Sketches of 1842 and 1844

An introduction by R. B. Freeman

When Francis Darwin put together Life and letters he did not know that the sketch of his father's evolutionary ideas, which was written in 1842, had survived. The pencil manuscript was discovered in 1896, after the death of his mother, in a cupboard under the stairs at Down House. Its dating is discussed in the preface to the first printing in 1909, and in that of 1958. The first, dated June 23, 1909, was not published but was printed for presentation to delegates to the Cambridge festivities in commemoration of the centenary of Darwin's birth and the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The origin of species. I have seen a copy of it with the table plan, musical background and menu loosely inserted. Leaf a4 has a printed presentation note on the recto; this has been removed in some copies which were perhaps available outside the presentation issue.

Later in the same year it was reprinted and published together with the sketch of 1844, and in this printing most of the introduction, repaginated, and the whole of the sketch of 1842 are from the standing type of the first issue; the rest is new. Both sketches were reprinted for the International Congress of Zoology in 1958, and issued free to those who had subscribed as well as being available for purchase. The original printing and that of 1958 have recently appeared in facsimile.

Darwin, F ed. 1909. The foundations of The origin of species, a sketch written in 1842. Image PDF F1555

Darwin, F. ed. 1909. The foundations of The origin of species. Two essays written in 1842 and 1844. Cambridge: University Press. Text Image Text & image PDF F1556


Darwin, F. ed. 1911. Die Fundamente zur Entstehung der Arten (Zwei Essays von 1842 und 1844). Translated by Maria Semon. Leipzig und Berlin: B. C. Teubner. Text Image (Provided by F1561


1915. Foundations of The origin of species. PDF F1563a


From: Freeman, R. B. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d ed. Dawson: Folkstone.

NOTE: With thanks to The Charles Darwin Trust and Dr Mary Whitear for use of the Bibliographical Handlist. Copyright. All rights reserved. For private academic use only. Not for republication or reproduction in whole or in part without the prior written consent of The Charles Darwin Trust, 31 Baalbec Road, London N5 1QN.

Corrections and additions copyright John van Wyhe, The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online - National University of Singapore.


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