This is the second volume of the complete edition of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. For the first time full authoritative texts of Darwin's letters are available, edited according to modern textual editorial principles and practice. The letters in this volume were written during the seven years following Darwin's return to England from the Beagle voyage. It was a period of extraordinary activity and productivity in which he became recognised as a naturalist of outstanding ability, as an author and editor, and as a professional man with official responsibilities in several scientific organisations. During these years he published two books and fifteen papers and also organised and superintended the publication of the Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Beagle, for which he described the locations of the fossils and the habitats and behaviour of the living species he had collected. Busy as he was with scientific activities, Darwin found time to re-establish family ties and friendships, and to make new friends among the naturalists with whom his work brought him into close contact. In November 1838, two years after his return Darwin became engaged to his cousin, Emma Wedgwood, whom he subsequently married.
The second volume of the Darwin correspondence should interest readers as much as the first. Michael T. Steiber, Huntia "...the period covered by these two volumes of the Darwin correspondence [vols. 2 and 3]--encompasses by all measures the most creative era of Darwin's scientific life...These two volumes of the correspondence, presenting 532 (76% of total) previously unpublished letters, fill in many details, and flesh out Darwin-as-person with intimate details of his personal and family life in this creative decade...The scholarship that has gone into these volumes leaves little to be desired--indeed, it is standard-setting." Phillip R. Sloan, Biology and Philosophy
List of illustrations; List of letters; Introduction; Acknowledgments; List of provenances; Note on editorial policy; Darwin/Wedgwood genealogy; Abbreviations and symbols; The correspondence, 1837 43; Appendixes; Manuscript alterations and comments; Bibliography; Biography; Biographical register and index to correspondents; Index.
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