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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: 16 hits

  • in his immediate circle were Charles Lyell and Joseph Dalton Hooker, who were joined in 1856 by
  • of information about his preoccupations during 1856 and 1857. They reveal little noticed aspects of
  • way before. ‘How very odd it is that no zoologist sh  d . ever have thought it worth while to look
  • to make my Book as perfect as ever I can.’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 8 February [1857] ). …
  • than their lowland relatives. But a last-minute check with Hooker revealed that Darwin was mistaken: …
  • calculations and different ways of working, in letters to Hooker, Gray, and Watson. The results
  • of calculation was wrong ( letter to John Lubbock, 14 July [1857] ). Darwin thought his results
  • an equally difficult problem that he took in turn to Watson, Hooker, George Bentham, and the Belfast
  • show a separation of the sexes, a proposal that Asa Gray and Hooker confirmed during the course of
  • experiments on plants through the summers of 1856 and 1857, particularly with garden vegetables like
  • Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette  in October 1857, to be followed by a second notice in 1858. …
  • zoological gardens in London. As he cheerfully explained to Hooker: ‘I must tell you another of my  …
  • bird had naturally eaten have grown well.’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 December [1856] ). …
  • find the work: am I not a kind Father?’ Darwin wrote in 1857, soon followed by the complaintYou
  • to end!’ (letters to W. E. Darwin, [17 February 1857] and 21 [July 1857] ). The problem of
  • Lyell had pressed him to write up his views ( letters to J. D. Hooker, 9 May [1856] ). …

Darwin and Down

Summary

Charles and Emma Darwin, with their first two children, settled at Down House in the village of Down (later ‘Downe’) in Kent, as a young family in 1842.   The house came with eighteen acres of land, and a fifteen acre meadow.  The village combined the…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … meadow remains much as it was in Darwin’s day.  To J. D. Hooker,  3 June [1857] :  on the …

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: 18 hits

  • writings of Asa Gray, Charles Darwin, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Jane Loring Gray Louis Agassiz, Adam
  • this actor uses the words of Jane Loring Gray, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Hugh Falconer, Louis Agassiz, …
  • of natural selection to his friend, the botanist, Joseph D Hooker GRAY:   3   Charles
  • year 1839, and copied and communicated to Messrs Lyell and Hooker in 1844, being a part of
  • DARWIN:   7   January 1844. My dear Hooker. I have beenengaged in a very presumptuous work
  • the opportunity I enjoyed of making your acquaintance at Hookers three years ago; and besides that
  • sheet of note-paper! DARWIN11   My dear HookerWhat a remarkably nice and kind
  • 22   Hurrah I got yesterday my 41st Grass! Hooker is younger than Darwin and Gray by
  • species beforeDARWIN24   My dear Hookeryou cannot imagine how pleased I am
  • on your bowels of immutability. Darwin passes to Hooker a brace of letters 25
  • there is a little rap for you. GRAY:   26   Hooker [is] dreadfully paradoxical to
  • as well as any man. I send itDarwin passes to Hooker an envelope of seeds. …
  • and Hawks have often been seen in mid Atlantic. HOOKER:   28   Thanks for your letter
  • the Origin of Species…’ FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH: 1857-1858 In which Gray and Hooker
  • JUNE 1855 20  C DARWIN TO A GRAY, 1 JANUARY 1857 21  A GRAY TO C DARWIN, …
  • MARCH 1862 35  C DARWIN TO A GRAY, 1 JANUARY 1857 36  A GRAY TO C DARWIN
  • OCTOBER 1858 59 A GRAY TO JD HOOKER, 12 OCTOBER 1857 60 A GRAY TO JD HOOKER, …
  • C DARWIN, 1819 AUGUST 1862 149 C DARWIN TO J. D. HOOKER 26 JULY 1863 150

Abstract of Darwin’s theory

Summary

There are two extant versions of the abstract of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. One was sent to Asa Gray on 5 September 1857, enclosed with a letter of the same date (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Asa Gray, 5 September [1857] and enclosure).…

Matches: 10 hits

  • natural selection. One was sent to Asa Gray on 5 September 1857, enclosed with a letter of the same
  • was subsequently sent to Charles Lyell and Joseph Dalton Hooker in June 1858 as part of Darwins
  • … , [25 June 1858] , and 26 [June 1858] ; letters to J. D. Hooker, [29 June 1858] and [29
  • work on the proof-sheets of the paper, see letter from J. D. Hooker, 1315 July 1858 , and letter
  • rubbish; perhaps it will appear so after reflexion.— C. D. 42 ProvenanceCUL DAR 6: …
  • to Prof. Asa Gray, Boston, U.S., dated Down, September 5th, 1857.” (Darwin and Wallace 1858, p. 50). …
  • in pencil that reads: ‘the progeny of any one species w d . cover the surface of the earth’. The
  • 53). 42 In June 1858, when the abstract was sent to Hooker, the final sentence was deleted in
  • I can get Date’. The signature was changed fromC.D.’ toC. Darwin’. See letter to J. D. Hooker, …
  • was sent to A. Gray 8 or 9 months ago, I think October 1857 [‘or perhaps’  del ]’. The printed

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: 13 hits

  • for evaluation, and persuaded his friend Joseph Dalton Hooker to comment on a paper on  Verbascum
  • committed suicide at the end of April; and William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic
  • thriving, and when illness made work impossible, Darwin and Hooker read a number of novels, and
  • the Boys at home: they make the house jolly’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] ). Darwin
  • kind friend to me. So the world goes.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 February [1865] ). However, …
  • griefs & pains: these alone are unalloyed’ ( letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 February 1865 ). …
  • Sic transit gloria mundi, with a vengeance’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 February [1865] ). …
  • know it is folly & nonsense to try anyone’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] ). He
  • and Darwin had given it up by early July ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, [10 July 1865] ). In
  • … ‘able to write about an hour on most days’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 22 December [1865] ). …
  • willing to bear the expense of the woodcuts ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] ). After
  • loathe the whole subject like tartar emetic’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 19 January [1865] ). …
  • How to manage it , a love-story set in the Indian Mutiny of 1857 to 1858 ( letter to J. D. Hooker, …

Natural Selection: the trouble with terminology Part I

Summary

Darwin encountered problems with the term ‘natural selection’ even before Origin appeared.  Everyone from the Harvard botanist Asa Gray to his own publisher came up with objections. Broadly these divided into concerns either that its meaning simply wasn’t…

Matches: 1 hits

  • … written in 1842 , and, as he told Asa Gray in September 1857 , he intended to call the ‘ big …

Darwin's bad days

Summary

Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and experimenting, even Darwin had some bad days. These times when nothing appeared to be going right are well illustrated by the following quotations from his letters:

Matches: 1 hits

  • … Despite being a prolific worker who had many successes with his scientific theorising and …

Scientific Networks

Summary

Friendship|Mentors|Class|Gender In its broadest sense, a scientific network is a set of connections between people, places, and things that channel the communication of knowledge, and that substantially determine both its intellectual form and content,…

Matches: 10 hits

  • tapping into the networks of others, such as Joseph Dalton Hooker and Asa Gray, who were at leading
  • of face-to-face contact. His correspondence with Joseph Hooker and Asa Gray illustrates how close
  • The first is between Darwin and his friend Kew botanist J. D. Hooker. The second is between Darwin
  • to conclusion that species are not immutable. He admits to Hookerit is like confessing a murder”. …
  • Letter 2125Darwin, C. R. to Gray, Asa, 20 July [1857] Darwin writes a challenging letter
  • Letter 1202Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 6 Oct [1848] Darwin catches up on personal
  • name to specific name. Letter 1220Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, C. R., 3 Feb 1849 In
  • Letter 1260Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D., 12 Oct 1849 Darwin opens by discussing their
  • lamination of gneiss. Letter 1319Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, C. R., 6 & 7 Apr 1850
  • of the ephippium”, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 147 (1857): 79100]. Darwin and Müller

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: 16 hits

  • by observation during prolonged intervals’ ( letter to D. T. Gardner, [ c . 27 August 1874] ). …
  • of shooting and collecting beetles ( letter from W. D. Fox, 8 May [1874] ).  Such reminiscences
  • looks backwards much more than forwards’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 11 May [1874] ). I
  • hope.— I feel very old & helpless’  ( letter to B. J. Sulivan, 6 January [1874] ). Darwin
  • to believe in such rubbish’, he confided to Joseph Dalton Hooker ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 18
  • the publishers, he applied first to his friend Joseph Dalton Hooker, and finally borrowed one from
  • for misinterpreting Darwin on this point ( letter from J. D. Dana, 21 July 1874 ); however, he did
  • … ‘Im a grown man now’, he reminded Darwin, ‘& sh d . stand on my own footing, & if it is
  • Mivart (see  Correspondence  vol. 20, letter to St G. J. Mivart, 11 January [1872] ). To Darwin
  • views. In December, he sought advice from Huxley and Hooker, sending them a draft letter that
  • Mivart had written the article ( enclosure to letter from J. D. Hooker, 21 December 1874 ). Huxley
  • to write to Mivart directly after he knew the full result of Hookers and Huxleys representations ( …
  • or adviseable’. On Christmas Eve, Darwin wrote to Hooker that they were still in a dilemma
  • 15 th  he published that shabby rejoinder’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 24 December [1874] ).  On
  • made public through anonymous reviews. While staying with Hooker over Christmas, John Tyndall, …
  • removed as secretary of the Linnean Society  ( letter From J. D. Hooker, 29 December 1874 ). …

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: 17 hits

  • in South Africa. Letter 6736 - Gray, A. & J. L to Darwin, [8 & 9 May 1869] …
  • of wormholes. Letter 8611 - Cupples, A. J. to Darwin, E., [8 November1872] …
  • Darwins behalf. Letter 8683 - Roberts, D. to Darwin, [17 December 1872] …
  • little treatise”. Letter 4436 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [26-27 March 1864] …
  • and orangs. Letter 5705 - Haast, J. F. J. von to Darwin, [4 December 1867] …
  • in a marble tablet”. Letter 6815 - Scott, J. to Darwin, [2 July 1869] John
  • Men: Letter 385  - Wedgwood, S. E. & J. to Darwin, [10 November 1837] …
  • at Maer Hall, Staffordshire. Letter 1219  - Hooker, J. D. to Darwin, [3 February
  • …  - Henslow, G. to Darwin, [11 November 1865] J. S. Henslows son, George, passes on the
  • Men: Letter 1836  - Berkeley, M. J. to Darwin, [7 March 1856] Clergyman and
  • The experiments were carried outat the suggestion of Dr Hookerand what little he has ascertained
  • 2055  - Langton, E. to Darwin,  F., [21 February 1857] Darwins nephew, Edmund, …
  • to feed to them. Letter 2069  - Tenant, J. to Darwin, [31 March 1857] James
  • University of Bonn. Letter 6046  - Weir, J. J. to Darwin, [24 March 1868] …
  • Women: Letter 2345 - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [20 October 1858] Darwin
  • of style. Letter 2461  - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [11 May 1859] Darwin
  • as such”. Letter 2475  - Darwin to Hooker, J. D., [2 July 1859] Darwin

Darwin’s study of the Cirripedia

Summary

Darwin’s work on barnacles, conducted between 1846 and 1854, has long posed problems for historians. Coming between his transmutation notebooks and the Origin of species, it has frequently been interpreted as a digression from Darwin’s species work. Yet…

Matches: 6 hits

  • … to hermaphrodite cirripedes, for example,  Darwin informed Hooker of this interesting discovery and …
  • … Toward the end of his study of Balanus , in a letter to Hooker on 25 September [1853] ( …
  • … a high compliment when he touched upon this matter in his 1857 lecture on cirripedes. In his praise …
  • … and not an anatomist ex professo .’ (T. H. Huxley 1857, p. 238 n.).    While Darwin’s …
  • … of his theory of evolution can be recognised. Indeed, both Hooker and Huxley believed that the …
  • … nos. 2118 and 2119, letter to T. H. Huxley, 5 July [1857] , and letter from T. H. Huxley, 7 …

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: 21 hits

  • his views of close friends like Charles Lyell, Joseph Dalton Hooker, and Thomas Henry Huxley, who
  • at the end of 1859, ‘I sometimes fancied that my book w  d  be successful; but I never even built
  • made on you (whom I have always looked at as chief judge) & Hooker & Huxley. The whole has  …
  • completed his ninth chapter, on hybridism, on 29 December 1857, Darwin began in January 1858 to
  • the load of curious facts on record.—’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, 31 January [1858] ). In addition to
  • on variation under nature. Having learned in the summer of 1857 that his method for deriving
  • the interpretation of the statistics was still problematic. Hooker thought that Darwin was wrong to
  • up. With some trepidation, Darwin sent his manuscript off to Hooker for his comments. Darwins
  • that all was much alike, & if you condemned that you w d . condemn allmy lifes work—& …
  • … ‘Your words have come true with a vengeance that I sh  d . be forestalled’, he lamented to Lyell. …
  • some time away. On 16 May [1858], he arranged a meeting with Hooker to discuss his manuscript on
  • be dreadfully severe.—’ On 18 [May 1858], he again tells Hooker: ‘There is not least hurry in world
  • work. The story has often been told of how Lyell and Hooker suggested that Darwins years of
  • with an abstract of his views sent to Asa Gray in September 1857. The correspondence between Darwin, …
  • Society on 1 July 1858, including a letter from Wallace to Hooker thanking him and Lyell fortheir
  • his material would require asmall volume’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 October [1858] ). Begun
  • appropriated the others ideas (see letters to J. D. Hooker, 2 March [1859] , 11 March [1859] …
  • Fox, ‘& I feel worse than when I came’ ( letter to W. D. Fox, [16 November 1859] ). It was
  • about the fine points of Darwins theory ( see letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 May 1859 ). Among the
  • Priests at me & leaves me to their mercies’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, [22 November 1859] ). …
  • young & rising naturalists on our side.—’ ( letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 December [1859] ). …

The writing of "Origin"

Summary

From a quiet rural existence at Down in Kent, filled with steady work on his ‘big book’ on the transmutation of species, Darwin was jolted into action in 1858 by the arrival of an unexpected letter (no longer extant) from Alfred Russel Wallace outlining a…

Matches: 20 hits

  • When I was in spirits I sometimes fancied that my book w d  be successful; but I never even built
  • not mean the sale, but the impression it has made on you…& Hooker & Huxley. The whole has
  • completed his ninth chapter, on hybridism, on 29 December 1857, Darwin began in January 1858 to
  • the load of curious facts on record.—’ (letter to W. D. Fox, 31 January [1858] ). In addition to
  • on variation under nature. Having learned in the summer of 1857 that his method for deriving
  • the interpretation of the statistics was still problematic. Hooker thought that Darwin was wrong to
  • up. With some trepidation, Darwin sent his manuscript off to Hooker for his comments. Darwins
  • that all was much alike, & if you condemned that you w  d . condemn allmy lifes work—& …
  • … ‘Your words have come true with a vengeance that I sh  d . be forestalled’, he lamented to Lyell. …
  • time away. On 16 May [1858] , he arranged a meeting with Hooker to discuss his manuscript on
  • severe.—’ On 18 [May 1858] , he again tells Hooker: ‘There is not least hurry in world about my M
  • work. The story has often been told of how Lyell and Hooker suggested that Darwins years of
  • with an abstract of his views sent to Asa Gray in September 1857. The correspondence between Darwin, …
  • 1858. It also includes an unpublished letter from Wallace to Hooker thanking him and Lyell for
  • his material would require asmall volume’ (letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 October [1858] ). Begun
  • to Fox, ‘& I feel worse than when I came’ (letter to W. D. Fox, [16 November 1859] ). It was
  • could produce all the effects Darwin ascribed to it. Hooker, though very much a convert, still
  • the Priests at me & leaves me to their mercies’ (letter to J. D. Hooker, [22 November 1859] ) …
  • a sort of instinct to try to make out truth’ (letter to W. D. Fox, 24 [March 1859] ). Yet he
  • all young & rising naturalists on our side.—’ (letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 December [1859] ). …

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: 23 hits

  • 4  [Pierquin de Gembloux 1839]. Said to be good by D r  L. Lindsay 5 [DAR *119: 1v. …
  • … [A. von Humboldt 1811] Richardsons Fauna Borealis [J. Richardson 182937] …
  • Brown 1814] & at the end of Congo voyage [R. Brown 1818]. (Hooker 923) 7  read
  • on Annals of Nat. Hist. [Jenyns 1838] Prichard; a 3 d . vol [Prichard 183647] Lawrence [W. …
  • Teneriffe. in Pers. Narr. [A. von Humboldt 181429] D r  Royle on Himmalaya types [Royle
  • reference to authors about E. Indian Islands 8 consult D r  Horsfield [Horsfield 1824] …
  • sheep [Youatt 1831, 1834, 1837]. Verey Philosophie dHist. Nat. [Virey 1835] read
  • Paper on consciousness in brutes Blackwood June 1838 [J. F. Ferrie 1838]. H. C. Watson on
  • Crawford Eastern Archipelago [Crawfurd 1820] Raffeles d[itt]o [T. S. B. Raffles 1817] …
  • to White Nat. Hist of Selbourne [E. T. Bennett ed. 1837 and [J. Rennie] ed. 1833] read 19  : …
  • what have they written.? “Hunt” [J. Hunt 1806] p. 290
  • He is Horticulturist in France. Michaux, according to Hooker has written on topography of N. …
  • chiefly on distribution of forms said to be Poor Sir. J. Edwards Botanical Tour [?J. E. Smith
  • Butler. 3. first sermons [Butler 1834] recommended by Sir. J. Mackintosh J. Long Moral Nature
  • … ]. many very useful papers for me:— not in Hort. Soc. Hooker? Rogets Bridgewater Treatise
  • … —— Mauritius & C. of Good Hope Hooker recommends order [Backhouse
  • Decandolles Veg: Organ: } recommended by  Hooker . [A. P. de
  • C. Watson 1845]— gives up permanent species (alluded to by Hooker) Foreign & British Med. …
  • 43 Lindleys Vegetable Kingdom [Lindley 1846]. Hooker says very good for my purpose
  • Phytologist [ Phytologistmust be read . Hooker. read Fortunes Travels in China
  • 112 Jukes. “Students Manual of Geology” [Jukes 1857]— published a few years ago, good on
  • Lucas lHeredite Naturelle [Lucas 184750] 1857 Nov. 15. Andersson Lake Gnami
  • Thackeray English Humourists [Thackeray 1853] 1857 Jan. Cockburn life of Selby [ …

Darwin's health

Summary

On 28 March 1849, ten years before Origin was published, Darwin wrote to his good friend Joseph Hooker from Great Malvern in Worcestershire, where Dr James Manby Gully ran a fashionable water-cure establishment. Darwin apologised for his delayed reply to…

Matches: 18 hits

  • …  was published, Darwin wrote to his good friend Joseph Hooker from Great Malvern in Worcestershire, …
  • establishment. Darwin apologised for his delayed reply to Hookers letter which he put down to his
  • he took Dr Gullys water cure. In Darwins letter to Hooker, he described Dr Gullys treatment: …
  • the years around 1848, 1852, 1859, and 1863. In a letter to Hooker in April of 1861for example, …
  • vomiting wonderfully & I am gaining vigour .’ (letter to JDHooker, 13 April [1864] ) …
  • … (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 2, letter to J. S. Henslow, 14 October [1837] , …
  • attacks ofperiodical vomitingin a letter to W. D. Fox, [7 June 1840] ( Correspondence vol
  • 1849] , andvomiting every weekin his letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 March 1849 ( …
  • Correspondence vol. 12, letter from Emma Darwin to W. D. Fox, [6 May 1864] ). According to Emma
  • decision to consult John Chapman.  In a letter to J. D. Hooker, [20-] 22 February [1864] ( …
  • 1995, pp. 428-9. On his difficulties reading, see letters to J. D. Hooker, 1 June [1865] and
  • from gout (see Correspondence vol. 1, letter to W. D. Fox, [25-9 January 1829] , and
  • discussed in Colp 1977, pp. 31-2, 47, 98. In his letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 March [1863] ( …
  • also Correspondence vol. 12, letter from Emma Darwin to J. D. Hooker, 17 March [1864] . …
  • … (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 4, letter to W. D. Fox, 24 [March 1849] , and
  • for several years (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, 12 October 1849 , and
  • at Moor Park, under Edward Wickstead Lane, between 1857 and 1859, and at Ilkley, under Edmund Smith, …
  • his chronic vomiting ( Correspondence vol. 12, letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 April [1864] ). …