Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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I have mentioned this before when the project was first underway, but all of Darwin’s letters are now catalogued online for everyone to read. For those of you who don’t know, Darwin was a prolific correspondent, regularly writing to nearly 2000 people during his lifetime. Among his correspondents were geologist Charles Lyell, the botanists Asa Gray and Joseph Dalton Hooker, the zoologist Thomas Henry Huxley and the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, as well as well-known thinkers and public figures, as well as ordinary men and women who would be unknown today were it not for the letters they exchanged with Darwin.

Darwin’s letters are a rich and invaluable source of information, not only about his own intellectual development and social network, but about Victorian science and society in general. His letters provide us with a remarkably complete picture of the development of Darwin’s thinking, including his early formative years and the years of the voyage of the Beagle, and the period of time which led up to the publication of The Origin of Species and the subsequent heated debates that book generated.

To access Darwin’s online letters, check out the Darwin Correspondence Project or go directly to their search engine, which they just added to the site.

Comments

  1. #1 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    May 30, 2007

    Not for me; I don’t see a point in corresponding with someone who’s been dead for over 100 years.