Darwin and worms

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Tue Aug 1 21:37:17 EST 2000

Hello folks,


Did you hear that? Must have been a pin dropping (audible on a very quiet 
Annelida list).  

Darwin and worms. Well, as we know, in his twilight years D wrote a book 
on earthworms. If you'd like to have a free copy to dip into there's a plain 
text version available from the Gutenberg Etext project. Search at:  


I've just been reading in UK NERC news about the Darwin correspondence 
project. It's been going for over 25 years, starting in the punched card  
days of computing. There are more than 14000 letters from nearly 2000 
people, and 11 of 30 planned volumes have been published.  

A quick look at the (online) list of correspondents shows up some worm 
experts. I don't know  off hand the oligochaete people of the time 
(anyone?), but they must be there*. I see WC McIntosh, George Johnston, 
Verrill, George Osian Sars, Armand de Quatrefages (lots from him, prob 
not on worms though), Alexander Agassiz, William Baird, Claparede, .... 
the list goes on.   

Read more background (& the list) at:

Darwin on a bad day, "I am languid & bedeviled . . . & hate everybody".

Fascinating.  Now  if Darwin had had e-mail ... he'd probably have reached 
his 14000 in one year.

  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.cri.nz>

* PS. I just noticed contact with Edmond Perrier is mentioned in Darwin's 
"formation of vegetable mould .." book, but he isn't in the list.   

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