Wednesday, January 06, 2010

The Darwin Family Letters

The Universal Library has posted Emma Darwin: A Century of Family Letters 1792-1896, volume II online. Among the nuggets here, to his niece, Henrietta, Charles Darwin writes:

I was thinking of sending a scolding card when your note pacified me. Your news is not very cheerful, everyone ill, and I hope London will have a good effect upon your constitutions. Olivier has not as yet sent his remedies [concert tickets].

I have been reading Wallace in the Academy, and it seems to me there is a good deal to answer in it if possible. I think the way he carries on controversy is perfectly beautiful, and in future histories of science the WallaceDarwin episode will form one of the few bright points among rival claimants.…
Indeed, A.R. Wallace went back to his adopted home in Indonesia and continued to study island biogeography while Charles Darwin took natural selection and adapted and expanded the concept. Fascinating reading.

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