Charles Darwin depended on correspondence to collect data from all over the world, and to discuss his emerging ideas with scientific colleagues, many of whom he never met in person. In January of 1868, Darwin's Variation under domestication was published. The first printing of 1500 copies rapidly sold out and the publisher, John Murray, ordered a second printing. Responses to this new book, added to Darwin's continuing research into sexual selection and the expression of the emotions, increased the quantity of Darwin's correspondence to such an extent that the letters from 1868 fill two volumes.
The letters he wrote and received during this year are presented here in chronological order across two volumes, with notes and appendices to put them into context, explain references, and provide information on related works.
From previous volumes: 'The most recent volumes of Darwin's correspondence shed new light on the complex question of the origin's reception and Darwin's responses to his critics ... they allow us to see Darwin in his proper historical context ... The story ... is a more subtle complex and ultimately much more interesting one than those invented by the myth-makers ... The letters also tell us so much about Victorian attitudes and society, and serve as a useful reminder that neither Darwin's story nor that of the Origin finishes in 1859, demonstrating why the eventual publication of all Darwin's correspondence is going to be so useful.' Times Literary Supplement '... what must surely be the world's most important scientific correspondence.' Human Genetics
Part I: List of illustrations; Frederick Henry Burkhardt (1912-2007); List of letters; Introduction; Acknowledgements; List of Provenances; Note on editorial policy; Darwin/Wedgewood genealogy; Abbreviations and symbols; THE CORRESPONDENCE, January-June 1868; Part II: List of illustrations; THE CORRESPONDENCE, July-December 1868; Appendices I. Translations; II. Chronology; III. Diplomas; IV. Presentation lists for Variation; V. Darwin's Queries about expression; VI. Reviews of Variation; Manuscript alterations and comments; Biographical register and index to correspondents; Bibliography; Notes on manuscript sources; Index.
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Frederick Burkhardt (1912-2007) was the founder of the Charles Darwin Correspondence Project, and the associated high profile book series The Correspondence of Charles Darwin (Cambridge University Press, 1985- ). He was President of the American Council of Learned Societies from 1957 to 1974, and in 2003 was awarded the American Philosophical Society Thomas Jefferson Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences.