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Controversy

Summary

The best-known controversies over Darwinian theory took place in public or in printed reviews. Many of these were highly polemical, presenting an over-simplified picture of the disputes. Letters, however, show that the responses to Darwin were extremely…

Matches: 8 hits

  • … sharp theoretical differences with him; on the other hand, a number of his public critics assisted …
  • … quickly deteriorated and Darwin came to regard him as a bitter enemy. Darwin and Sedgwick …
  • … but he assures Sedgwick he does not send his book out of a spirit of bravado, but a want of respect. …
  • … “grand principle natural selection ” is “but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, …
  • … of his book. He is grieved “to have shocked a man whom I sincerely honour”. He mentions that he has …
  • … as “heterodox”. Letter 2575 — Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles, [10 Dec 1859] …
  • … much about the social structure of Victorian science. Wallace would become one of Darwin's most …
  • … to Lyell and encloses a manuscript by naturalist A. R. Wallace. Darwin has been forestalled. “ . . . …

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: 21 hits

  • the year is one of wistful reminiscence, coupled with a keen eye to the crafting of his legacy.  …
  • animals  in November, the year marked the culmination of a programme of publication that can be
  • in relation to sex , published in 1871, these books brought a strong if deceptive sense of a job
  • earthworms in shaping the environmentThe former led to a series of books and papers, and the
  • years before. In his private life also, Darwin was in a nostalgic frame of mind, picking up
  • June the previous yearHe intended the edition to be a popular one that would bring his most
  • should be affordable: ‘do you not think 6s is too dear for a cheap Edit? Would not 5s be better? . . …
  • set the final price at 7 s.  6 d.  ( letter from RFCooke, 12 February 1872 ). …
  • translations of both  Descent  and  Origin   was a particular frustration: `I naturally desire
  • letter to St GJMivart,  11 January [1872] ). A worsening breach The criticisms
  • in the sixth edition were those made by Mivart himself. In a new chapter onmiscellaneous
  • or the mouth parts of the baleen whale. Alfred Russel Wallace was one of several correspondents to
  • of Whale  & duck  most beautiful’ ( letter from ARWallace, 3 March 1872 ). …
  • Mivart was among those who wrote in January to wish Darwin a happy new year, before the month was
  • … `in another world’ ( letter from St GJMivart,  10 January 1872 ).  Darwin, determined to have
  • … `chiefly perhaps because I do it badly’ ( letter to ARWallace, 3 August [1872] ).  …
  • to JDHooker, 12 July [1872] ). Darwin and Wallace: diverging views Indignation on
  • … & new views which are daily turning up’ ( letter to ARWallace, 28 August [1872] ).  …
  • you agreed to let them have it for love!!!’ ( letter from RFCooke, 1 August 1872 ). It
  • …  & have not taken care of ourselves’ ( letter from RFCooke, 20 November 1872 ). A
  • doubted he would ever use it ( letter to CLDodgson, 10 December 1872 ). Darwin

Darwin in letters, 1869: Forward on all fronts

Summary

At the start of 1869, Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  Origin. He may have resented the interruption to his work on sexual selection and human evolution, but he spent forty-six days on the task. Much of the…

Matches: 21 hits

  • Darwin was hard at work making changes and additions for a fifth edition of  On the origin of
  • his cousin William Darwin Fox, ‘My work will have to stop a bit for I must prepare a new edit. of
  • views on all points will have to be modified.— Well it is a beginning, & that is something’ ( …
  • Darwins most substantial addition to  Origin  was a response to a critique of natural selection
  • of species. Darwin correctly assessed Nägelis theory as a major challenge requiring a thorough and
  • morphological features (Nägeli 1865, p. 29). Darwin sent a manuscript of his response (now missing) …
  • myself atrociously’, Darwin wrote to Alfred Russel Wallace on 2 February , ‘I meant to say
  • now see is possible or probable’ (see also letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 January [1869] , and
  • Thomsons work challenged by both Thomas Henry Huxley and WallaceHe confided to Huxley, ‘I find
  • of information which I have sent prove of any service to M r . Darwin I can supply him with much
  • … . Natural selection and humans: differences with Wallace But even as Darwins research
  • from you, & I am very sorry for it On 24 March, Wallace wrote to Darwin about a
  • which is to me absolutely unassailable’.  In the article, Wallace claimed that certain human
  • civilization. Such features had only emerged, according to Wallace, through the agency ofa Power
  • laws in definite directions and for special ends’ ([Wallace] 1869b, pp. 3934). Darwin was
  • … & proximate cause in regard to Man’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ).  More
  • and the bird of paradise  (Wallace 1869a; letter to A. R. Wallace, 22 March [1869] ), and
  • an injustice & never demands justice’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ). …
  • Sweetland Dallass edition of Fritz Müllers  Für Darwin  (Dallas trans. 1869). The book, an
  • creation, if he is not completely staggered after reading y r  essay’. The work received a
  • Henrietta Emma Darwin wrote to her brother George on  10 April (DAR 245: 291) about the incident: …

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: 10 hits

  • … and accountant John Jenner Weir, ‘If any man wants to gain a good opinion of his fellow man, he …
  • … or in satisfying female preference in the mating process. In a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace in …
  • … on the subject to the zoologist Albert Günther: ‘a drunkard might as well say, he would drink a …
  • … early as 1865, the two-volume work appeared in January 1868. A final delay caused by the indexing …
  • … manuscript to the publisher in February 1867, and had spent a good deal of that year reading and …
  • … . It is a disgrace to the paper’ ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 24 February [1868] ). The review was …
  • … entomologist Benjamin Dann Walsh on 25 March 1868 . Wallace maintained that males got whatever …
  • … of natural selection. Darwin resumed the debate with Wallace that he had begun the previous year, …
  • … am not sure’, Darwin reflected in a letter dated [8–10 September 1868] , ‘whether it w d  not …
  • … walked with village girls at night ( letter to J. B. Innes, 10 December [1868] ). ‘The Church will …

Darwin in letters, 1867: A civilised dispute

Summary

Charles Darwin’s major achievement in 1867 was the completion of his large work, The variation of animals and plants under domestication (Variation). The importance of Darwin’s network of correspondents becomes vividly apparent in his work on expression in…

Matches: 22 hits

  • to correct proofs, and just when completion seemed imminent, a further couple of months were needed
  • oversized two-volume  Variation  and instead write a short (as he then expected) ‘Essay on Man’. …
  • selection in forming human races, and there was also to be a chapter on the meaning and cause of the
  • … ), published in 1871, and the chapter on expression into a bookThe expression of the emotions in
  • for decades, it was only now that he began to work with a view to publishing his observations. …
  • his work on expression in 1867, as he continued to circulate a list of questions on human expression
  • Darwin corrected them. Closer to home, two important works, a book by the duke of Argyll, and an
  • defence of the theory in the capable hands of Alfred Russel Wallace. At the same time, Darwin was
  • self-sterility, pollination, and seed dispersal with a growing network of correspondents who worked
  • atmosphere that he so much needed in what was becoming a highly combative and emotional arena. …
  • Darwin also introduced the subject to Alfred Russel Wallace, who suggested in his response of 11
  • … “supplemental remarks on expression”’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, [1217] March [1867] ). Darwins
  • debated the topic on a theoretical level was Alfred Russel Wallace. In a letter to Wallace written
  • aviary to see whether this was the case ( letter from A. R. Wallace, 24 February [1867] ). He also
  • butterflies resulted from sexual selection was implicit. Wallaces response contained much more than
  • being challenged at a fundamental level. In his response to Wallace ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 26
  • than I c d  have succeeded in doing’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 29 April [1867] ). Thus Darwin
  • into a scientific book’ ( letter to Charles Kingsley, 10 June [1867] ). With respect to
  • of the hostile kind’ ( letter to Charles Kingsley, 10 June [1867] ). Kingsley himself had remarked
  • beaks shorter than average’ ( letter to Charles Kingsley, 10 June [1867] ). Typically, …
  • Wallace published a long article, ‘Creation by law’ (A. R. Wallace 1867c), which responded to Jenkin
  • letters about  Variation . Darwin wrote to Carus on 10 December , informing him of errors

Darwin in letters, 1876: In the midst of life

Summary

1876 was the year in which the Darwins became grandparents for the first time.  And tragically lost their daughter-in-law, Amy, who died just days after her son's birth.  All the letters from 1876 are now published in volume 24 of The Correspondence…

Matches: 22 hits

  • … and cosseting regarding the ailments that were so much a feature of Darwin family life. But the calm …
  • … by anxiety and deep grief. In May, William Darwin suffered a serious concussion from a riding …
  • … Cross and self fertilisation , that the family suffered a devastating loss. The Darwins must have …
  • … expected in September. Their joy at the safe delivery of a healthy boy was soon replaced by anguish …
  • … death. For once, the labour of checking proofs proved a blessing, as Darwin sought solace for the …
  • … his anxiety about Francis. By the end of the year there was a different order at Down House with …
  • … Year's resolutions Darwin began the year by making a resolution. He would in future …
  • … Origin for the very last time, and made minor changes to a reprint of the second edition of …
  • … voyage, Volcanic islands and South America , in a new single-volume edition titled …
  • … was nevertheless ‘firmly resolved not even to look at a single proof ’. Perhaps Carus’s meticulous …
  • … to Asa Gray, 28 January 1876). Revising Orchids was less a return to old work than part of the …
  • … Autobiography’ (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). During a two-week holiday after finishing Cross and self …
  • … the development of his mind and character, although this was a private document intended in the …
  • … in the Vegetable Kingdom”. ... I hope also to republish a revised edition of my book on Orchids, …
  • … however, continued to be raised in various ways. On 10 January, Charles O’Shaughnessy , an Irish …
  • … wrote with the good news that he could restore Darwin to a religious life. This transformation would …
  • … without the least foundation’, Darwin told Alfred Russel Wallace on 17 June . It was the still …
  • … them to such extent?’ enthused Hermann Hoffmann on 10 January , while on 23 June, Auguste Forel …
  • … of plant digestion further, had already reported on 10 January that he had confirmed the ‘more …
  • … Caroline home, they had experienced a further calamity. On 10 May, William suffered serious …
  • … mentioned his oldest daughter Annie, who died at the age of 10 in 1851, but William, who was 11 …
  • … was the criterion for a physiological species. Alfred Russel Wallace was not convinced. ‘I am afraid …

Darwin in letters, 1858-1859: Origin

Summary

The years 1858 and 1859 were, without doubt, the most momentous of Darwin’s life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on species, he was jolted into action by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace…

Matches: 24 hits

  • without doubt, the most momentous of Darwins life. From a quiet rural existence filled with steady
  • by the arrival of an unexpected letter from Alfred Russel Wallace. This letter led to the first
  • andbitter opponents’; compiling corrections for a second and then a third edition of his book; and
  • that my book w  d  be successful; but I never even built a castle-in-the air of such success as it
  • shows that at any one time Darwin was engaged in a number of projects, fitting together the final
  • the problem of bees The chapter on instinct posed a number of problems for Darwin. ‘I find my
  • Among these, the cell-making instincts of hive-bees posed a particular challenge to his overall
  • constructed by hive-bees had long been celebrated as a classic example of divine design in nature. …
  • works. The question was, Do the species of large genera have a higher proportion of distinct
  • varieties, or as I look at them incipient species ought, as a general rule, to be now forming. Where
  • in larger genera, but they were not certain. This was a question new to the experts. Darwin was
  • … . condemn allmy lifes work—& that I confess made me a little lowbut I c d . have borne it, …
  • breeds of animals have been developed. To this end, in a final experiment with fowls, he attempted
  • the occurrence of reversion in nature. Alfred Russel Wallace and the rush to publish
  • by the arrival of the now-famous letter from Alfred Russel Wallace, enclosing an essay in which
  • in the letter he subsequently wrote to Charles Lyell, as Wallace had requested, informing Lyell of
  • to Lyell. ‘I never saw a more striking coincidence. if Wallace had my M.S. sketch written out in
  • Lyell. He simply dated the letter18and referred to Wallaces letter as having been received
  • H. Lewis McKinney, both of whom believe that Darwin received Wallaces communication before 18 June. …
  • 1972, pp. 13840). The cover of the letter to Bates bears Wallaces directionvia Southamptonand
  • Ju 3 58’. Brooks maintains that Darwin received Wallaces letter even earlier, perhaps as
  • to Charles Lyell, 28 March [1859] , and to John Murray, 10 September [1859] ), but finally
  • having finished the last of the proof-sheets13 months & 10 daysafter he had begun to write
  • … ‘law of higgledy-piggledy’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, [10 December 1859] ). To each of his critics

Darwin in letters, 1856-1857: the 'Big Book'

Summary

In May 1856, Darwin began writing up his 'species sketch’ in earnest. During this period, his working life was completely dominated by the preparation of his 'Big Book', which was to be called Natural selection. Using letters are the main…

Matches: 17 hits

  • … this manuscript. Although advised by Lyell to publish only a brief outline—probably more for the …
  • … was reluctant to squeeze his expansive material into such a small compass and soon abandoned Lyell’s …
  • … quantities of information, pursuing his own experiments in a variety of different areas, analysing …
  • … still felt cautious in expressing his views before a large scientific audience and anxious to ensure …
  • … valued the views of Thomas Henry Huxley, at that time a somewhat precariously placed lecturer and …
  • … in nature ( letter from Charles Lyell, 1–2 May 1856, n. 10 ). He was surprised that no naturalist …
  • … and this, since it was composed so many years later, is not a safe guide to his pre- Origin …
  • … plants to be more hairy than their lowland relatives. But a last-minute check with Hooker revealed …
  • … but all they actually showed was the self-evident fact that a large genus was more likely to contain …
  • … among marine invertebrates. His request led Huxley to make a note for future reference, ‘Darwin, an …
  • … also encouraged him to predict that trees would tend to show a separation of the sexes, a proposal …
  • … Darwin carried out his researches with relish and published a short notice about the problem in  …
  • … (see  Correspondence  vol. 3), he had begun in 1855 a series of researches designed to explain how …
  • … was the series of experiments begun in 1855 based on soaking a wide variety of seeds in salt water …
  • …  experiments. Franky said to me, “why sh d  not a bird be killed (by hawk, lightning, apoplexy, …
  • … eaten have grown well.’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 December [1856] ). His faith in his …
  • … the surviving correspondence that Darwin initially wrote to Wallace in order to obtain specimens of …

Origin

Summary

Darwin’s most famous work, Origin, had an inauspicious beginning. It grew out of his wish to establish priority for the species theory he had spent over twenty years researching. Darwin never intended to write Origin, and had resisted suggestions in 1856…

Matches: 22 hits

  • and had resisted suggestions in 1856 that he publish a short version of his theory. Instead, he
  • supporting evidence, and to this end was steadily writing a work he called hisbig book’ . His
  • relating to Darwins species theory together with Wallaces essay at the Linnean Society of London, …
  • children and he intended to remove the family from Down for a few weeks to the Isle of Wight. …
  • that Darwin might be able to have 100 to 150 pages in aseparate supplemental numberof the
  • objection as strongly as I could. I did not feel myself a dissenter from or opponent to your views, …
  • spirits remained low. ‘ We are too old & feeble a party for anywhere but home ’, he wrote from
  • to whole affair to him: By an odd coincidence, M r  Wallace in the Malay Archipelago sent
  • ago; & both of them have urged me so strongly to publish a fuller abstract, that I have resolved
  • By 30 July, now more comfortably settled in a house on the Isle of Wight, and having started work on
  • positive frame of mind. ‘ I pass my time by doing daily a couple of hours of my Abstract & I
  • … ‘with greater ease & leisure’. Although he thought ita queer plan to give an abstract of an
  • When work on the big book was interrupted by the arrival of Wallaces essay, he had only just
  • how to account for the cell-making instincts of bees, a challenge to his theory of natural selection
  • which I can see are many & grave. I am now writing a pretty full abstract of all my notions on
  • relieved to learn from the Linnean Society that he could be a little more expansive. ‘I will try not
  • in mid August, he recommenced his work on pigeons and spent a nearly a month skeletonising them and
  • in January 1859, when he received a (now lost) letter from Wallace, expressing satisfaction with the
  • very sure what he would say’, Darwin admitted, adding that Wallacemust be an amiable man. ’ …
  • views were apparent when he reported to Wallace thatD r . Hooker has become almost as
  • chapters was sufficient for Murray to confirm his offer on 10 AprilBut then there was a slip
  • … ‘Abstract on Origin of specieshad taken 13 months and 10 days ( Darwin's Journal ). The

Darwin’s queries on expression

Summary

When Darwin resumed systematic research on emotions around 1866, he began to collect observations more widely and composed a list of queries on human expression. A number of handwritten copies were sent out in 1867 (see, for example, letter to Fritz Muller…

Matches: 3 hits

  • … Bowker, J.H. [10 Dec 1867] [Cape of Good Hope (South …
  • … Gray, Asa 10 & 14 March [1871] Cambridge, …
  • … Weale, J.P.M. [10 Dec 1867] Bedford, Cape of Good …

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: 27 hits

  • 2Charles Darwin Actor 3In the dress of a modern day archivist, this actor uses the
  • the environment in which the play unfolds and acting as a go-between between Gray and Darwin, and
  • indicate an edit in the original text not, necessarily, a pause in the delivery of the line. A
  • Jane the final days of Professor Asa Gray, Harvard Botanist. A series of strokes affect adversely
  • dinner, though there had seemed some threatening of a cold, but he pronounced himselfGRAY
  • quick breathing and some listlessness, so that he was nursed a little on FridayThat evening
  • him on the success of the treatment. There seemed a weakness of the right hand, which, however, …
  • you sent me as well as I could. DARWIN10   My dear Dr Gray. I really hardly know
  • Hooker is younger than Darwin and Gray by about 10 years. Like Gray, he is a professional botanist
  • his Christian belief and Darwin discovers that Alfred Wallace has developed his own strikingly
  • of the package (an essay from New Guinea from Alfred Russel Wallace) throws Darwin into a fluster. …
  • of last year… /  Why I ask this is as follows: Mr Wallace who is now exploring New Guinea, has
  • will be smashed. …  49   [Yet] there is nothing in Wallaces sketch which is not written out
  • that I can do so honourably50   knowing that Wallace is in the field….  / It seems hard on
  • Dr GrayI shall be glad of your opinion of Darwin and Wallaces paper. GRAY:   58   …
  • on all hands. DARWIN65   My dear [Mr Wallace], I have told [my publisher] Murray
  • right when he said the whole subject would be forgotten in 10 years. But now that I hear you will
  • a lesser degreeBloods One Penny Envelope, 1, 3, and 10 cents’. If you will make him this present, …
  • paragraph, in which I quote and differ from you[r178   doctrine that each variation has been
  • HOOKER:   208   We had a horrid scare 10 days ago, in the form of a Telegram fromNatureto
  • XVII, 1882 4  C DARWIN TO JD HOOKER 10 MAY 1848 5  C DARWIN TO JD HOOKER
  • 9  A GRAY TO C DARWIN, 22 MAY 1855 10  C DARWIN TO A GRAY, 24 AUGUST 1855
  • TO A GRAY, 27 NOVEMBER 1859 65  C DARWIN TO A WALLACE, 13 NOVEMBER 1859 66  …
  • JOURNAL OF SCIENCE 72  A GRAY TO C DARWIN, 10 JANUARY 1860 73  C DARWIN TO
  • A GRAY, 21 JULY 1861 120 A GRAY TO JD HOOKER, 10 JUNE 1861 121  A GRAY TO C
  • 18 FEBRUARY 1862 129  JD HOOKER TO C DARWIN, 10 MARCH 1862 130  C DARWIN
  • 23 NOVEMBER 1862 136  C DARWIN TO A GRAY, 1020 JUNE 1862 137  A GRAY TO

Darwin in letters,1870: Human evolution

Summary

The year 1870 is aptly summarised by the brief entry Darwin made in his journal: ‘The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex’.  Descent was the culmination of over three decades of observations and reflections on…

Matches: 20 hits

  • was far more extensive than Darwin had anticipated. As a resultDescent , like  Variation , …
  • the material on emotion; it would eventually appear as a separate book in 1872 ( Expression of the
  • of natural selection to humans from Alfred Russel Wallace and St George Jackson Mivart, and heated
  • Lyell, ‘thank all the powers above & below, I shall be a man again & not a horrid grinding
  • eighteen years of age. Darwin clearly expected her to make a considerable contribution, instructing
  • He worried that parts of the book weretoo like a Sermon: who wd ever have thought that I shd. turn
  • disagreed: ‘Certainly to have you turned Parson will be a change I expect I shall want it enlarging
  • looking exclusively into his own mind’, and himself, ‘a degraded wretch looking from the outside
  • side of human descent. On 7 March 1870, Darwin made a note on the shape of human ears: ‘W. has seen
  • made drawings of ears of monkeys & shortly afterwards he saw a man with tip & instantly
  • statue of Puck, the mischievous fairy in Shakespeares  A midsummer nights dreamDarwin
  • November [1868] ; this volume, letter to Thomas Woolner, 10 March [1870] ). Darwin included
  • 1: 22-3). Humans as animals: facial muscles A more troubling anatomical feature for
  • photographs, later used by Darwin in  Expression , showed a man whose platysma was severely
  • debate over human evolution grew more heated. Alfred Russel Wallace had expressed reservations about
  • year (see  Correspondence  vol. 17, letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 ). His views were
  • … (in retrograde direction) naturalist’ (letter to A. R.Wallace, 26 January [1870]). …
  • they had in the past to sustain goodwill and mutual respect. Wallaces new book, titled  …
  • When he received the book, Darwin was full of praise for Wallacesmodesty and candour’. ‘I hope it
  • each other, though in one sense rivals’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 20 April [1870] ). Darwin

Darwin in letters,1866: Survival of the fittest

Summary

The year 1866 began well for Charles Darwin, as his health, after several years of illness, was now considerably improved. In February, Darwin received a request from his publisher, John Murray, for a new edition of  Origin. Darwin got the fourth…

Matches: 18 hits

  • considerably improved. His increased vigour was apparent in a busy year that included two trips to
  • of special creation on the basis of alleged evidence of a global ice age, while Asa Gray pressed
  • the details of Hookers proposed talk formed the basis of a lengthy and lively exchange of letters
  • responded philosophically to these deaths, regarding both as a merciful release from painful illness
  • yet much taste for common meat,’ he continued, ‘but eat a little game or fowl twice a day & eggs
  • approval to increase his intake of coffee to two cups a day, since coffee, with the10 drops of
  • of flatulence. Jones replied in encouraging terms, enclosing a revised diet, which unfortunately
  • the chemistry go on better’ ( letter from H. B. Jones, 10 February [1866] ). Darwin began
  • research on crustacean embryology, and Alfred Russel Wallaces conclusions on varieties and species
  • you go on, after the startling apparition of your face at R.S. Soirèewhich I dreamed of 2 nights
  • you are in for it’ ( letter from H. E. Darwin, [  c . 10 May 1866] ). Henriettas letter
  • and June on the subject of  Rhamnus catharticus  (now  R. cathartica ). Darwin had become
  • of separate sexes. William gathered numerous specimens of  R. catharticus , the only species of  …
  • Orchids  and papers on botanical dimorphism, Batess and Wallaces work on mimetic butterflies, and
  • selection, and with special creation ( letter from W. R. Grove, 31 August 1866 ). Hooker later
  • of transmutation theory during the year with Alfred Russel Wallace. They corresponded in February on
  • know how to begin’ ( letter to Fritz Müller, [before 10 December 1866] ). The intrusion of
  • other German states and Austria in June and July. Writing on 10 May from Württemberg, one of the

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: 22 hits

  • critiques of his views. ‘One cannot expect fairness in a Reviewer’, Darwin commented to Hooker after
  • began to fly’. Hisdearly belovedtheory suffered a series of attacks, the most vicious of which
  • …  smashed’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 July [1860] ). (A chronological list of all the reviews
  • list. Adam Sedgwick, not surprisingly, attacked the book on a number of fronts. But it was his
  • Above all else Darwin prided himself on having developed a theory that explained several classes of
  • statement in his March review that natural selection was a hypothesis, not a theory, therefore also
  • … ‘It seems to me that an hypothesis is  developed  into a theory solely by explaining an ample lot
  • … ). To those who objected that his theory could not be a  vera causa,  he similarly stated thatit
  • readily admitted that his failure to discuss this point was amost serious omissionin his book
  • about global change. Darwin also knew that Lyell was a powerful potential ally. Indeed, the letters
  • selection. Even Huxley, an avowed supporter, proved a formidable critic. Huxley extolled the
  • whereas sterility had long been recognised by naturalists as a criterion of specific difference. He
  • lecture irritating and ultimately considered it more a failure than a success ( see letter to J. D. …
  • inhabitants. Darwin agreed, for example, with Alfred Russel Wallaces assessment that the
  • science.’ As for why this should be so, he confided to Wallace: ‘I think geologists are more
  • by his theoryand once staggered, he believed, it was only a matter of time before a person would
  • supported his theory. Even Carpenter, whom he included as a proponent in this group, offered only
  • form’, namely those of embryology ( letter to Asa Gray, 10 September [1860] ). Only his theory, he
  • with other animals’ ( letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860] )— he and others were well aware
  • views.—’ ( letter from J. S. Henslow to J. D. Hooker, 10 May 1860 ). What worried Darwin most
  • serve a purpose in Britain. He immediately wrote to Gray on 10 September after studying the first
  • chapter on pigeons (interrupted in 1858 by the receipt of Wallaces manuscript and the subsequent

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: 21 hits

  • … , anticipating with excitement the construction of a hothouse to accommodate his increasingly varied …
  • … when he and his family departed on 2 September for more than a month at a hydropathic establishment …
  • … Evidence as to man’s place in nature  both had a direct bearing on Darwin’s species theory and on …
  • … from ‘some Quadrumanum animal’, as he put it in a letter to J. D. Hooker of 24[–5] February [1863] …
  • … theory led him, after some consideration, to briefly play a public role in the controversies that …
  • … (see  Correspondence  vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860] ). In the same letter …
  • … had been rapidly accumulating. Lyell’s argument for a greater human antiquity than was commonly …
  • … from an ape-like animal, while dating human origins to a time far earlier than that decreed by …
  • … ). Although English experts subsequently decided the jaw was a forgery, publications in learned …
  • … letters to Lyell discussing  Antiquity , Darwin made a list of criticisms, including the objection …
  • … sentence suggesting that human intelligence appeared in a sudden leap from that of inferior animals …
  • … reading the book he wished his one-time mentor had not said a word ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 24[–5] …
  • … agreed that Lyell’s approach would sway many towards a new way of thinking, while Huxley’s book …
  • … alone in feeling disaffected towards Lyell and his book. In a February letter to the  Athenæum , a …
  • … charged Lyell with failing to put across Owen’s position, a failure which he attributed to Lyell’s …
  • … [23 February 1863] ). Hugh Falconer was also preparing a denunciation of Lyell’s book on the …
  • … had been published in 1862 (see  Correspondence  vol. 10). He sent a copy to Asa Gray to review in …
  • … of species, when crossed’ ( letter to T. H. Huxley, 10 [January 1863] ). He reminded Huxley again …
  • … Verbascum  and  Zea  (see  Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix VI). However, when  Evidence as …
  • … other acquired differences’ (see  Correspondence  vol. 10, Appendix VI). In addition to crossing …
  • … orchid genus  Acropera  (see  Correspondence  vol. 10). Their 1863 letters reveal Darwin’s …

List of correspondents

Summary

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,…

Matches: 12 hits

  • … Below is a list of Darwin's correspondents with the number of letters for each one. …
  • … (12) Agassiz, Louis (10) Agent for Mr Allen …
  • … Arruda Furtado, Francisco d’ (10) Ashburner, Lionel (1) …
  • … (1) Babbage, Charles (10) Babington, C. C. …
  • … (1) Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte …
  • … (1) Covington, Syms (10) Cowper-Temple, W. F. …
  • … (9) Errera, L. A. (10) Erskine, H. N. B. …
  • … (13) Forbes, Edward (10) Forbes, J. D. …
  • … François de Chaumont, F. S. B. (10) Fraser, George (3) …
  • … (1) Gosse, P. H. (10) Goubert, E. M. J. M. P. …
  • … (1) Harcourt, E. W. V. (10) Hardwicke’s …
  • … (1) Leighton, W. A. (10) Leng, H. H. …

Darwin in letters, 1864: Failing health

Summary

On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11 July 1864: ‘the venerable beard gives the look of your having suffered, and … of having grown older’.  Because of poor health, Because of poor health, Darwin…

Matches: 27 hits

  • On receiving a photograph from Charles Darwin, the American botanist Asa Gray wrote on 11
  • of dimorphic plants with Williams help; he also ordered a selection of new climbing plants for his
  • physician-in-ordinary to Queen Victoria. Jenner prescribed a variety of antacids and purgatives, and
  • of the five physicians Darwin had consulted in 1863. In a letter of 26[–7] March [1864] , Darwin
  • continued throughout the summer. When he finished a preliminary draft of his paper on climbing
  • and he received more letters of advice from Jenner. In a letter of 15 December [1864] to the
  • As Darwin explained to his cousin William Darwin Fox in a letter of 30 November [1864] , ‘the
  • arose over the grounds on which it was conferred, brought a dramatic conclusion to the year. Darwin
  • his observations indoors ( Correspondence  vol. 11). In a letter of [27 January 1864] , Darwin
  • However, the queries that Darwin, describing himself asa broken-down brother-naturalist’, sent to
  • for another specimen: ‘I want it fearfully for it is a leaf climber & therefore sacred’ ( …
  • transitional forms. Darwin came to think, for example, that a leaf, while still serving the
  • eventually aborting to form true tendrils. After observing a variety of climbing plants, he argued
  • we may conclude that  L. nissolia  is the result of a long series of changes . . .’ When he told
  • of the paper, he noted: ‘I have been pleased to find what a capital guide for observation, a full
  • perseverance, and his knowledge’ ( letter to John Scott, 10 June 1864 ). Hooker met Scott in
  • 5 September 1864 ). Fritz Müeller sent his bookFür Darwin , and Darwin had it translated by a
  • … “DarwinMann” ’ ( letter from Ernst Haeckel, 10 August 1864 ). Haeckel sent Darwin a number of his
  • most of the old Testament’ ( Correspondence vol. 10, letter to Asa Gray, 6 November [1862] ). …
  • the slavery practised in North America. Alfred Russel Wallace Unlike in the preceding
  • with very little commentary. However, when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him a copy of his recently
  • Some other readers were also aware of the significance of Wallaces paper as the first published
  • to J. D. Hooker, 22 [May 1864] ). He added that he wished Wallace had written Lyells section on
  • the question of human origins ( Correspondence vol. 11). Wallace, however, traced a possible path
  • by natural selection in humans, was new to Darwin. Wallaces paper dealt not only with human
  • that Darwin, who later endorsed monogenism, supported Wallaces attempt to mediate in the
  • on intellectual &ampmoral  qualities’ ( letter to A. R. Wallace, 28 [May 1864] ). …

Darwin in letters, 1879: Tracing roots

Summary

Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth century. His journey back in time started when he decided to publish a biographical account of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany a translation of an essay on Erasmus’s evolutionary ideas…

Matches: 18 hits

  • … by Cambridge University Press . Darwin spent a considerable part of 1879 in the eighteenth …
  • … Darwin’s preoccupation with his own roots ran alongside a botanical interest in roots, as he and his …
  • … to Francis Galton, 15 [June 1879] ). Even the prospect of a holiday in the Lake District in August …
  • … Darwin, despite his many blessings, was finding old age ‘a dismal time’ ( letter to Henry Johnson, …
  • … old age, which creeps slily upon one, like moss upon a tree, and wrinkles one all over like a baked …
  • … way round?’ At least the last letter of 1879 contained a warmer note and the promise of future …
  • … old Darwin’s seventieth birthday on 12 February was a cause for international celebration. A …
  • … but it was in Germany that Darwin was most fêted. A German bookkeeper and his wife sent birthday …
  • … of corrupting his students by reading them an extract from a materialist work by Carus Sterne …
  • … , which had been founded in 1877 by Krause and others as a journal for presenting a uniform view of …
  • … on Erasmus Darwin grabbed Darwin’s attention and provided a welcome break from his work on movement …
  • … of the Admiralty described the unknown young man as ‘A M r Darwin grandson of the well known …
  • … interesting to the public’ ( letter to Reginald Darwin, 10 April [1879] ). However, even members …
  • … he disagreed with Henrietta, or that Krause had written on 10 July to say that he had derived …
  • … which is his profession tho’ not a profitable one; also D r  C[lark]’s opinion that he was so …
  • … greatly amused Darwin, who felt it was ‘very acute of M r  Ruskin to know that I feel a deep & …
  • … & experiment’ ( letter from J. F. Moulton, 10 December 1879 ). In reply to Darwin’s response …
  • … Leopold Würtenberger fared better. When he wrote on 10 January to ask whether Darwin could find him …

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: 20 hits

  • … Marcel de Serres Cavernes d’Ossements 7 th  Ed. 10  8 vo . [Serres 1838] good to trace Europ. …
  • … on wheat [Le Couteur 1836] Bechstein on Caged Birds. 10 s  6 d . translated by Rennie …
  • … Soc read Prichards. Nat: History of Man. Bailliere. 1.10 [Prichard 1843]  must be studied . …
  • … Des ). De leur Anatomie, Reproduction et Culture. 4to. Avec 10 planches. Amsterdam, 1768. 12 s . …
  • … G. Browne 1799]— well skimmed 1839 Jan 10 All life of W. Scott [Lockhart 1837–8] …
  • … Voyage of Kolff to the Molucca Sea [Kolff 1840] 10 th  Surville-Marion [Crozet 1783]. …
  • … 1839]. References at end. chiefly on instincts 10 th . Blackwalls Researches in Zoology …
  • … 1839–40]. references at end.— Maer  (June 10 to Nov. 14. 1840) Smellies Buffon 3 d …
  • … Hilaire: [I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1841] d[itt]o: 10 th  Journal de Phys. [ Observations …
  • … [Lyman 1781] [DAR 119: 10b] Dec. 10 th  The Hour & Man. H. Martineau [H. …
  • … Dog [C. H. Smith 1839–40] 2 d . vol. d[itt]o Nov. 10 th  Sprengel. Endeckte Geheimniss. …
  • … & O’Kellys [Trollope 1848]— M r  Warrenne [E. Wallace 1848] Madam Malguet [Torrens] …
  • … Narrative of H.M.S. Herald [Seeman 1853]. Feb 6. Wallace Travels in the Amazon [A. R. Wallace …
  • … eds.]  119: 11a Blacklock, Ambrose. 1838.  A treatise on sheep; with the   best means …
  • … ——. 1840.  An encyclopædia of   rural sports; or, a complete account, historical, practical,   …
  • … 1844.  Algeria, past and present.   Containing a description of the country … with a review of   …
  • … Artaud. 2 vols. Metz.  128: 24 ——. 1807.  A short system of comparative anatomy . …
  • … 1794–6.  Harmonia ruralis; or, an essay   towards a natural history of British song birds . 2 …
  • … 1831.  The life of Samuel Johnson …   Including a journal of a tour to the Hebrides . A new …
  • … [Darwin Library.]  *119: 5v., 7v.; 119: 5a Wallace, Alfred Russel. 1853.  A narrative of …

Darwin in letters, 1880: Sensitivity and worms

Summary

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…

Matches: 21 hits

  • and observations. Financial support for science was a recurring issue, as Darwin tried to secure a
  • life and other bits of family history. On 1 January , a distant cousin, Charles Harrison Tindal, …
  • about the eagerness of the two learned divines to see a pigs body opened is very amusing’, Darwin
  • to C. H. Tindal, 5 January 1880 ). Darwin had employed a genealogist, Joseph Lemuel Chester, to
  • away in archives and registry offices, and produced a twenty-page history of the Darwin family
  • obliged to meet some of the distant relations and conciliate a few whose ancestors had not featured
  • in to the thick of all these cousins & think I must pay a round of visits.’ One cousin, Reginald
  • revised the essay for the book, partly in order to address a publication by Samuel Butler, …
  • by anticipation the