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To J. D. Dana   5 April [1857]


Asks whether Crustacea from temperate parts of the Southern Hemisphere are more strongly analogous to those in same latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere than are Arctic to Antarctic Crustacea.

Discusses astonishing finds of mammalian and reptilian remains in Purbeck beds; notes reactions of Lyell.

Has doubts about Richard Owen’s recent classification of mammals [J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Zool.) 2 (1858): 1–37].

Works away [on Natural selection].

Asa Gray has given valuable assistance.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  James Dwight Dana
Date:  5 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Yale University Library: Manuscripts and Archives (Dana Family Papers (MS 164) Series 1, Box 2, folder 44)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2072

To J. D. Hooker   8 April [1857]



Independence of variation from climate shown by several plant genera; CD asks for confirmation.

Progressing with book [Natural selection].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  8 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 191
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2073

To William Sharpey   9 April [1857]


Recommendations of books of general interest [for the Royal Society library]. These include [Louis] Agassiz’s works, [William] McGillivray’s [History of] British birds, and David Low’s [On the domesticated animals of the British Islands].

Comments on current candidates for the Royal Society.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Sharpey
Date:  9 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 249: 128 (photocopy)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2073F

To J. D. Hooker   12 April [1857]



Thanks JDH for response on variation. Studying variations that seem correlated with environment, e.g., north vs south, ascending mountains.

CD’s weed garden: observations on slugs killing seedlings.

Seed-salting. One-seventh of the plants of any country could be transported 924 miles by sea and would germinate.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  12 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 192
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2075

To Charles Lyell   13 April [1857]


CD returns a letter from Wollaston.

Although opposed to the Forbesian doctrine [of continental extension] as a general rule, CD would have no objection to its being proved in some cases. Does not think Wollaston has proved it; nor can anyone until more is known about the means of distribution of insects – but the identity of the two faunas is certainly interesting.

His health is very poor and his "everlasting species-Book" quite overwhelms him with work. It is beyond his powers, but he hopes to live to finish it.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  13 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Edinburgh University Library, Centre for Research Collections (Gen.109/702)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2077

To Laurence Edmondston   19 April [1857]


Thanks for pigeon.

Are there Shetland birds chequered with black marks, as Carl Julian Graba states are in Faeroes [Reise nach Färö (1830)] and Col. King in the Hebrides?

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Laurence Edmondston
Date:  19 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  L. D. Edmondston (private collection)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2079

To P. H. Gosse   27 April [1857]


Asks PHG to conduct an experiment to see if young littoral molluscs will cling to a duck’s foot – CD seeks to explain distribution of molluscs without adopting E. Forbes’s [continental extension] theory.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Philip Henry Gosse
Date:  27 Apr [1857]
Classmark:  Leeds University Library Special Collections (Brotherton Collection: Gosse Correspondence)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2082

To J. D. Hooker   [29 April 1857]



Curative power of hydropathy.

General hairiness of alpine plants questioned: direct environmental effect.

CD has long felt JDH is too hard on bad observers.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Joseph Dalton Hooker
Date:  [29 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  DAR 114: 194
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2084

To W. D. Fox   [30 April 1857]


His impressions of the hydropathic establishment and E. W. Lane. Is convinced the only thing for "chronic cases" is the water-cure.

Asks if WDF knows of any breed of pig that originated or was modified by a cross with a Chinese or Neapolitan pig, and whether the crossbreed bred true.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  William Darwin Fox
Date:  [30 Apr 1857]
Classmark:  Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 103)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2085
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