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Charles Darwin’s Entire Correspondence Has Been Compiled For Online Viewing


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As told through letters and notes, Charles Darwin’s life is now available for budding scientists and eager knowledge-seekers to purvey through an online archive hosted by Cambridge University. The collection comprises 15,000 letters written between 1822 and 1882 during his time aboard the HMS Beagle and when he was working on his magnum opus, On the Origin of Species. In addition, 400 newly-surfaced correspondence or “reinterpreted” works have been added to the archival library. 

The aim of making his private notes public is to give those studying him a better understanding of who he was and, in turn, a more introspective look into his life.

This last batch of correspondence also details the changing tides in people’s views on evolution. After he first released his famed, On the Origin of Species, in 1859, he was criticized as people did not buy into his ideology. However, as the years went on, Darwin noted how natural selection had eventually become largely established among younger scientists. The letters also show how Darwin was still involved in his work and continued experimenting in the months leading up to his death. Read them all on the Darwin Project here.

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