Find Me On FaceBook! MichelleMoran.com
December 2006July 2007August 2007September 2007January 2008February 2008March 2008April 2008May 2008June 2008July 2008August 2008September 2008October 2008November 2008December 2008January 2009February 2009March 2009April 2009May 2009June 2009July 2009August 2009September 2009October 2009November 2009December 2009January 2010February 2010March 2010April 2010May 2010June 2010August 2010September 2010October 2010November 2010December 2010January 2011February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011July 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011July 2012August 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017July 2017September 2017October 2017December 2017February 2018March 2018
History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings
news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site.
From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History
Buff wants to know.
RSS: BLOG FEED
Logo designed by Shaun Venish
Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design
Origin of the spouses: The private papers that reveal Darwin's inner turmoil over whether or not to marry
The 17 pages of his musings on marriage in his own spidery handwriting offer a fascinating - and deeply moving - glimpse into the thoughts of a man torn between his intellectual discipline as a scientist and his desire for a wife.
It is the first time that the general public has been able to examine the 90,000 individual documents that form his archive, which provide a very human commentary on one of the greatest Englishmen of all time.
Wife-to-be: Emma Wedgwood (left) and meticulous thinker Charles Darwin
It's hard to imagine any 29-year-old man today completing such a careful analysis of the pros and cons of taking the plunge. But then, Shropshire-born Darwin was a scientist to his fingertips and wanted to leave nothing to chance - not even matrimony.
And so he wrote this manuscript in the late summer of 1838, barely two years after he'd completed his famous five-year voyage on the HMS Beagle to the Galapagos Islands, the west coast of South America and the Pacific islands, a trip that was to form part of the basis of his 1859 masterwork The Origin Of Species.
There was a very specific reason why. That summer, the young Darwin had glimpsed a young woman whom he thought he might just marry - his charming, cultured and intelligent cousin Emma Wedgwood, granddaughter of the renowned pottery designer and manufacturer Josiah.
She was just nine months older than he was.
Nevertheless as a scientist, and a Victorian at that, Darwin was not about to rush into any decision, and decided to write down the arguments as methodically as he had noted the species on the Galapagos islands, then discuss the whole matter with his fearsome father Robert, a society doctor and financier.
Taking a sheet of blue parchment paper he touchingly headed one column "Marry" and the other "Not Marry", and under each respectively noted the pros and cons.