During 1867 Darwin intensified lines of research that were to result in two important publications, Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex and Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Darwin circulated a questionnaire on human expression, asking his established contacts to pass it on to their acquaintances, with the result that he began to receive letters from an even more diverse and far-flung network of correspondents than had previously been the case. Convinced that human descent was strongly influenced by sexual selection, he also started to ask his correspondents about sexual differences in animals and birds. At the same time, he was working on the proof-sheets of another major work, Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, while negotiating almost weekly with French, German, and Russian translators.
List of illustrations; List of letters; Introduction; Acknowledgments; List of provenances; Note on editorial policy; Darwin/Wedgwood genealogy; Abbreviations and symbols; THE CORRESPONDENCE; Appendixes: I. Translations, II. Chronology, III. Diplomas, IV. Darwin's queries about expression; Manuscript alterations and comments; Biographical register and index to correspondents; Bibliography; Notes on manuscript sources; Index.
'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