Charles Darwin's 'The Life of Erasmus Darwin'

Charles Darwin's 'The Life of Erasmus Darwin'

In observation of the bicentenary of Erasmus Darwin's death, Cambridge is publishing this collection of personal writings by his grandson Charles. This is the first unabridged publication of a book by Charles Darwin, and it contains a series of illuminating insights into his grandfather's life and work. With quotations from letters and candid comments by Charles Darwin about his books; and free of the conventions of scientific writing; this small volume of personal observations illuminates the life of a distinguished scientist as seen by his accomplished successor.


"This fascinating work should appeal to historians of science." Choice

"King-Hele has become the leading authority on Charles Darwin's grandfather, Erasmus Darwin...King-Hele illuminates both lives simultaneously." Journal of the History of Biology

The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, 1821–1882, A Calendar of. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. Brief summaries of some 14 000 letters to and from C.D., with indexes
The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, Volumes 1–12, 1821–1864. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985–2001. A total of 32 volumes is scheduled
[Anonymous] An Elegy on the Much-lamented Death of a most Ingenious Young Gentleman … [Charles Darwin the elder]. G. Robinson, 1778. Written mostly by Erasmus
[Erasmus Darwin] A System of Vegetables … translated from the thirteenth edition of the ‘Systema Vegetabilium’ of … Linneus … by a Botanical Society at Lichfield. 2 vols. Lichfield: J. Jackson, for Leigh and Sotheby, London, 1783
[Erasmus Darwin] The Botanic Garden; a Poem, in Two Parts. Part I, The Economy of Vegetation. J. Johnson, 1791 [actually appeared in 1792]. Part II, The Loves of the Plants. Lichfield, J. Jackson, for J. Johnson, London, 1789
[Erasmus Darwin] The Families of Plants … translated from the last edition of the ‘Genera Plantarum’ …, by a Botanical Society at Lichfield. 2 vols. Lichfield: J. Jackson, for J. Johnson, London, 1787
Anna Seward, Memoirs of the Life of Dr Darwin. Johnson, 1804
Anna Seward, The Letters of Anna Seward. 6 vols. Edinburgh: Constable, 1811
Barbara and Hensleigh Wedgwood, The Wedgwood Circle, 1730–1897. Cassell, 1980
Benedict Nicholson, Joseph Wright of Derby. 2 vols. Routledge, 1968
C. D. Darlington, Darwin's Place in History. Oxford: Blackwell, 1959. Discusses proponents of evolution from 1790 to 1860
Charles Darwin [the elder], Experiments establishing a Criterion between Mucaginous and Purulent Matter, Cadell, 1780. Includes short biography by Erasmus
Charles Darwin, Autobiography (ed. Nora Barlow). Collins, 1958. Has useful Appendices and Notes. (Also Penguin Classics, 2002.)
Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. First ed., Murray, 1859
Desmond Clarke, The Ingenious Mr Edgeworth. Oldbourne, 1965
Desmond King-Hele, Erasmus Darwin and the Romantic Poets. Macmillan, 1986
Desmond King-Hele, Erasmus Darwin: a Life of Unequalled Achievement. De la Mare, 1999. (Abbreviated here in the Notes as ‘1999 Life’.)
Donald M. Hassler, Erasmus Darwin. New York: Twayne, 1973. Study of his writings
Donald M. Hassler, The Comedian as the letter D: Erasmus Darwin's Comic Materialism. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1973
E. Meteyard, The Life of Josiah Wedgwood. 2 vols. Hurst and Blackett, 1865–6
Edna Healey, Emma Darwin. Headline, 2001. Biography of Charles Darwin's wife – and their extended family
Erasmus Darwin Facsimile reprints by Johnson Reprint Corp., New York, 1974; by Routledge, London, 1996, in History of British Educational Thought; by Woodstock Books, 2001
Erasmus Darwin, A Plan for the Conduct of Female Education in Boarding Schools. Derby: J. Drewry, for J. Johnson, London, 1797
Erasmus Darwin, Cosmologia [The poems The Botanic Garden and The Temple of Nature, without the Notes, newly edited by Stuart Harris]. Published by S. Harris, 171 Millhouses Lane, Sheffield S7 2HD. 2002
Erasmus Darwin, Phytologia: or the Philosophy of Agriculture and Gardening. J. Johnson, 1800
Erasmus Darwin, The Letters of Erasmus Darwin (ed. D. King-Hele). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981
Erasmus Darwin, The Temple of Nature; or, The Origin of Society. J. Johnson, 1803
Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia; or, The Laws of Organic Life. Part I, J. Johnson, 1794 (Vol. 1). Parts II and III, J. Johnson, 1796 (Vol. 2), issued with 2nd edn. of Vol. 1, corrected
Facsimile reprint by Harvard University Press, 1964
Facsimile reprint by Irish University Press, Shannon, Ireland, 1969
Facsimile reprint by Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, Barlaston, 1980
Facsimile reprints by A. M. S. Press, New York, 1974; and by Scholarly Press, MI, 1977
Facsimile reprints by Scolar Press, Menston, 1973; and by Scholarly Press, MI, 1977
Facsimile reprints by Scolar Press, Menston, 1973; by Scholarly Press, MI, 1977; by Garland, New York, 1979; by Woodstock Books, 1991 (Part II only)
Francis Darwin (ed.), Life and Letters of Charles Darwin. 3 vols. Murray, 1887
Francis Darwin and A. C. Seward (ed.), More Letters of Charles Darwin. 2 vols. Murray, 1903
Gwen Raverat, Period Piece. Faber, 1952. A delightful picture of the Darwin family
Henrietta Litchfield (ed.), Emma Darwin: a Century of Family Letters. 2 vols. Privately printed, C.U.P., 1904. Also Murray, 1915
J. L. Moilliet and B. M. D. Smith, ‘A Mighty Chemist’: James Keir. Privately printed, 1983
J. V. Logan, The Poetry and Aesthetics of Erasmus Darwin. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1936
Jenny Uglow, The Lunar Men. Faber, 2002. Particularly good on Boulton, Watt and Wedgwood
John Bowlby, Charles Darwin: a biography. Hutchinson, 1990
Josiah Wedgwood, Letters of Josiah Wedgwood (ed. K. E. Farrer). 3 vols. Manchester: E. J. Morton, 1974
Karl Pearson, The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton. 4 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1914–30
L. T. C. Rolt, James Watt. Batsford, 1962
Margaret Ashmun, The Singing Swan. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (First published, 1931). Life of Anna Seward
Maureen McNeil, Under the Banner of Science: Erasmus Darwin and his Age. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987
Maxwell Craven, John Whitehurst of Derby. Ashbourne: Mayfield Books, 1996
P. Rowland, The Life and Times of Thomas Day. Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 1996
R. B. Freeman, Darwin Pedigrees. Printed for the author, 1984. Valuable; but beware of errors in the twentieth-century part of the text
R. E. Schofield, The Lunar Society of Birmingham. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963
R. F. Scott, Admissions to the College of St John the Evangelist in the University of Cambridge, Part III. Cambridge: Deighton Bell, 1903
R. L. and Maria Edgeworth, Memoirs of Richard Lovell Edgeworth. 2 vols. Hunter, 1820
Ralph Colp, ‘Notes on Charles Darwin's Autobiography’. Journ. Hist. Biol., Vol. 18, pp. 357–401, 1985
Ralph Colp, ‘The Relationship of Charles Darwin to the Ideas of his Grandfather, Dr Erasmus Darwin’. Biography, Vol. 9, pp. 1–24, 1986
Randal Keynes, Annie's Box: Charles Darwin, his Daughter and Human Evolution. Fourth Estate, 2001
Roy Porter, Enlightenment. Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 2000
W. B. Stevens, The Journal of the Rev. W. B. Stevens (ed. G. Galbraith). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1965