Darwin Correspondence Project

On this site you can read and search the full texts of more than 7,500 of Charles Darwin’s letters, and find information on 7,500 more. Available here are complete transcripts of all known letters Darwin wrote and received up to the year 1869.
More are being added all the time.


  • Jacket vol 22

    Volume 22 (1874) just published

    Posted on March 12th, 2015 in Natural Selections

    Volume 22 of The Correspondence of Charles Darwin is now available.  Find out what Darwin was up to in 1874: I feel as old as Methusalem; but not much in mind except that I think one takes everything more quietly, as not signifying so much. At the age of 65, Darwin had reflective moments, although […]

  • St. George Jackson Mivart, Wellcome Library, London (CC BY 4.0)

    A ‘scurrilous libel’

    Posted on January 9th, 2015 in Natural Selections

    Letters revealing a unprecedented episode of incandescent anger on Darwin’s part will be published for the first time in the next volume of the Correspondence of Charles Darwin, out next month. The volume contains more than 600 letters from 1874. The target of Darwin’s fury was the Catholic zoologist St George Jackson Mivart who had […]

  • Josiah Wedgwood I, © National Portrait Gallery London (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

    Congratulations, Wedgwood Museum

    Posted on October 3rd, 2014 in Natural Selections

    It is very good news that the Wedgwood archive and pottery collection  has been bought for the nation.  The Darwins and Wedgwoods were so intermarried, it was a Wedgwood family joke that the Darwins were more Wedgwood than Darwin. Charles thought he and his wife, Emma Wedgwood (also his cousin) were rather ‘degenerate descendants of […]

  • Anelasma squalicola - note the small cirri & the root-like filaments on the peduncle (Adapted from fig. 2 & 3, Pl. IV, Cirripedia by Charles Darwin. Source: Biodiversity Heritage Library/MBLWHOI Library)

    Blistering Barnacles – by post!

    Posted on August 27th, 2014 in Natural Selections

    The Natural History Museum of Denmark has just discovered a collection of barnacles sent by Charles Darwin to Japetus Steenstrup in 1854 as a thank you gift – a “very inadequate return” (Letter 1589, 7 Sept [1854]) – for the many cirripede specimens that Steenstrup had sent him. Among these was one which turned out […]

  • Thomas Rivers letter, image courtesy of the owner

    Featured Correspondent: Thomas Rivers

    Posted on August 12th, 2014 in Natural Selections

    The Project was recently contacted by the owner of an important Darwin letter that contains a rare instance of the key expressions “natural selection” and “struggle for existence” in correspondence. The letter was addressed to Thomas Rivers, a nurseryman in Hertfordshire and a leading authority on roses and fruit trees. Darwin initiated the correspondence in […]