Darwin`s personal letters to be made available online
London: Thousands of personal letters by 19th-century naturalist Charles Darwin, including an unpublished account of watching his beloved daughter-in-law die an agonising death in childbirth, will be released to the public online for the first time.
The Cambridge University project will begin with a correspondence - some 1,400 letters - with his closest friend, the botanist Joseph Hooker.
It was to him that a devastated Darwin wrote in 1876: "I am sure you will pity us, when you hear that Amy was seized with convulsion which lasted for several hours, she then sunk into a stupor and I saw her expire at 7 o`clock this morning."
Digitising the historic papers of the celebrated British naturalist best known for his theory of evolution, follows the university`s online success with the archive of another scientist, Sir Isaac Newton, which has attracted millions of hits worldwide, The Independent reported.
Cambridge University Library houses the world`s largest and most significant collection of Darwin`s personal papers. The archive ? some 9,000 letters ? includes correspondence with leading thinkers of the day.
There are also notes from the famous Beagle voyage, and the earliest manuscripts outlining his theories, which scandalised Victorians by suggesting animals and humans had a common ancestry.
But no correspondence was more important to Darwin ? or to scholars ? than the Darwin-Hooker collection, according to Alison Pearn, Associate Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project.
The letters span 40 years from 1843 until Darwin`s death in 1882, and offer insight into their friendship.
"In perhaps his most famous letter of all, Darwin wrote to Hooker in 1844 of his growing conviction that species `are not ... Immutable` ? an admission he likened, half-jokingly, to `confessing a murder`. It was also to Hooker that Darwin sent the manuscript of On the Origin of Species for comment," Pearn said.
Of their letters, 300 have not been published before.
In another letter to Hooker, Darwin poured out his grief at the death of his daughter-in-law aged 26. She was the wife of his son, Francis.
Darwin wrote: "Thank God she never knew that she was leaving Frank and all of us for ever. I cannot think what will become of Frank. She helped and encouraged him in his scientific work and whether he will ever have heart to go on again. I cannot conceive. My dear old Friend I know that you will forgive me pouring out my grief."
"I don`t know of another letter [like it]. I don`t think there are many people to whom [Darwin] would have written in this way. This is unique insight into his attachment to his daughter-in-law," Pearn said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- IAF Mirage fighter plane lands on Yamuna Expressway!
- 'Maggi' under regulatory scanner for excess amount of lead, MSG
- Watch: Michelle Obama's 'Gimme Five' fitness video
- When Subramanian Swamy shocked people at a wedding!
- Mumbaikars join hands to save Pakistani teen with rare illness
- Mumbai: Diamond export company denies job to Muslim youth
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 21, 2015
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Mirage 2000 fighter jet landing was part of capability demonstration: IAF
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- RBSE (rajresults.nic.in) Class 12th science and commerce results 2015: Rajasthan Board Class 12th XII exam results 2015 to be announced today at 4 PM
- CBSE Class 10 Results 2015 to be announced today?
- IAF jet lands on Yamuna expressway
- Check Jharkhand Board jac.nic.in: Class 12th Art Results 2015 declared
- Fawad Khan doesn’t want intimate scenes with Sonam Kapoor?
- Log on to apeamcet.org AP EAMCET Results 2015: Andhra Pradesh EAMCET Marks and AP EAMCET Ranks 2015 declared
- We hire only non-Muslim candidates, diamond export firm tells Muslim youth
- Is MSG in 'Maggi' noodles harmful for you?
- Mumbai firm booked for denying Muslim MBA graduate job on religious grounds, probe ordered
- New IPL rules could see Chennai Super Kings lose MS Dhoni
- Jayalalithaa makes public appearance, meets Governor: As it happened
- `Piku` hits jackpot, does Rs 100 crore business worldwide
- SSLC (tnresults.nic.in) Tenth 10th Results 2015: Tamil Nadu Board Class 10th X Higher Secondary exam results 2015 to be announced today at 10 am
- Anurag Kashyap to bid goodbye to India, settle in 'cinema-friendly' France!
- SSLC (tnresults.nic.in) Tenth 10th Results 2015: Tamil Nadu Board Class 10th X Higher Secondary exam results 2015 to be announced shortly