5,000 Darwin letters posted online

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Darwin_1605A collection of 5,000 of Charles Darwin’s letters has been posted online.

The database covers correspondence up to 1865 and includes all surviving letters from the Beagle voyage and all letters during the publication of Origin of species in 1859.

The Darwin Correspondence Project was established by Cambridge University to provide an insight into both Darwin and Victorian science and society.

The database also includes summaries of a further 9,000 letters that have yet to be published.

According to the site: “Letters form the largest single category of Darwin’s working papers and were one of the most important means by which he gathered data and discussed ideas. They provide a remarkably complete picture of the development of his thinking, throwing light on his early formative years and the years of the voyage of the Beagle, on the period which led up to the publication of The Origin of Species and the subsequent heated debates.”

 

Will Head