Charles Darwin: The Expression of the Emotions

Scope and Content

'The Expression of the Emotions', 1 framed sheet.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) was the grandson of Erasmus Darwin of Lichfield and Josiah Wedgwood. He entered the University of Edinburgh in 1825 to study medicine, intending to follow his father Robert's career as a doctor. However, Darwin found himself unenthusiastic about his studies, including that of geology, and left Edinburgh without graduating in 1827. Forming the intention of entering the church, Darwin came up to Cambridge in 1828, and though not finding the formal studies any more to his taste than those at Edinburgh, he formed a friendship with the professor of botany, John Stevens Henslow, and began enthusiastically to study the subject. After graduating in 1831, Darwin was recommended by Henslow to Robert Fitzroy, commander of HM Sloop Beagle, as a naturalist to sail on a circumnavigational voyage Fitzroy was planning. Returning from the Beagle voyage in 1836, Darwin enjoyed a publishing success with his volume Journal of researches...during the voyage of HMS Beagle, married his cousin Emma Wedgwood, and moved to the Kent village of Down, where he spent the rest of his life. It was at Down House that Darwin wrote On the origin of species by means of natural selection, 1859, and a series of monographs in botany, entomology and anthropology.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Francis Darwin, 1908.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Custodial History

MS.Add.4449 was previously part of Cambridge University Library, Darwin MS 17.1.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library also holds the Darwin papers.