RECORD: de Beer, Gavin ed. 1959. Darwin's journal. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Historical Series 2 (1): 1-21.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 10.2022. RN1

NOTE: See record in the Freeman Bibliographical Database, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of The Natural History Museum, the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

Christine Chua notes that there are very many differences between this early transcription (from a copy) compared with the definitive transcription in Darwin Online.

See the definitive edition of the 'Journal': Darwin, C. R. 1839-1881. 'Journal'. CUL-DAR158.1-76, edited by John van Wyhe. CUL-DAR158.1-76

[page 1]  




Director, British Museum (Natural History)


Pp. 1-21




LONDON: 1959

[page 2]


(NATURAL HISTORY), instituted in 1949, is

issued in five series corresponding to the Departments

of the Museum, and an Historical Series.

Parts appear at irregular intervals as they become

ready. Volumes will contain about three or four

hundred pages, and will not necessarily be completed

within one calendar year.

This paper is Vol. 2, No. 1 of the Historical series.


© Trustees of the British Museum, 1959




Issued November, 1959                                                              Price Eight Shillings

[page 3]


Edited by Sir GAVIN DE BEER, F.R.S., F.S.A.

IN his Autobiography,1 Darwin referred to a. "little diary, which I have always kept", in which he recorded the work on which he was engaged, the time which he took in completing each of his researches, the books in which they were described, and his movements from place to place. The document itself was headed "Journal". Francis Darwin also referred2 to his father's "Diary or Pocket-book" as having been of great help to him in writing and compiling the Life and Letters. He added that "it was unfortunately written with great brevity, the history of a year being compressed into a page or less, and contains little more than the dates, of the principle events of his life, together with entries as to his work, and as to the duration of his more serious illnesses".

Some important quotations have been published3 from the Journal, such as the famous entry under the date 1837: "In July opened first note book on 'transmutation of species'. Had been greatly stuck from about a month of previous March on character of South American fossils, and species on Galapagos Archipelago. These facts origin (especially latter) of all my views".

The chronological framework which the Journal provides of Darwin's life is of such interest as to deserve publication, and by the courtesy of Sir Charles Darwin, K.B.E., F.R.S. and of the Syndics of the Cambridge University Library, and with the kind help of the Librarian, Mr. H. R. Creswick, M.A., it is printed below.

The manuscript4 which has been used for transcription is not Darwin's autograph, but a copy made in a fair hand by a copyist who previously had considerable difficulty in deciphering Darwin's handwriting. In numerous places there are corrections and indications of omissions in pencil in a hand which is presumably of Francis Darwin. In some places there are duplications and chronological inversions (rationalized in the present transcription), but these occur mostly in the earlier part of the Journal and may have been made in the original autograph manuscript by Darwin himself if, as appears to be the case, the earlier entries were reconstructed from notes and memory at a later date which was probably August 1838 because that date is given at the head of the document, and it is also the date of the autobiographical fragment5 covering his life up till 1838. That was about the time

1 The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, edited by Nora Barlow, London 1958, p. 116. (Abbreviated as Autob.)

2 Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, edited by Francis Darwin, London 1887, vol. 1, p. iv. (Abbreviated as L. & L.)

3 L. & L., vol. 1, p. 330; Charles Darwin. The Foundations of the Origin of Species, edited by Francis Darwin, Cambridge 1909, p. xiv; Charles Darwin & Alfred Russel Wallace: Evolution by Natural Selection, with a Foreword by Sir Gavin de Beer, Cambridge 1958, pp. 5, and 25.

4 University Library Cambridge, Darwin MS.1402.

5 More Letters of Charles Darwin, edited by Francis Darwin & A. C. Seward, London 1903, vol. 1, p. 1. (Abbreviated as M.L.)

[page] 4

when he determined to propose marriage1 to his cousin Emma Wedgwood; and his balance-sheet of the advantages and disadvantages of the married state, which forms one of the most fascinating subjects which Lady Barlow has added to her Edition of the Autobiography,2 shows how his methodical mind ran to putting things down on paper.

There is also clear evidence of subsequent insertion into earlier entries, as in the case of Darwin's paper on Flustra, referred to in the winter of 1826-27 when it was delivered, but which Darwin inserted in 1873 from a footnote published in Nature in that year.

From the year 1846 onwards the entries in the Journal are in two columns, The left hand column is clearly designed for entries relating to scientific work, while the right hand column is devoted to personal matters such as journeys to stay with friends or at hydropathic establishments, and dates of birth and death of children and relations. Occasionally, however, the distinction breaks down as when the length of the period of his illnesses intrudes on the scientific record to justify the time spent on various subjects of research and books.

There is always an element of indiscretion in perusing a document which was never meant by its author for publication, but this one is such value in throwing light on Darwin's life time-table that it is itself of scientific interest, and, as such, its study by others would not have been frowned on by him. It is presented as a contribution towards the celebration of the centenary of the publication of the book which, as Darwin himself recognized,3 was the chief work of his life: On the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection, 1859.


Charles Darwin

1809. Feb 12. Born at Shrewsbury. Parish of St. Chad.

1813. Summer. Went to Gros near Abegele for sea-bathing, some of my earliest recollections dates from this.

1817. Went to Mr Case's4 School in the Spring (8 years old).

July. My mother5 died.

1818. July. Went with Erasmus6 on party of pleasure to Liverpool.

Midsummer. Went to Dr. Butlers7 school.

September. Ill with scarlet Fever.

1819. July. Went to sea at Plas Edwards & staid there three weeks.

1820. July. Went tour with Erasmus to Pistyll Rhayader on horseback.

1 H.E. Litchfield: Emma Darwin, Privately Printed, Cambridge 1904, vol. 1, p. 413 (Abbreviated as E.D.)

2 Autob., pp. 231-4.

3 Autob., p. 122.

4 L. & L., vol. 1, p. 27.

5 Susannah (1765-1817), daughter of Josiah Wedgwood I.

6 Erasmus Alvey Darwin (1804-1881), Darwin's eldest brother.

7 Samuel Butler (1774-1839), at that time Head master of Shrewsbury School. Grandfather of Samuel Butler (1835-1902), author of Erewhon.

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1822. June. Tour with Caroline1 to Downton. My first recollection of having some pleasure in scenery dates as far back as this. 13 years old.

July. To Montgomery & Bishop's Castle, with Elizabeth.2

September. To old Mr Cotton.3

1824. November. Marianne4 was married to Dr Parker.5

1825. June 17th. Left Shrewsbury School for ever. 16 years old.

October. Went with Erasmus to Edinburgh.6

1826. June 15th. Walking tour into North Wales with Hubbersty.7

Oct. 30. Riding tour with Caroline Vaynor Park, Bala &c.

November 6th. Went to Edinburgh by myself.

1826 1827} Winter. Examined Marine Animals on shores of Firth of Forth with Dr. Grant8 & Coldstream.9

1827. In Spring went tour, Dundee, St. Andrews Stirling. Afterwards Glasgow. Belfast, Dublin & Port. Then London. Paris10. with Uncle Jo.11

"The first paper contributed by him (Mr. Darwin) entitled 'On the Ova of the Flustra,' in which he announces that he has discovered organs of motion, and, secondly that the small black body hitherto mistaken for the young of Fucus loreus is in reality the ovum of Pontobdella muricata, exhibits his early habits of minute investigation." (From minutes of Plinian Soc.:)12

These 2 papers were read by me at close of 1826 or early in 1827 before Plinian Soc: in Edinburgh. My first paper 2d year in Edinburgh. I was then 18 years old.

In the Autumn paid many visits to Woodhouse.13

September. Maer14 & Sir J. Mackintosh.15

Christmas. Went to Cambridge.16

1827 1828} Became acquainted with Fox17 & Way18 & so commenced Entomology.

1 Caroline Sarah Darwin (1800-1888), Darwin's sister, afterwards wife of Josiah Wedgwood III.

2 Susan Elizabeth Darwin (1803-1866), Darwin's sister.

3 Mr. Cotton of Shropshire pointed out to Darwin the erratic block in Shrewsbury known as the "Bell Stone" and told him that there was no similar rock nearer than Cumberland or Scotland. (L. & L. vol. 1, p. 41 and Autob., p. 52.)

4 Marianne Darwin (1798-1858) Darwin's eldest sister.

5 Henry Parker (1788-1856).

6 Darwin signed the Matriculation Book of the University on 22 October 1825. (J. H. Ashworth: "Darwin as a Student in Edinburgh 1825-1827", Proc. Roy. Soc. Edinb., vol. 55, 1935, p. 97.)

7 Probably Nathan Hubbersty (1803-1881) who was Assistant Master at Shrewsbury School 1826-8.

8 Robert Edmund Grant (1793-1874). (J. H. Ashworth: op. cit.; and P. H. Jespersen: "Charles Darwin and Dr Grant", Lychnos 1948-49 (Uppsala 1950), p. 159.)

9 John Coldstream, ob. 1863.

10 This was the only occasion when Darwin visited the Continent.

11 Josiah Wedgwood II (1769-1843), brother of Darwin's mother.

12 This entry is inserted from a footnote on Nature November 20, 1873, p. 38, and it shows that Darwin inserted it at this place in his diary in that year.

13 Woodhouse, near Shrewsbury, home of the Owen family. (cf. E.D., vol. 1, p. 180.)

14 Maer Hall, 7 miles from Stoke upon Trent, Staffordshire, home of Josiah Wedgwood II. (Autob., p. 54.)

15 Sir James Mackintosh (1765-1832), whose wife Catherine née Allen was the sister of Elizabeth, wife of Josiah Wedgwood II.

16 The Admittance Book at Christ's College shows that Darwin was admitted on 15 October 1827. (cf. Christ's College Magazine Darwin Centenary Number, vol. 23, Cambridge 1909, p. 189.)

17 William Darwin Fox (c. 1805-1880), grandson of William Alvey Darwin, brother of Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) Darwin's grandfather. William Darwin Fox was therefore Darwin's second cousin.

18 Albert Way (1805-1874). (cf. Autob., p. 63.)

[page] 6

1828. Very keen in collecting insects in the Spring at Cambridge & at Barmouth in the Autumn.

Summer. Went to Barmouth (with Herbert1 & Butler2) to read with Butterton3

September. Maer & thence to Osmaston Hall4 for Music Meeting.

1829. Summer. Paid Barmouth a visit.

October. Birmingham. Music Meeting with Wedgwoods.

1830. Christmas vacation spent at Cambridge. Continued to collect insects: to hunt, shoot & be quite idle.

Christmas passed my examination5 for B.A. degree, & kept the two following terms.

1831. During these months lived much with Profr Henslow6 often dining with him & walking with [him], became slightly acquainted with several of the learned men in Cambridge, which quickened the zeal with dinner parties & hunting had not destroyed.

In Spring paid Mr. Dawes6 a visit with Ramsay,8 Kirby9 & talked over an excursion to Teneriffe.10 In Spring Henslow persuaded me to think of Geology & introduced me to Sedgwick.11

During Midsummer Geologized a little in Shropshire.

August. Went on Geological tour by Llangollen, Ruthven Conway, Bangor & Capel Curig where I left the Professor Sedgwick & crossed the mountains to Barmouth. Returned to Shrewsbury at end of August. Refused offer of Voyage.12

Sept. Went to Maer returned with Uncle Jo to Shrewsbury13 thence to Cambridge14 & London.15

1 John Maurice Herbert (1808-1882), (J. A. Venn: Alumni Cantabrigienses,pt. II, vol. 3, p. 338, Cambridge, 1947. cf. L. & L., vol. 1, pp. 49, 164, 166 ff.)

2 Probably Thomas Butler (1806-1886), son of Samuel Butler Head Master of Shrewsbury School, B.A. Cantab 1829. (J. A. Venn: Alumni Cantabrigienses, pt. II, vol. 1, p. 478, Cambridge, 1940.)

3 George Ash Butterton (1805-1891).

4 Osmaston Hall, near Derby. Willian Alvey Darwin (1726-1783) of Sleafort, eldest brother of Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) (Darwin's grandfather), had a daughter Anne who married Samuel Fox of Osmaston. Their son was William Darwin Fox.

5 Darwin was placed 10th in the list of January 1831 of successful candidates who did not seek Honours. (cf. Autob., p. 59.)

Darwin was admitted B.A. on 26 April 1831. (L. & L., vol. 1, p. 163.)

6 John Stevens Henslow (1796-1861).

7 Richard Dawes (1793-1867).

8 Marmaduke Ramsay (ob. 1831), brother of Sir Alexander Ramsay 2nd Bart., admitted to Jesus College, 1814, Tutor of Jesus College. (cf. L. & L., vol. 1, p. 54.)

9 William Kirby (1759-1850), was at that date 71 years old; if not he, unidentified.

10 In anticipation of his visit to Tenerife, Darwin learned Spanish, an accomplishment which must have been of the greatest value to him when visiting South America in the Beagle. (cf. L. & L., vol. 1, p. 190.) It is not generally known that Darwin also contemplated a voyage to South America. This emerges from the following letter addressed by the Hydrographer of the Navy, Captain Francis Beaufort R. N. (1774-1857), to Captain Robert FitzRoy R. N., for the text which I am indebted to Rear-Admiral K. St. B. Collins, R.N., O.B.E., D.S.C., Hydrographer of the Navy.

Capn Fitzroy

Sepr 1 1831

My dear Sir,

I believe my friend Mr. Peacock of Triny College Cambe has succeeded in getting a "Savant" for you A Mr. Darwin grandson of the well known philosopher and poet—full of zeal and enterprize and having contemplated a voyage on his own account to S. America.

Let me know how you like the idea that I may go or recede in time.

F. B.

11 Adam Sedgwick (1785-1873).

12 Darwin's letter of refusal to Henslow was dated 30 August 1831 (L. & L., vol. 1, p. 195.) The fact that Darwin had himself contemplated a voyage to South America on his own account (see footnote 10) must have made his refusal all the more painful.

13 Josiah Wedgwood's drive from Maer to Shrewsbury to persuade Darwin's father to allow Darwin to sail in the Beagle was on 1 September 1831. (Autob., pp. 71, 226 ff.)

14 Darwin went to Cambridge on 2 September 1831. (L. & L., vol. 1, p. 199; Autob., pp. 72.)

15 Darwin was at 17 Spring Gardens in London by 5 September, 1831. (L. & L., vol. 1, p. 201.)

[page] 7

Sept. 11 Went with Capt. FitzRoy2 in steamer to Plymouth to see the Beagle.2

Sept. 22nd returned to Shrewsbury, passing through Cambridge.

Oct. 2nd Took leave of my home, staid in London.

Oct 24th Reached Plymouth.

December 10th Sailed, but were obliged to put back.

,, 21st Put to sea again & were driven back.

,, 27th Sailed from England on our Circumnavigation.

1832. Jan. 16th First landed on a tropical shore (St. Jago).

Feb 29th Landed at Brazil.

Dec. 2 ,, ,, Tierra del Fuego.

1833. Dec 6th Sailed for last time from Rio Plata.

1834. June 10th Sailed for last time from Tierra del Fuego.

1835. Sept. 15th Sailed from West Shores of South America.

1836. May 31 Anchored at the Cape of Good Hope

October 2nd Anchored at Falmouth.

,, 4th Reached Shrewsbury after absence of 5 years & 2 days.

,, 14th London.

,,  15th Cambridge.

,,  20th London.

,, 28th Beagle arrived at Woolwich, was paid off, November 17th.

November 12th Maer.

,, 16th Shrewsbury.

December 2nd London.

,, 13th Cambridge.

1837. Jan. Cambridge, time spent in arranging general collection examining minerals, reading & writing little Journal in the evening. Paid two short visits to London & Read paper on elevation of coast of Chile.3

March 6th. Left Cambridge to reside in London.

,, 13th Entered my Lodgings in 36 Gt. Marlborough St.

May. Paper on Coral formation4 to Geolog. Soc: ditto on deposits in Pampas.5

In July opened first note book on "Transmutation of Species"— Had been greatly struck from about Month of previous March on character of S. American fossils— & species on Galapagos Archipelago. These facts origin (especially latter) of all my views.

From March 13th to end of September entirely employed in my Journal.6

June 26th Short visit to Shrewsbury.

Sept. 25th Shrewsbury returned by Maer & reached London Oct. 21st.

Nov. 20th Two days Isle of Wight to see Fox.

1 Robert FitzRoy (1805-1865).

2 A brief history of H.M.S. Beagle is given in Sir Gavin de Beer: "Some unpublished letters of Charles Darwin", Appendix II. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. 14, 1959.

3 Charles Darwin: "Observations of proof of recent elevation on the coast of Chile, made during the Survey of H.M.S. Beagle, commanded by Capt, FitzRoy", read January 4, 1837. Proc. Geol. Soc., vol. 2, 1838, p. 446.

4 Charles Darwin: "On certain areas of elevation and subsidence in the pacific and Indian Oceans, as deduced from the study of coral formation', read May 31, 1837. Proc. Geol. Soc., vol. 2, 1838, p. 552.

5 Charles Darwin: "A sketch of the deposits containing extinct Mammalia in the neighbourhood of the Plata," read May 3, 1837. Proc. Geol. Soc., vol. 2, 1838, p. 542.

6 Charles Darwin: Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the various countries visited by H.M.S. Beagle under the command of Capt, FitzRoy, R.N. from 1832-1836. London 1839.

[page] 8

October-November preparing scheme of Zoology of Voyage of Beagle,1 commenced Geology2 & finished proofs of Journal— Paper on Worms forming mould.3

1838. Jan. 17th I finished my account of the Geology of the Galapagos Arch: & of Ascension.

Feb. 25 — finished St. Helena & small islands in Atlantic. Also speculated much about "Existence of Species" & read more than usual.

March— Part. Mammalia in Zoology. Paper on earthquakes4 for Geolog. Soc.

April. Part. Birds for Zoology. Much time thus lost.

,, 16th Began Geolog: Cape of Good Hope. King George Sound, Sydney.

May 1st Unwell, working at Geolog: as named & "species".

,, 10th. Went to Cambridge for 4 days.

,, 15th Began Geolog: of Hobart Town & New Zealand.

,, 22nd Began Geolog: of St. Jago. Cape de Verdes.

June (beginning). Preparing 1st Part of Birds. St Jago Geology some little species theory, & lost very much time by being unwell.

23rd Started in Steam Boat to Edinburgh (one day Salisbury Craigs).5 Spent eight good days in Glen Roy returned by sea through Greenock & Liverpool. Slept at Overton & reached Shrewsbury July 13th. Very idle at Shrewsbury, some notes from my Father. Opened note book connected with metaphysical enquiries.

July 29th Set out for Maer.

August 1st London. Began paper on Glen Roy & finished it.

August. Read a good deal of various amusing books & paid some attention to Metaphysical subjects.

Sept. 6th Finished paper on Glen Roy6 — one of the most difficult & instructive tasks I was ever employed on

Spt. 14th Frittered these foregoing days away on working on Transmutation theories & correcting Glen Roy. Began Crater of Elevation theory.

All September read a good deal on many subjects; thought much upon religion. Beginning of October ditto.

October 5th Began Coral Paper7 requires much reading.

,, 25th Went to Windsor for two days rest, glorious weather, delightful.

October 27th Preface & Addenda on Theory of Erratic Blocks8 to Journal.

November 9th Started for Maer.

,, 11th. Sunday. The day of days!9

Went to Shrewsbury next day returned to Maer on the 17th & to London on the 20th.

1 Ultimately published as "Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, edited and superintended by Charles Darwin, London 1840-1843.

2 Ultimately published as Geology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. London 1842-46.

3 Charles Darwin: "On the formation of mould', read November 1, 1837. Proc. Geol. Soc., vol. 2, London 1838, p. 574, Trans. Geol. Soc., vol. 5, 1840, p. 505.

4 Charles Darwin: "On the Connexion of certain Volcanic Phenomena and on formation of mountain-chains and the effects of continental elevations', read March 7, 1838. Proc. Geol. Soc., vol. 2, 1838, p. 654, Trans. Geol. Soc., vol. 5, 1840, p. 601.

5 At Edinburgh University, Darwin heard Professor Robert Jameson (1774-1854), a confirmed Neptunist, refer to trap-dykes at Salisbury Craigs as a fissure filled with sediment from above. (Autob., p. 53.)

6 Charles Darwin: Observations on the Parallel Roads of Glen Roy, and of other parts of Lochaber in Scotland, with an attempt to prove that they are of marine origin. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., 1839, p. 39.

7 Ultimately published as The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs. Being the First Part of the Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle. London, 1842.

8 Charles Darwin; "Note on a Rock seen on an Iceberg in 16˚ South Latitude". J. Geogr. Soc., vol. 9, 1839, p. 528.

9 The day of acceptance of Darwin's proposal of marriage by Emma Wedgwood (1808-1896), daughter of Josiah Wedgwood II (1769-1843).

[page] 9

Lost 7th 8th of November unwell. Wasted entirely the last week of November. Beginning of December prepared number of Birds.─ From 6th to 21st busy about House & domestic concerns. To the end of year House hunting, read a little and wasted some time by being unwell.

December 6th Emma came up to Town most fortunately for me.

December 21st Emma went to Maer.

December 31st Entered 12 Upper Gower St.1

1839. First week January correcting Glen Roy paper. Did nothing during the rest of Month.

Jan 11th Went to Shrewsbury.

,, 15th ,, ,, Maer.

,, 18th ,, ,, London.

,, 25th Shrewsbury.

,, 28th Maer.

Jany 29th Married at Maer 30 years old & returned to London.

Feb. 5th Began German.

Feb 7th Recommenced Coral Paper.

End of February & first week in March Earthquake Paper, then a little work on Species & the Coral Paper.

End of March & nearly all April Coral Paper.

April 26th Went to Maer. Maer visit, some reading connected with Species, but did very little on account of being unwell.

May 13th went to Shrewsbury.

,, 20th went to London.

May 20th to July 30th Map for Coral Islands.2 Ornithological part of Beagle's Voyage.—

 lost some time unwell— read little for Species; to 23d of August. Coral map & Horticult.1 Transact:

Aug. 23d to Maer and thence on the 26th to Birmingham for the Meeting of the British Assoc:

Sept. 12th to Shrewsbury & staid there ten days.

Oct. 2nd Arrived in London.

December 27th A Boy3 born at 1/2 past 9 a.m.

During my visit to Maer, read a little, was much unwell & scandalously idle. I have derived this much good, that nothing is so intolerable as idleness. The last week corrected earthquake paper. Begin. of Octobr correcting ditto. Ornithology. October 10th recommenced coral paper.

December 24th became unwell, & with the exception of 2 or 3 days remained so till the 24th of February In this interval read a little for transmut. theory─ but otherwise lost three whole months.

1840. Again became unwell & did not commence coral volume till March 26th.

April 3rd Went to Shrewsbury for a week by myself. Did Coral Volume.

June 10th Went to Maer & paid visit to Shrewsbury.

Aug. 4 Taken ill.

Nov. 14 Came up to London. During the summer when well enough did a good deal of Species work.

Dec. 15th Commenced last number of Birds for Zoology of Beagle's Voyage. Finished. Feb. 20th 1841.

1 12 Upper Gower Street, the Darwin's home from 1839 until September 1842. This house, re-numbered 110 Gower Street, was destroyed by a bomb early in 1941.

2 The map published in Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs; it shows atolls dark blue, reefs pale blue, and fringing reefs red, from which Darwin was able to show the previous elevation and subsidence of different areas of the earth's surface.

3 William Erasmus Darwin (1839-1914).

[page] 10

1841. Commenced paper on Boulders & Till of S. America.1— finished April 4th. Was idle & unwell

March 2d. Annie2 born. Sorted papers on species theory.

May 28th Went to Maer & Shrewsbury reading very little returned to London July 23d.

July 26th commenced coral work after more than 13 months interval.

1842. Jan. 3. Sent MS. of Coral to Printers.

March 7th Went to Shrewsbury for 10 days.

May 6th Corrected last proof of Coral volume. I commenced this work 3 years & 7 months ago. Out of this period about 20 [months] (besides work during Beagle Voyage) has been spent on it, & besides it I have only completed the Bird Part of Zoology: Appendix to Journal─Paper on Boulders & corrected papers on Glen Roy & earthquakes, reading on Species & rest all lost by illness.

May 18th Went to Maer.

June 15th to Shrewsbury & on 18th to Capel Curig, Bangor, Carnarvon to Capel-Curig altogether ten days, examining glacier action. During my stay at Maer & Shrewsbury, (5 years after commencement) wrote pencil sketch of my Species theory.3

July 18th returned to London. Wrote paper on Glaciers.4─ copied notes on Species. Employed about Down.5 —Emma came to Down September 14th & I followed on 17th. Sept.

Sept. 23rd Mary Eleanor6 born. Ob: October 16th.

October 14th began on Volcanic Islands7 to shorten and rearrange Covington's8 MS.

1843. July 8th to Maer & Shrewsbury for a week.

July 12th Josiah Wedgwood9 died. Previous to this did little in the Spring from Building10 except some species work, & returned to volcanic Islands on my return.

September 25th Henrietta Emma11 born.

October 12th to Shrewsbury for 12 days. Paper on Sagitta12 and on seeds,13 preservation of. Sixteen months about Volcanic Isld Book.

1844. Jan. 5th sent MS. of Volcanic Islands to Printers.

Feb. 13th finished corrections. In intervals & previously slowly enlarged & improved pencil sketch in 35 pages (written in Mid-summer of 1842) of Species theory.14

April 23d to Maer & Shrewsbury, returned May 30th.

1 Charles Darwin: "On the Distribution of the Erratic Boulders and on the Contemporaneous Unstratified Deposits of South America. Proc. Geol. Soc., vol. 3, 1842, p. 425, read May 5, 1841; Trans. Geol. Soc. vol. 6, 1842, p. 415.

2 Anne Elizabeth Darwin (1841-1851).

3 Printed in The Foundations of the Origin of Species, edited by Francis Darwin, Cambridge 1909; and Evolution by natural Selection, with a Foreword by Sir Gavin de Beer, Cambridge 1958.

4 Charles Darwin: "Notes on the Effects produced by the Ancient Glaciers of Caernarvonshire, and on the Boulders transported by Floating Ice. Lond. Philos. Mag., vol. xix, 1842, p. 180.

5 Down House, Kent was Darwin's home for the remainder of his life.

6 Mary Eleanor Darwin (born and died 1842).

7 Charles Darwin: Geological observations on the Volcanic Islands and parts of South America visited during the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. Being the Second part of the Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle London 1844.

8 Syms Covington c. 1816-1861; Darwin's attendant in the Beagle and amenuensis after his return until 1839. (cf. Sir Gavin de Beer: "Some unpublished letters of Charles Darwin", Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, vol. 14, 1959.)

9 Josiah Wedgwood II, Darwin's uncle and father-in-law.

10 (cf. L. & L. vol. 1, p. 321.)

11 Henrietta Emma Darwin (1843-1929), afterwards Mrs. Litchfield.

12 Charles Darwin: "Observations on the Structure and Propagation of the genus Sagitta", Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. 13, 1844, p. 1.

13 Ultimately published as "Vitality of Seeds", Gardeners' Chronicle, 1855, p. 758; and "On the Action of Sea-water on the Germination of Seeds", J. Linn Soc. Lond., (Bot) vol. 1, 1857, p. 130.

14 Printed in The Foundations of the Origin of Species, edited by Francis Darwin, Cambridge 1909; and Evolution by Natural Selection, with a Foreword by Sir Gavin de Beer, Cambridge 1958.

[page] 11

July 5th Sent a written Sketch of Species theory (seven years after commencement) in about 230 pages to Mr. Fletcher1 to be copied.─ Corrected it last week in Sept:

Paper on Atlantic Dust,2 on Planariae.3 Sorted my collections.

July 27th Began S. America.4

October 18th to 29th at Shrewsbury.

1845. April 24th. Finished first time over S. America. (9 months)

April 25 Began 2nd Edit of Journal.5 August 25th finished ditto (4 months). Rested idle for a fortnight.

April 29th to Shrewsbury, returned on 10 May.

July 9th George Howard6 born.

Sept 15th to Shrewsbury. Lincolnshire─ York, the Dean of Manchester,7 Waterton,8 Chatsworth,9 Camp. Hill,10 returned home Oct. 26th.

Oct. 29th. Recommenced Geolog: of S. America. 4000 copies of New. Edit of Journal sold at Jan 1. 1847.

1846. Oct. 1. Finished last proof of my Geolog. Observations on S. America. This volume including Paper in Geolog: Journal on the Falkland Islands took me 18 & 1/2 months. The MS. however, was not so perfect as in case of Volcanic Islands so that my Geology has taken me 4 & 1/2 years: now it is 10 years since my return to England. How much time lost by illness!

Oct. 1. Paper on new Balanus Arthrobalanus12 10 days in London, during 2 visits 4 visitors here & some days unwell

November, December Conia & Megatrema

1847. Jan. Conia

Feb. Balanus

March Acasta & Clisia.

April 14th Lost several weeks by

1846. Feb 21st to Shrewsbury, March 3rd home.

July 31st to ditto, Aug. 9th Home. September 9th with Emma to Brit Assoc at Southampton, on the 12th to Portsmouth & coast of Isle of Wight, on 13th to Winchester & S. Cross, on 14th Netley Abbey & Southampton Common. 17th Home.

September 22d. With Em & Susan to Knole Park.11

1847. Feb. 19th to Shrewsbury March 5th Home

June 22nd to Brit. Assocn at Oxford; Blenheim, Nuneham; Dropmore, Burn-


1 Mr. Fletcher: unidentified. later Darwin employed Ebenezer Norman, appointed schoolmaster in the village of Downe in 1854, to copy manuscripts for him.

2 Charles Darwin: "An Account of the fine Dust which often falls on vessels in the Atlantic Ocean". J. Geol. Soc., vol. 2, 1846, p. 26.

3 Charles Darwin: "Brief Descriptions of several terrestrial Planariæ, and of some remarkable marine species, with an account of their habits. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., vol. 14, 1844, p. 241.

4 Charles Darwin: Geological Observations on South America. Being the Third part of the Geology of the Voyage of the Beagle. London 1846.

5 Charles Darwin: Journal of Researches into the Natural History and Geology of the countries visited during the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle round the world, under the command of Captain FitzRoy, R.N. London 1845.

6 George Howard Darwin (1845-1912).

7 The Hon. and Rev. William Herbert (1778-1847), the distinguished plant geneticist. (cf. L. & L., vol. 1, p. 343.)

8 Charles Waterton (1782-1865) (cf. L. & L., vol. 1, p. 343.)

9 (cf. L. & L., vol. 1, p. 344.)

10 Camp Hill, Staffs, home of Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood (1778-1856).

11 Knole Park (or Knowle Park) near Sevenoaks.

12 This was the start of Darwin's work on the Cirripedia, but the paper on Arthrobalanus does not seem to have been published.

[page] 12


Boils & unwellness. Tubicinella Coronula.

Dec .18th. Anat of Pedunculated Cirres. From Jan. 1st 1847 to Jan 1848, 236 copies sold of my Journal by Murray. Total up to Jan. 1. 1848, 4100.

1848. March 20. Finished Scientific Instructions1 & Transportal of Boulders from Lower to Higher Level.2

April 19th Paper read on Transportal of Boulders. Both these done in Intervals of Work.

About Novr 1. Began species of Anatifera─ Jan: 13. 49. finished ditto.

From July to end of year, unusually unwell, with swimming of head depression, trembling, many bad attacks of sickness.

1849. Jan 1st to March 10th Health very bad with much sickness & failure of power. Worked on all well days.

March 10th to June 30th, at the Lodge Malvern,5 perfectly idle, health greatly improved.

July 13th Recommenced systematic part of pedunculate Cirripedia. Recent & Fossil.

1850. Apr 28th Commenced systematic Sessilia.

Dec. 30. finished Balanus & Pachylasma.


ham Beeches, home July 1st.

October 22nd to Shrewsbury─ Nov. 5th home.

1848. May 17th to Shrewsbury June 1st Home.

July 22nd to Swanage by Wareham & Corfe Castle. Home 29th by Sir W. Symonds3 yacht. Poole spending a morning in new forest.

Octr 10th to Shrewsbury Oct. 25th Home.

Nov 17th to ditto. Novr 26th Home.

My Father4 died in morning of Novr 13th in his 83rd year. Born at Lichfield on May 30th 1766. He was 3rd son of Erasmus Darwin (born at Elston in 1731. Settled in Shrewsbury about 1786.)

1849. Septr 11th to 21st Brit Asson at Birmingham going to Malvern on the Sunday.

1850 June 11th to 18th. Malvern.

Augt 10th to 16th Leith Hill.6

Octr 14th Hartfield.7— 18th to Ramsgate 22nd Home.


1 Darwin contributed Section VI (Geology) to a Manual of Scientific Enquiry; prepared for the use of H.M. Navy: and adapted for travellers in General, edited by Sir John Herschel, London 1849.

2 Charles Darwin: "On the transportation of Erratic Boulders from a lower to a higher level", J. Geol. Soc., vol. 6, 1848, p. 315, read April 19.

3 Rear-Admiral Sir William Symonds (1782-1856), surveyor of the Navy.

4 Robert Waring Darwin.

5 Darwin took lodge, Great Malvern, to enable him to undergo the water-cure.

6 Leith Hill Place, home of Josiah Wedgwood III (1795-1880), brother of Darwin's wife, husband of Darwin's sister Caroline, and Darwin's first cousin.

7 There were two houses at Hartfield Sussex, which the Darwin family frequented. One was Hartfield Grove, home of Charles Langton (1801-1866) and his wife Charlotte Wedgwood (1797-1862), sister of Josiah Wedgwood and of Darwin's wife. The other was The Ridge, home of Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood (1793-1880). They were given up in 1862. (cf. E.D. ii, p. 199.)

[page] 13

1851. Early part finished fossil Lepadidae1 prepared for press recent Lepadidae.2

Augt 18th began proofs.

Nov 12th Finished ditto & began Genus Conia (or Sessile Cs.) & Elminius.

1852. Whole year Sessile Cirriped Genera Acasta, (Pyrgoma & Creusia 41 days) Coronula (19 days) Platylepas, Tubicinella, Xenobalanus, Chelonobia (Chthamalus 36 days), Chamoesipho, Octomeris, Catophragmus, Balanus recommenced: Mr Sowerby's6 drawings Balanidae. Began Verruca.

1853. Whole year preparing MS. of Sessile Cirriped for press viz. Verruca, Cryptophialus, Alcippe. Mr. Sowerby for drawing Sept. 20 Class Cirripedia.

1854. Feb 3 First Proof of Sessile Cirripedia.10

July 15 Final Revise of ditto.

Sept 9th Finished packing up all my Cirripedes preparing fossil balanidae distributing copies of my work &c &c. &c. I have yet a few proofs for Fossil Balanidae12 for Pal: Soc: to complete perhaps a week more work. Began Oct. 1 1846. On Oct 1 it will be 8 years since I began! but then I have lost 1 or 2 years by illness.

Sept 9 Began sorting notes for Species theory.14


1851. March 24th to Malvern with Annie & Etty,3 returned home 31st.

April 16th started for Malvern.

April 23rd our dear child4 expired 24th. I returned to Emma, our darling was born March 2nd 1841.

July 30th to London Augt 10th returned Erasmus house5 for Exhibition &c.

1852. March 24th to Rugby for a day thence to Shrewsbury, Home April 1st.

Septr 11 to Leith Hill 16th Home again (Drove in Carriage by Godstone & Reigate).

1853. July 14th to Eastbourne7 on to Brighton & Hastings. Home Augt 4th.

Augt 13th to Hermitage8 for Chobham 17th Home.

Nov 30. Royal Medal9 given to me.

1854. March 13th to Hartfield on account of Franky's11 illness returned the 17th.

July 13-15 Hartfield.

Oct 9th 14th Leith Hill.

Dec. Lenny13 & Franky ill.


1 Charles Darwin: A Monograph of the Fossil Lepadidae, Palaeontological Society, 1851.

2 Charles Darwin: A Monograph of the Sub-class Cirripedia, Ray Society, London 1851, vol. 1.

3 Henrietta Emma Darwin (1843-1929), afterwards Mrs. R. B. Litchfield.

4 Anne Elizabeth Darwin.

5 7 Park Street, W. 1., home of Erasmus Alvey Darwin (1804-1881), Darwin's brother.

6 George Brettingham Sowerby (1812-1884).

7 The Darwins took Sea House, Eastbourne for 3 weeks in July, 1853.

8 The Hermitage, near Woking, home of Henry Allen Wedgwood (1779-1885), brother of Josiah Wedgwood III and of Darwin's wife. (cf. E.D. ii, p. 168.)

9 The Royal Medal of the Royal Society "awarded for his work entitled Geological Observations on Coral Reefs, Volcanic Islands, and South America and his work on the Fossile Cirripedia of Great Britain, Lepididae, and the Monograph on Cirripedia."

10 Charles Darwin: A Monograph of the Sub-class Cirripedia, Ray Society, London 1854, vol. 2.

11 Francis Darwin (1848-1925).

12 Charles Darwin: A Monograph of the Fossil Balanidae and Verrucidae of Great Britain, Palaeontographical Society, London 1854.

13 Leonard Darwin (1850-1943).

14 The preliminary work for the large book on natural selection.

[page] 14

1855. March & April employed chiefly in comparing seeds trying experiments in salting seeds & reading.

1856. May 14th Began by Lyell's advice writing Species Sketch.

Oct 13th Finished 2nd. Chapt (& before part of Geograph Distr.)

Dec. 16th 3rd Chapt.

1857. Jan 26th Finished Ch. 4. Var: Nature.

March 3rd Find Ch. 5. Struggle for Existence.

March 31st Finished Ch. 6. Nat: Selection.

Septr 29th Finished Ch. 7 & 8 but one month lost at Moor Park.

Septr 30th to December 29th on Hybridism.

1858. March 9th finished instinct chapter.

April 14th Discussion on large genera & small & on Divergence & correcting Ch. 6. (Moor Park) finished June 12th & Bees cells.

June 14th Pigeons (interrupted)

July 20th to August 12th at Sandown began Abstract of Species book.8

Augt 17th recommenced Selection & Pigeon M.S.

Sept 16th Recommenced Abstract Sect. III & IV.

Octr 8 Began Sect V on Laws of Variation of Abstract finished 22d.

Octr 23rd Sect VI. Difficulties finished.

Novr 13th Instinct (Moor Park).

,, 30th Hybridism.

Decr 11th Geological Succession.

1855. Jan 18 Went to 27 York Place, Baker St.1 Feb. 15 Returned home.

Sep 10th Started for Glasgow. British Assocn Sleeping at Carlisle with Emma 19th return sleeping at Carlisle & reaching Shrewsbury on 20th & I returned home on 22nd.

1856. Sept 13th Leith Hill returned 19th.

November At Sarah2 died.

Dec 6 Charles Waring Darwin3 born.

1857. April 22d Moor Park,4 Returned May 6th. Did me astonishing good.

June 16th to Moor Park, returned on 30th Etty there

On 27th went to Selbourne. In latter part of September for about week Lenny had very intermittent pulse; but now Octr 6th seems quite well, latter part of Oct. occasionally poorly.

Novr 13th seems quite well.

Novr 5th-12th Moor Park.

1858. April 20th Moor Park Returned May 4th.

Etty very ill.

June 28th Poor dear Baby5 died.

July 9th to Hartfield, 16th to I of Wight, 17th to Sandown,6 27th Shanklin,7 August 13th Home.

Octr 25th Moor Park. Returned Novr 1st.

Marianne Parker9 died in July.


1 27 York Place, Baker Street, was a house which the Darwins took for a month. (cf. E.D. ii, p. 170.)

2 Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood (1778-1856), sister of Josiah Wedgwood II.

3 Charles Waring Darwin (1856-1858).

4 Moor Park, Hydropathic establishment in Surrey.

5 Charles Waring Darwin

6 The Darwins stayed at the King's Head Hotel, Sandown. (cf. L & L. ii, p. 129.)

7 The Darwins stayed at Norfolk House, Shanklin. (cf. L. & L. ii, p. 131.)

8 On the Origin of Species.

9 Darwin's eldest sister.

[page] 15

1859. Jan 15 Abstract Geograph Distr.

Feb. 28 Affinities & Classification.

March 19 Began relooking over first MS. Chs. & finished last Chapter.

May 25th Began Proof sheets.

Oct 1 Finished proofs. 13 months & 10 days on Abstract on Origin of species. 1250 copies printed.

During end of November & beginning of December employed in correcting for 2nd Edition of 3000 copies.

Multitude of Letters.

The 1st Editn was published on Novr 24th & all copies i.e. 1250 sold first day.

1860. Jan. 9th Began looking over MS. for work on Variation (with many interruptions). Letters & preparation for foreign edition on Variation.

March 24th Began Introduction to Vol.

June 10th Finished 2nd Ch. on Pigeons arranged paper for next Ch. & experiments.

August 11th Began Ch. III. During July at Hartfield & afterwards & at Eastbourne worked at Drosera.

1861. March 20th Finished Ch. III on Variation Under Domestication & began Ch. IV.

In Dec. last & Jan. prepared new & Third Edition of Origin: 2000 Copies.

May 16. Finished Fowls (8 weeks)

,, 31. Ducks.

July 1. During stay at Torquay did paper on Orchids. All rest of year Orchid Book.

1862. April 28 finished Orchis Book. Besides odd times for several years


1859. Medal from Geolog. Soc.1

Feb 5th 19th Moor Park did not do me so much good as usual.

May 21st-28th Moor Park.

July 19th-26th Moor Park.

Aug 20-23 Leith Hill.

Octr 2nd started for Ilkley.2 Returned Home (staying in London two days) on Dec. 9th.

1860. Jan. Murray says 6000 Copies of my Journal now sold.

Jany 7th The 2nd Edition 3000 copies of Origin was published.

May 22. The 1st Edit. of Origin in U. States was 2500 copies.

June 28th to July 7th Sudbrook Park.3

July 10th to Augt 2nd Hartfield (Etty long ill).

Sept. 22 to Eastbourne.4 Returned Novr 10th seven weeks owing to Etty illness.

May 28 1st Edit £180

July & Oct. 2nd Edit 636.13.4

May American Edit 21.17.6

,, (61) ditto 1861 10.10

1861 April 30 3d Edit. 372.

1861. The new Edit. of Origin 2000 copies was published in April.

July 1. Started for Torquay5 & returned Augt 27th, 8 weeks & a day.

1862. Feb. March & April Horace6 ill.


1 Darwin was awarded the Wollaston Medal by the Geological Society on 18 February 1859. Sir Charles Lyell received it on his behalf.

2 Wells Terrace, Ilkley: water-cure establishment. (cf. L. & L., ii, p. 218.)

3 Sudbrooke Park, Richmond, Dr Lane's ater-cure establishment. (cf. M.L., i, p. 158.)

4 The Darwins took 15 Marine Parade, Eastbourne, for 9 weeks in September 1860.

5 The Darwins stayed at 2, Hesketh Crescent, Torquay. (cf. M.L., i, p. 190.)

6 Horace Darwin (1851-1928).

[page] 16

─ (contd.)

this Book has cost me 9 months if I do not count Torquay, but in this time I did Primula Paper.3 2nd Edit (German) of Origin & experiments say 10 months counting 1/2 time at Torquay.

May 15th Orchid Book4 published. Much time wasted June & July from Leonards illness. Finished Silkworms, geese &c. Octr 7th Facts of Varieties of Plants.

Dec. 11th finished long chapter. Paper on Linum.5

Dec. 21. Bud variation.

1863. Jan 23 Chapter on Inheritance, finished April 1st took me 6 1/2 weeks, time lost by illness & London.

April 1 Chapter on Crossing and Sterility finished June 16th took me 8 weeks; time lost by Hartfield & Illness &c.

June 16th Selection, July 20th finished.

1864. Began to count seeds of Lythrum about April 20th. Finished Lythrum paper7 about May 25th. Began Tendril paper8 & finished it on Septr 13th but afterwards had about a fortnight for additions. Hence this paper on climbing plants took 4 months!!

Sep. 14. Began Laws of Variation for "Domestic Animals & Cult: Plants" & finished this Ch. on Novr 16th. I then began going over again the earlier chapter of Book on "Domestic Animals &c."

May 15th to 22nd Leith Hill Place.

June July August Leonard very ill Scarlet Fever.

Augt 12th to Southampton.1 Emma Scarlet Fever.

Septr 1 to Bournemouth.2

Septr 30 Home.

1863. Feb. 4th to 14th Stayed with Erasmus.

April 13th sick

April 20th Dr Jenner6

April 22nd Dr Jenner.

April 27th to May 13th Hartfield & Leith Hill Place.

Septr 2nd Malvern Wells; returned Oct 14th Ill then. Ill to end of year.

1864. Ill all Jan. Feb: March, Last sickness April 13th.

Augt 25. to Elizabeth for one week to Chester Place.9

The severe illness lasted Seven Months. Copley Medal.10


1 The Darwins stayed at 1, Calton Terrace, Southampton. (cf. M. L., i, p. 203.)

2 The Darwins stayed at Cliff Cottage, Bournemouth. (cf. M. L., i, p. 204.)

3 Charles Darwin: "On the two forms of dimorphic condition, in the species Primula, and their remarkable sexual relations. J. Linn. Soc. Lond., (Bot.), vol. 6: 77.

4 Charles Darwin: On the various contrivances by which Orchids are fertilised by insects, London 1862.

5 Charles Darwin: "On the existence of two forms, and on their reciprocal sexual relation, in several species of the genus Linum", J. Linn. Soc. Lond., (Bot.), vol. 7, 1864, p. 69.

6 Probably Sir William Jenner (1815-1898), physician to University College Hospital.

7 Charles Darwin: "On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria", J. Linn. Soc. Lond., (Bot.), vol. 8, 1865, p. 169.

8 Charles Darwin: "On the movements and habits of climbing plants", J. Linn. Soc. Lond., (Bot.), vol. 9, 1867, p. 1.

9 4, Chester Place, Regent's Park, home of Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood (1793-1880).

10 The Copley Medal of the Royal Society was presented to Darwin 30 November 1864 "for his important researches in Geology, Zoology and Botanical physiology".

[page] 17

1865. Jan. 1. I continued on "Domestic Animals &c." Ch X till April 22nd when (with exception of one subsequent week) I became ill & remained so & unable to do anything (except read Origin for 2nd French Edit.) till early in Dec. when I began counting Homomorphic seeds.

On Dec. 25 began again on Chapt X of Domestic Animals.

1866. Continued correcting Chaps of Domestic Animals.

March 1st Began on 4th Edit of Origin of 1250 Copies: (Received for it 238 £) making 7500 copies altogether.

May 10th Finished Origin except Revises & began going over Ch. XIII. of Dom Animals.

Novr 21. Finished Pangenesis.

Dec. 21. Finished regoing over all Chapters, & sent them to Printers.

Dec. 22. Began concluding chapter of Book.

1867. Last chapter of "Variation under Domestication" & beginning of Man Essay.

First proof arrived March 1st.

Revises finished Nov. 15th. I began this book beginning of 1860 (& then had some MS.), but owing to interruptions from my illness, & illness of children: from various editions of Origin & papers especially Orchid book & Tendrils, I have spent 4 years & 2 months over it — 1200 Copies sold at Murray Sale.

The book not actually published till Jan. 30 1868.

1868. New Book on Var. under Domestication3 published on Jan. 30 (1500 cops). On Feb. 10th a new edition to be printed of 1250 copies. Received for this edition 720£.

Began middle of December 1867 On illegitimate Offspring of Dimorphic

1865. Fell ill on April 22nd, got a little better in middle of Septr.

On Nov. 8th went to Erasmus & staid ten days & fell ill again with cold, but got better in the beginning of December.

1866. April 21st to May 2nd to Erasmus.

May 29th to June 2nd Leith Hill Place.

Novr 22nd to 29th to Erasmus.

Feby. 2 Catharine1 died.

Octr 3. Susan2 died.

1867. Feb. 13 to 21 to Erasmus.

June 17th to 24th ditto

Sept 18 to 24 ditto poorly all time.

Novr 28 to Dec. ditto very well.

1868. March 3 for a week to Erasmus4 & then for 3 weeks to Aunt Elizabeth's House.5 Returned home April 1st.

June 23rd unwell & continued so to July 16th & did hardly anything.

July 16th to Isle of Wight. (Freshwater).6


1 Emily Catherine Langton née Darwin (1810-1866), wife of Charles Langton and Darwin's youngest sister.

2 Susan Elizabeth Darwin (1803-1866), Darwin's sister.

3 Charles Darwin: The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication. London 1868.

4 Erasmus Darwin was living at 6, Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square. (cf. M. L., ii, p. 66.)

5 4, Chester Place, Regent's Park (cf. M. L., ii, p. 68.)

6 At Mrs. Cameron's house, Dumbola Lodge, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, which the Darwins took for 6 weeks, Darwin was visited by Tennyson, Longfellow, and Thomas Appleton. Mrs. Cameron, née Pattle, was the sister of Mrs. Prinsep and Lady Somers. (cf. E. D., ii, p. 220.)

[page] 18

1868— (contd.)

& Trimorphic Plants & on specific difference of Primula1 & finished Feb. 1.

Feb. 4th Began on Man & Sexual Selection.

May 17th Birds—Sexual Selection.

Decr 26th Fifth Edition of Origin Edit. of 2000 Copies.

1869. Feb. 10th Finished 5th Edit of Origin: has taken me 46 days.

Feb. 11th Sexual Selection of Mammals & Man & Preliminary Chapter on Sexual Selection (with 10 days for notes on Orchids) to June 10th when I went to North Wales.

On Augt 4 recommenced going over all chapters on Sexual Selection.

1870 I find Murray has printed 9000 copies of my Journal of Travels & Colburn3 1500 = 10,500 copies.

The whole of the year at work on the Descent of Man & Selection in relation to Sex. I began this work on Feb. 4th 1868 but many interruptions.

Went to press Augt 30 & finished last proof.

1871. I began "Descent of Man & S. Selection" on Feby 4th 1868 & I have on Jan 15th corrected last sheet; so it has taken me nearly 3 years, but the 5th Edit. of Origin took up 46 days & notes on Orchids 10 days; & health compelled many visits & rests.

Descent of Man published on Feb. 24th. At first 2500 copies printed & 2000 reprinted. Received 1470£.

Jan 17. Began Expression & finished final rough copy on April 27. Many interruptions.

June 18th Began 6th Edit. of Origin;

Aug 21st Returned to Down having slept at Southampton.

Novr 7th-16th Erasmus.

1869. Feb. 16th 24th to Erasmus.

June 10th started for Caerdeon, Barmouth sleeping at Shrewsbury.

Returned July 31st having slept at Stafford.

Weak & unwell.

Novr 1st to 9th Erasmus.

1870. March 5-10 Erasmus.

May 20-24 Cambridge.4

June 24 to July 1. Erasmus.

Augt 13-26 Southampton at William's.5

Oct 13-20 Leith Hill & I wrote.

Dec. 8-14 Erasmus.

1871. Feb. 23 to March 2nd Erasmus.

April 1 to 5 ditto

May 11-19 Southampton.

June 24-30 Erasmus.

July 28 to Haredene Albury,6 Home Aug 25.

Aug 31. Henrietta7 married.

Nov. 3-10 Leith Hill Place.

Dec. 12-22 Erasmus.


1 Charles Darwin: "On the character and hybrid-like nature of the offspring from the illegitimate unions of dimorphic and trimorphic plants. J. Linn. Soc. Lond., (Bot), vol. 10, 1869, p. 393.

2 Published June 1869.

3 Henry Colburn published the first edition of the Journal of Researches. London 1839.

4 Darwin stayed at the Bull Hotel, Cambridge.

5 Bassett, Southampton, home of William Erasmus Darwin (1839-1914), Darwin's eldest son, partner in a Bank in Southampton.

6 Haredene, Albury, near Guildford was a house which the Darwins took for a month (cf. E.D., ii, p. 245.)

7 Henrietta Emma Darwin, Darwin's daughter, married Richard Buckley Litchfield (1832-1903).

[page] 19

1871— (contd.)

Oct 29th finished MS. but lost 2 months by illness.

Nov. & Dec. Proofs of ditto & Expression &c. & illness & visits.

1872. Jan 10th Finished Proofs of Origin & again rewriting expression.

Augt 22. Finished last Proofs of

Expression2 which I began on Jan 17th last year. (Has taken me about 12 months).

Augt 23rd Began working at Drosera.

Nov. 3rd Began writing on ditto.

Novr 8th At Murrays Sale 5267 Copies of Expression book sold to London Booksellers. The Edition consists of 7000 published November, 2000 at end of year additional.

1873. Jan 15 Finished Drosera 14th & recorrected climbing plants.

Feb. 3 Began on evil [sic] effects of inter-crossing.

June 14th Began Drosera again.

Oct. 20 Began correcting Drosera MS.

Nov. 20 Began correcting 2nd Edit of Descent of Man, & continued for rest of year & next year.

1874. Second Edit. of Descent and of Coral Reefs. The Descent took 3 months.

April 1. Began Insectivorous plants—(interruptions from Proof sheets) & went on whole rest of year, writing & some observations.

1875. March 29th finished MS. of Insectivorous & recorrecting climbing Plants.8

1872. Feb. 13 to March 21. London, 9 Devonshire St. Portland Place1 (5 weeks).

June 8-20 Southampton.

Augt 13 to 21 Leith Hill Place.

Oct 5-26 Sevenoaks Common.3

Decr 17 to 23 Erasmus (unwell all time).

1873. March 15th to April 10th at 16 Montague St.4

June 4th to 12th Leith Hill Place

Augt 5th to 9th at Abinger,5 from 9th to 21st at Basset.

Nov. 8-18th Bryanston St6 (very pleasant).

1874. Jan 10th to 17th to Erasmus.

Ap. 21to 29th Henrietta.

July 25th to Abinger, 30 to William.

Augt 24th to Home.

Decr 3rd-12 Henrietta's.

Frank7 married July.

Copies sold in Germany of Translations, Feb. 1, 1874 Origin 6500, Descent of Man 5000. Var. 1700, Expression 3000, Orchids 600.

1875. March 31st to Eras: & Litchfields. Home April 12th.

June 3rd to July 5th Abinger Hall.


1 9, Devonshire Street, Portland Place, was a house which the Darwins took for a month. (cf. E.D., ii, p. 254.)

2 Charles Darwin: The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. London 1872.

3 Horace Darwin had lodgings at Sevenoaks.

4 16, Montague Street, was a house the Darwins took for a month. (cf. E.D., ii, p. 262.)

5 Abinger Hall, home of Sir Thomas Henry Farrer, afterwards Lord Farrer, married firstly Cecilia Erskine; and secondly Katherine Euphemia Wedgwood, Darwin's wife's niece.

6 4, Bryanston Street, home of Henrietta Emma Litchfield.

7 Francis Darwin married Amy Richenda Ruck.

8 Charles Darwin: The Movements and Habits of Climbing Plants. London 1875.

[page] 20

1875— (contd.)

Began correcting 3rd June

Began writing with some observations on April 1st on Insectivorous Plants.

July 2nd Insectivorous Plants published.

2700 sold immediately.

July 6th Correcting 2nd Edit. of Var. under Domestication.

Oct 3rd Finished about Var under Domestication but shall have nearly month of more work with proofs &. Therefore I may say I began "On advantages of Crossing" on Septr 1st.

1876. May 5 Finished MS. first time over of effects of Cross Fertilization. Began correcting 2nd Editn of Orchid Book, much labour, at Hopedene began my little Autobiography.

June 11th Began going over for 2nd time MS. of effects of Cross Fertilisation.

Augt 19th First proofs of ditto.

Oct 21st Finished proofs. Published on Novr 10th & 1500 copies sold by end of year. In intervals I worked at 2nd Edit. of Orchids. Novr 14 finished first proofs— published at end of year.

Nov 15th Began on Heterostyled Plants but in intervals I have done 2 or 3 weeks work say Nov. 1st I began work on the book so during last 14 months I have done Effects of Cross Fertilisation & 2nd Edit. of Orchids; but then I had rough MS. written out of the experimental parts of "the Effect &c."

1877. All the early part of Summer at work on "Different forms of Flowers" published (1250 copies) middle of July.

From that time to end of year working on Bloom Spontaneous Movement of Plants & Heliotropism & a little on Worms.

July 2nd Insectivorous Plants published. 3000 copies printed.

Augt 28th to Sept 11th Southampton, William.

Nov. 4th & 5th Erasmus, Vivisection Commission.

Dec. 10th to 20th Bryanston St.

1876. Feb. 3rd-5th at Erasmus.

Apl 27th to May 3 ditto.

May 24th to Hopedene.1

June 7 Hollycombe.2

,, 10th Home.

Oct 4th Leith Hill.

,, 7th Southampton.

,, 20th Home.

Septr 11 Poor Amy4 died a most dreadful blow to us all.

1877. Jan. 6 to 15. Henrietta.

April 12 to 28 ditto & Erasmus.

June 8th Leith Hill, 13th to Southampton, Stonehenge & returned home July 4th.

Augt 20-25. Abinger, delightful.

Oct. 26-29. Erasmus.

Nov. 16-19. Cambridge, L.L.D. Degree.5


1 Hopedene, Surrey, home of Hensley Wedgwood (1803-1891), Darwin's wife's brother.

2 Hollycombe, near Midhurst, Sussex, home of Sir John Hawkshaw (1811-1891) whose son John Clarke Hawkshaw (1841-1921) married Cecily Mary Wedgwood (1837-1917) daughter of Francis Wedgwood (1800-1888) brother of Darwin's wife and son of Josiah Wedgwood II (1769-1843). Cecily Mary Hawkshaw's brother Godfrey Wedgwood (1833-1905) married Mary Hawkshaw as his first wife.

3 Charles Darwin; The Effects of Cross- and Self-fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom, London 1876.

4 Amy, first wife of Francis Darwin.

5 The degree of L.L.D. was conferred on Darwin on 17 November, 1877.

[page] 21

1878. The whole of this last year on the circumnutating Movements of plants & bloom.

1879. The whole of this year on circumnutating movements of plants except about 6 weeks on Life of Erasmus Darwin.

1880. Circumnutating Movements. All Spring finishing MS. of "Power of Movement in Plants" & then Proof Sheets — Began in Autumn on Worms.

Novr 6th 1500 Copies of Power of Movement sold at Murrays Sale.

1881. All early part of year Worm book.7 published Oct: 10th 2000 Copies sold immediately. 5000 printed by December & corrected a new Edit.

November on the action of C. of ammonia on Chlorophyll & on roots of Euphorbia & other plants.


April 17 Recorded an experiment for Francis Darwin.]

1878. Jan. 17-23 at Erasmus.

Feb. 27 to March 5. Bryanston St on account of Giddiness.

April 27 to May 13th Southampton.

Augt 7th Leith Hill, Abinger, & Barlaston.1 Home Augt 22nd.

Nov. 19-27th Bryanston St.

1879. Feby 27 to March 5 at Erasmus on account of Elizabeth's illness.

May 6th Worthing. 8th Southampton. 21 Leith Hill. 26th Home.

June 26th Erasmus, Baly Medal,2

28th Laura Forster.3

July 1. Home.

Augt 1 to 27 Coniston sleeping at Erasmus.

Decr 2nd to 11th Henrietta & Erasmus.

1880. March 4th-8th Erasmus.

April 8-13 Abinger, Horace & Ida.4

May 25 to June 8 Southampton.

Augt 14th to Cambridge,5 19th Erasmus, 21st Home.

Oct 20 to Nov. 2nd Henrietta's House.

Nov. 8th Eliz. Wedgwood6 died.

Decr 7 Erasmus. 11th Leith Hill Place.

15th Home.

1881. Feb. 24th to March 3rd Bryanston St.

June 2nd to July 4th Patterdale.8

August 3rd to 5th to Erasmus.

,, 26th Erasmus9 died at night.

Sept. 8th to 10th to A. Rich. Worthing.10

Oct. 20-27 at Horace at Cambridge.

Decr 13th to 20th Bryanston St.

[1882 March 7 Suffered seizure on his last visit to 'Sand Walk'.

April 19 Darwin died at Down.

April 26. Buried in Westminster Abbey.]


1 Barleston, Staffordshire, home of Francis Wedgwood (1800-1888), Darwin's wife's brother.

2 The Baly Medal of the Royal College of Physicians.

3 Laura May Forster (1839-1924), of West Hackhurst, Abinger Hammer, Dorking, lent her house to the Darwins to minimize the fatigue caused by this journey to London. (cf. L. & L., iii, 224, and E. M. Forster: Marianne Thornton, London 1956.)

4 Emma Cecilia Farrer (Ida) married Horace Darwin in 1880.

5 The Darwins were visiting the Horace Darwins at Botolph Lane, Cambridge. (cf. E.D., ii, 306.)

6 Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood (1793-1880), eldest sister of Darwin's wife.

7 Charles Darwin: The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms, with observations on their habits. London, 1881.

8 The Darwins took Glenrhydding House, Patterdale for a month. (cf. M. L., ii, p. 433.)

9 Erasmus Alvey Darwin (1804-1881), Darwin's brother.

10 Anthony Rich, of Heene, Worthing. (cf. E.D., ii, 291.)

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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