The Correspondence of Charles Darwin: 1847-1850

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Cambridge University Press, 1985 - 711 pages
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This is the fourth volume of the complete edition of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. For the first time full authoritative texts of Darwin's letters are available, edited according to modern textual editorial principles and practice. This volume covers the first years of Darwin's study of the structure and systematics of barnacles: work that involved a worldwide search for specimens, detailed microscopic investigations, a consideration of the theoretical assumptions underlying classification schemes, and the solution of practical problems of zoological nomenclature. Darwin's convictions about the nature and origin of species influenced his observations and conclusions and provided insights that led to some remarkable discoveries. Throughout this period Darwin also maintained his involvement in major geological debates, as shown by important exchanges with Charles Lyell, Robert Chambers, James Dwight Dana, Bernhard Studer, and others. The letters to Darwin include Joseph Dalton Hooker's descriptions of his dramatic and frequently dangerous travels through previously closed regions of Sikkim and Tibet.

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About the author (1985)

Charles Robert Darwin, born in 1809, was an English naturalist who founded the theory of Darwinism, the belief in evolution as determined by natural selection. Although Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University, and then studied at Cambridge University to become a minister, he had been interested in natural history all his life. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was a noted English poet, physician, and botanist who was interested in evolutionary development. Darwin's works have had an incalculable effect on all aspects of the modern thought. Darwin's most famous and influential work, On the Origin of Species, provoked immediate controversy. Darwin's other books include Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle, The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex. Charles Darwin died in 1882.

James A. Secord has served as Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project since 2006. He is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Christ's College. Besides his work for the Darwin Project, his research focuses on the history of science from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. His book, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (2000), won the Pfizer Prize of the History of Science Society.

SYDNEY SMITH is an illustrator born and bred in Nova Scotia. He attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has been in Halifax since receiving his BFA in 2006. Since then, he has collaborated with many musicians and authors, including two children's books with Sheree Fitch. He was awarded the Mayor's Award for "Mable Murple" in 2011.

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