Darwin and worms
g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Tue Aug 1 21:37:17 EST 2000
Did you hear that? Must have been a pin dropping (audible on a very quiet
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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