The Darwin Correspondence Project
May 16, 2007 8:39 AM   Subscribe

Darwin wrote to 2000 people during his life; 14,500 of these letters still survive. The Darwin Correspondence Project is putting annotated transcriptions of these online, and they've covered about 5,000 so far, including a letter written when he was 12 after he had got into trouble with his sister for not washing regularly while at school. There's an intro here. See also Darwin Online, discussed here. And the prolific network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi has co-authored a paper on statistical similarities between Darwin's and Einstein's correspondence (#51 on the list).
posted by carter (11 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Wow... this is AWESOME. Thanks!
posted by ORthey at 8:49 AM on May 16, 2007

Might I add:

"why I only wash my fett once a month at school, which I confess is nasty"

posted by ORthey at 8:50 AM on May 16, 2007

I love this one: "The scheme is a most magnificent one. We spend about 2 years in S America, the rest of time larking round the world"

The Glutton Club, which is referred to in the above letter, was a Cambridge dining club devoted to seeking out "strange flesh" — they met weekly to dine on the most obscure animals they could find. Darwin was the club's President.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 8:50 AM on May 16, 2007

I'd like to point out that unlike my RL analogue, my hygiene is impeccable. Cheers for this, carter.
posted by chuckdarwin at 8:58 AM on May 16, 2007

This is a terrific post! Stuff like this reminds me of why I love the internet so much. I am constantly bewildered by the sheer amount of information available to us twenty-four hours a day.
posted by LeeJay at 9:31 AM on May 16, 2007

Very cool. Thanks!
posted by GlowWyrm at 10:06 AM on May 16, 2007

This is excellent and a really interesting project. One of those ideas I'd wish I'd come up with.
posted by fenriq at 10:23 AM on May 16, 2007

I am not sure why the sttistical stuff on Darwin/Einstein. Darwin wrote often to people he did not know in order to get materials for his work at his home, which he mostly stayed at after his Beagle voyage; Einstein, by contrast, wrote mostly about getting jobs, his views on politics, Zionism, awards, jobs etc and not nearly as much on the work he is noted for.
posted by Postroad at 12:27 PM on May 16, 2007

Pffft! Like Darwin is actually real.
posted by Rawhide at 1:00 PM on May 16, 2007

This is wonderful. Thanks!
posted by trip and a half at 3:08 PM on May 16, 2007

Absolutely fantastic site! Curious though, they say thanks to the family for "giving permission for publication". Surely these materials are in the public domain?
posted by woodblock100 at 7:05 AM on May 17, 2007

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