on the subject intermittently since 1859, and had been steadily engaged on a book manuscript for nine months; January also saw the conclusion of a bitter dispute…

Matches: 17 hits

  • … to the subject of cross and self-fertilisation. On 3 October , he wrote with fresh enthusiasm to …
  • … On 8 January , he told Hooker: ‘I will write a savage letter & that will do me some good, if I …
  • … to the Editor … Poor Murray shuddered again & again’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 16 January …
  • … other interested parties. Darwin was summoned to testify on 3 November. It caused him much anxiety, …
  • … offered to pay the costs for printing an additional 250 ( letter to John Murray, 3 May 1875 ). …
  • … & bless the day That ever you were born (letter from E. F. Lubbock, [after 2 …
  • … that the originally red half has become wholly white’ ( letter from G. J. Romanes, [before 4 …
  • … pp. 188–90). He drew attention to this discussion in a letter to George Rolleston, remarking on 2 …
  • … Darwin wrote, ‘I beg ten thousand pardon & more’ ( letter to Francis Darwin, [ c . February …
  • … signed himself, ‘Your affect son … the proofmaniac’ ( letter from Francis Darwin, 1 and 2 May [1875 …
  • … both critical and reverential. On 16 July he received a letter from an advocate of women’s …
  • … weekly publications of Natural History’, he explained on 3 June , ‘are not sufficiently …
  • … her presentation copy of Insectivorous plants ( letter to D. F. Nevill, 15 July [1875] ). Such …
  • … of my house within the short time I can talk to anyone’ ( letter to John Lubbock, 3 May [1875] ). …
  • … and had agreed to see him at Down with Thiselton-Dyer ( letter to W. T. Thiselton-Dyer, 7 July 1875 …
  • … lay of hair in eyelashes and on arms, a typically lengthy letter full of personal observations, …
  • … examination it was pronounced to be of a ‘high type’ ( letter from Woodward Emery, 17 September …

Language: Interview with Gregory Radick

Summary

Darwin made a famous comment about parallels between changes in language and species change. Gregory Radick, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Leeds University, talks about the importance of the development of language to Darwin, what…

Matches: 4 hits

  • … topic for Darwin? And if so, why? 3. Darwin made a famous comment about parallels …
  • … Darwinian account of the origin of language. 3. Darwin made a famous comment about parallels …
  • … conversion, not quite at the deathbed, but in 1881, a letter in which Darwin wrote to a friend of …
  • … into this a little bit further, and actually looking at the letter myself, I came to see that this …

Dates of composition of Darwin's manuscript on species

Summary

Many of the dates of letters in 1856 and 1857 were based on or confirmed by reference to Darwin’s manuscript on species (DAR 8--15.1, inclusive; transcribed and published as Natural selection). This manuscript, begun in May 1856, was nearly completed by…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … that point Darwin was ‘interrupted’, as he put it, by a letter from Alfred Russel Wallace which …
  • … selection , pp. 534--66) 3 16 December 1856 …
  • … 5 3 March 1857 The struggle for existence as bearing on …

Darwin in letters, 1872: Job done?

Summary

'My career’, Darwin wrote towards the end of 1872, 'is so nearly closed. . .  What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work’, and the tenor of his correspondence throughout the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye…

Matches: 24 hits

  • … What little more I can do, shall be chiefly new work’ ( letter to Francis Galton, 8 November [1872] …
  • … anything more on 'so difficult a subject, as evolution’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace,  27 July …
  • … best efforts, set the final price at 7 s.  6 d.  ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 February 1872 ) …
  • … condition as I can make it’, he wrote to the translator ( letter to J. J. Moulinié, 23 September …
  • … translation remained unpublished at the end of the year ( letter from C.-F. Reinwald, 23 November …
  • … to the comparative anatomist St George Jackson Mivart ( letter to St G. J. Mivart,  11 January …
  • … comparison of Whale  & duck  most beautiful’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 3 March 1872 ) …
  • … a person as I am made to appear’, complained Darwin ( letter to St G. J. Mivart, 5 January 1872 ). …
  • … Darwin would renounce `fundamental intellectual errors’ ( letter from St G. J. Mivart, 6 January …
  • … was silly enough to think he felt friendly towards me’ ( letter to St G. J. Mivart, 8 January [1872 …
  • … hoping for reconciliation, if only `in another world’ ( letter from St G. J. Mivart,  10 January …
  • … have been ungracious in him not to thank Mivart for his letter.  He promised to send a copy of the …
  • … partly in mind, `chiefly perhaps because I do it badly’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 3 August [1872] …
  • … , and he complained to the German zoologist Anton Dohrn on 3 February that Mivart’s book had ' …
  • … Darwinism is to be the theme. Surely the world moves!’ ( letter from Mary Treat, 13 December 1872 …
  • … to find that Weismann accepted it at least in part ( letter to August Weismann, 5 April 1872 ). ‘I …
  • … few naturalists in England seem inclined to believe it’ ( letter to Herman Müller, [before 5 May …
  • … reached the buzzing place where I myself was standing’ ( letter to Hermann Müller, [before 5 May …
  • … ‘as for myself it is dreadful doing nothing’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 22 October [1872] ). He was …
  • … to stand closer (a serried mass) and to be more erect’ ( letter to Briton Riviere, 19 May [1872] ) …
  • … and amused rather than offended by `that clever book’ ( letter to J. M. Herbert, 21 November 1872 …
  • … wrote offering Arthur May’s drawings shortly afterwards ( letter from Samuel Butler to Francis …
  • … Nature  in Wallace’s defence ( letter to  Nature  , 3 August [1872] ).  Although the two …
  • … more ‘ she observed ( letter from S. H. Haliburton, 3 November [1872] ). They reminisced about …

Darwin in letters, 1863: Quarrels at home, honours abroad

Summary

At the start of 1863, Charles Darwin was actively working on the manuscript of The variation of animals and plants under domestication, anticipating with excitement the construction of a hothouse to accommodate his increasingly varied botanical experiments…

Matches: 23 hits

  • … that he was ‘unwell & must write briefly’ ( letter to John Scott, 31 May [1863] ), and in a …
  • … persevered with his work on Variation until 20 July, his letter-writing dwindled considerably. The …
  • … from ‘some Quadrumanum animal’, as he put it in a letter to J. D. Hooker of 24[–5] February [1863] …
  • … ‘I declare I never in my life read anything grander’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 26 [February 1863] …
  • … than  Origin had (see  Correspondence  vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860] ). …
  • … from animals like the woolly mammoth and cave bear ( see letter from Jacques Boucher de Perthes, 23 …
  • … leap from that of inferior animals made him ‘groan’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] ). …
  • … out that species were not separately created’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 17 March [1863] ). Public …
  • … book he wished his one-time mentor had not said a word ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 24[–5] February …
  • … I respect you, as my old honoured guide & master’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 6 March [1863] ). …
  • … against stronger statements regarding species change ( letter from Charles Lyell, 11 March 1863 ). …
  • … thinking, while Huxley’s book would scare them off ( see letter from Asa Gray, 20 April 1863 ). In …
  • … change of species by descent put him ‘into despair’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 11 May [1863] ). In the …
  • … for his crimes… ?’ ( letter from Hugh Falconer, 3 January [1863] , and letter to Hugh Falconer, …
  • … between reptiles and birds ( letter from Hugh Falconer, 3 January [1863] ). Darwin was delighted …
  • … thought little of his theory ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 January [1863] ), but he was happy …
  • … letters to Alphonse de Candolle, 14 January [1863] and 31 January [1863] , and letter to Asa …
  • … in opposition to him ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, [22–3 November 1863] ). However, it is certain …
  • … that ‘there are almost certainly several cases of 2 or 3 or more species blended together & now …
  • … paper will have permanent value’ ( letter to John Scott, 31 May [1863] ). Scott received a …
  • … is not at all palatable!’ ( letter from John Scott, [3 June 1863] ). Darwin’s early …
  • … leaves in different plants ( see letter from J. D. Hooker, [31 July 1863] ). When he tried to …
  • … [25 July 1863], and letter to J. D. Hooker, [22–3 November 1863] ). Writing Variation …

Darwin's Fantastical Voyage

Summary

Learn about Darwin's adventures on his epic journey.

Matches: 1 hits

  • … These activities explore Darwin’s life changing voyage aboard HMS Beagle. Using letters home, …

Home learning: 7-11 years

Summary

Do try this at home! Support your children’s learning by downloading our free and fun activities for those aged between 7-11 and 11-14 years, using Darwin’s letters.  

Matches: 2 hits

  • … and the Beagle  Voyage activities 3 Learn about Darwin the collector: …
  • … any thing worthy to be noted in Natural History’ ( Letter from J. S. Henslow, 24 August 1831 ) …

Dramatisation script

Summary

Re: Design – Adaptation of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Asa Gray and others… by Craig Baxter – as performed 25 March 2007

Matches: 16 hits

  • … – Asa Gray Actor 2 – Charles Darwin Actor 3 – In the dress of a modern day archivist, …
  • … friend, the botanist, Joseph D Hooker GRAY:   3   Charles Darwin… made his home on …
  • … his University) and is much less his own man. A letter from England catches his attention …
  • … 11   My dear Hooker… What a remarkably nice and kind letter Dr A. Gray has sent me in answer to my …
  • … be of any the least use to you? If so I would copy it… His letter does strike me as most uncommonly …
  • … on the geographical distribution of the US plants; and if my letter caused you to do this some year …
  • … a brace of letters 25   I send enclosed [a letter for you from Asa Gray], received …
  • … might like to see it; please be sure [to] return it. If your letter is Botanical and has nothing …
  • … Atlantic. HOOKER:   28   Thanks for your letter and its enclosure from A. Gray which …
  • … quite kindly, and told me… Hugh Falconer (Actor 3) – a Scottish paleobotanist and …
  • … notions of natural Selection and would see whether it or my letter bears any date, I should be very …
  • … 55   My good dear friend, forgive me. This is a trumpery letter influenced by trumpery feelings. …
  • … do a good deal to secure it. Darwin passes Gray’s letter to Hooker with a cringe. …
  • … and in a lesser degree ‘Blood’s One Penny Envelope, 1, 3, and 10 cents’. If you will make him this …
  • … full relief from all anxiety. Darwin shows Gray’s letter to Hooker. DARWIN:  …
  • … back. JANE GRAY:   189   [Jane Gray. Letter to her sister. Fall, 1868.] Mr Darwin …

Darwin's in letters, 1873: Animal or vegetable?

Summary

Having laboured for nearly five years on human evolution, sexual selection, and the expression of emotions, Darwin was able to devote 1873 almost exclusively to his beloved plants. He resumed work on the digestive powers of sundews and Venus fly traps, and…

Matches: 25 hits

  • … I omitted to observe, which I ought to have observed” ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 January [1873] …
  • … work your wicked will on it—root leaf & branch!” ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 January 1873 ) …
  • … parts of the flower would become modified & correlated” ( letter to T. H. Farrer, 14 August …
  • … it again, “for Heaven knows when it will be ready” ( letter to John Murray, 4 May [1873] ). …
  • … we take notes and take tracings of their burrows” ( letter from Francis Darwin, 14 August [1873] ) …
  • … in importance; and if so more places will be created” ( letter to E. A. Darwin, 20 September 1873 …
  • … our unfortunate family being fit for continuous work” ( letter from E. A. Darwin, 25 September …
  • … on any point; for I knew my own ignorance before hand” ( letter to George Cupples, 28 April [1873] …
  • … “he would fly at the Empr’s throat like a bulldog” ( letter from L. M. Forster to H. E. Litchfield, …
  • … force & truth of the great principle of inheritance!” ( letter to F. S. B. F. de Chaumont, 3
  • … the heavy breathing that accompanied sexual intercourse? (letter from ?, [1873?]). The Scottish …
  • … with up lines; & sadness & decay with the reverse—” ( letter from William Main, 2 April …
  • … with the advance of civilisation and good breeding ( letter from Henry Reeks, 3 March 1873 ). …
  • … have never felt an inclination to have a second dose” ( letter from Robert Swinhoe, 26 March 1873 …
  • … of an orbital one produces snapping of the jaws” ( letter from James Crichton-Browne, 16 April 1873 …
  • … that illustrated the physiognomy of the disease ( letter to James Crichton-Browne, 30 December 1873 …
  • … by an individual could be transmitted to its offspring ( letter from J. T. Moggridge, 1 February …
  • … a related discussion in  Nature  magazine, forwarding a letter from William Huggins on a case of …
  • … Kepler who was fearful of butchers and butcher’s shops ( letter to  Nature , [before 13 February …
  • … smell. Darwin joined the debate, writing to  Nature  ( letter to  Nature , [before 13 March …
  • … The debate later shifted to ants when Darwin forwarded a letter from the mining engineer James …
  • … disperse wildly after he had smashed some with his finger ( letter to  Nature , [before 3 April …
  • … danger by seeing the corpses of a fellow species” ( letter to  Nature , [before 24 July 1873] ). …
  • … offend his father ( enclosure to letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 December 1873 ).  In April, …
  • … the passage of purgatory” ( letter from Andrew Clark, 3 September 1873 ). Revising …

Darwin in letters, 1874: A turbulent year

Summary

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…

Matches: 27 hits

  • … be done by observation during prolonged intervals’ ( letter to D. T. Gardner, [ c . 27 August …
  • … pleasures of shooting and collecting beetles ( letter from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such …
  • … And … one looks backwards much more than forwards’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 11 May [1874] ). …
  • … was an illusory hope.— I feel very old & helpless’  ( letter to B. J. Sulivan, 6 January [1874] …
  • … inferred that he was well from his silence on the matter ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 26 October …
  • … in such rubbish’, he confided to Joseph Dalton Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 18 January [1874] …
  • … that Mr Williams was ‘a cheat and an imposter’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 27 January 1874 ). …
  • … his, ‘& that he was thus free to perform his antics’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 29 January [1874 …
  • … Darwin had allowed ‘a spirit séance’ at his home ( letter from T. G. Appleton, 2 April 1874 ). …
  • … edition, published in 1842 ( Correspondence  vol. 21, letter to Smith, Elder & Co., 17 …
  • … Hooker, and finally borrowed one from Charles Lyell ( letter to Smith, Elder & Co., 8 January …
  • … to take so sweetly all the horrid bother of correction’ ( letter to H. E. Litchfield, 21 [March …
  • … sent an apology for misinterpreting Darwin on this point ( letter from J. D. Dana, 21 July 1874 ); …
  • … numbers and sex ratios among the Pitcairn islanders ( letter from William Dealtry, 16 January 1874 …
  • … will say that I have pounded the enemy into a jelly’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 14 April 1874 ). …
  • … by none but anatomists; and never mind where it goes’ ( letter from T. H. Huxley, 16 April 1874 ). …
  • … the return on subsequent print runs would be very good ( letter from R. F. Cooke, 12 November 1874 …
  • … by the conciseness & clearness of your thought’ ( letter from G. H. Darwin, 20 April 1874 ). …
  • … legal action over the ‘scurrilous libel’ on his son ( letter to G. H. Darwin, [27 July 1874] ). …
  • … false, scurrilous accusation of [a] lying scoundrel’ ( letter to G. H. Darwin, 1 August [1874] ). …
  • … against this (Correspondence vol. 23, from J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1875] ), preferring to attack …
  • … marriage settlements, the sale was agreed in April for £300 ( letter from John Lubbock, 2 April …
  • … by the Kent birds’ ( letter from Edward Frankland, 30 April 1874 ). The botanist Thereza …
  • … more time than the positive’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 August [1874] ), and that, although they …
  • … gasses & salts of ammonia’ ( letter to Edward Frankland, 31 August 1874 ). I have …
  • … a hoax till I came to the woman’ ( letter to Asa Gray, 3 June [1874] ). Response to …
  • … head in different cultures ( letter from Chauncey Wright, 3 September 1874 ). The American …

Teachers notes: Offer of a lifetime

Summary

The Offer of a Lifetime?  Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he received an exciting and unique opportunity to join HMS Beagle. The voyage changed his life but the letters show how close he came to not going at all! …

Matches: 2 hits

  • … a Lifetime?  Activities for: English Key Stage 3 and 4 When Darwin was 22 he …
  • … Activities include: - compose a missing letter - write a series of diary entries that …

Satire of FitzRoy's Narrative of the Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle, by John Clunies Ross. Transcription by Katharine Anderson

Summary

[f.146r Title page] Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2nd 3rd and Appendix Volumes of the First / Edition Written / for and in the name of the Author of those / Volumes By J.C. Ross. / Sometime Master of a…

Matches: 14 hits

  • … Adventure and Beagle Supplement / to the 2 nd 3 rd and Appendix Volumes of the First / …
  • … on the Cocos – &c &c – above mentioned. [ f.148r p.3 ] Seeing as I could not help …
  • … that I have said, or shewn to the contrary. In the 3 rd It is generally understood – that …
  • … a moment longer to come home as he deserved to do.” That letter they shewed to Mr Ross and requested …
  • … to somewhere else” – so now read “your brother's letter and then we may have something sure to …
  • … wrote to him immediately before leaving for Sumatra – a letter calculated to elicit something …
  • … – not all exaggerated – and Mr R sent him back with a letter [ f.183r p.73 ] as he proposed. …
  • … was not of any profitable description but of what Mr H in letter to Mr R denominated “fiddle faddle” …
  • … to a note from Mr H concerning the last mentioned fugitive a letter which – Mr H sent to Mr R – …
  • … ] The three or four runaways mentioned in the forgoing letter had run to apply to Mr Ross – and on …
  • … from frequenting your islands &c” and in this his second letter he writes “I told you how it …
  • … at present only as by the bye” – In reply to Mr Ross’ letter which he sent with the paper –Mr H …
  • … the Eastern one may be seen by the following extract from a letter dated 19 th May and sent by Mr …
  • … Copy Extract Of a letter sent to Captain Ross by Captain Harding of H.M …
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