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Encyclopedia > Erasmus Darwin
Erasmus Darwin

Portrait of Erasmus Darwin by Joseph Wright of Derby (1792)
Born 12 December 1731(1731-12-12)
Elston Hall, Elston, Nottinghamshire near Newark-on-Trent
Died April 18, 1802 (aged 70)
Breadsall, Derby
Stone-cast bust of Erasmus Darwin, by W. J. Coffee, c 1795
Stone-cast bust of Erasmus Darwin, by W. J. Coffee, c 1795

Erasmus Darwin (12 December 173118 April 1802), was an English physician, natural philosopher, physiologist, inventor and poet. He was one of the founder members of the Lunar Society, a discussion group of pioneering industrialists and natural philosophers. He was a member of the Darwin — Wedgwood family, which most famously includes his grandson, Charles Darwin. Erasmus Darwin may refer to: Erasmus Darwin I (1731-1802), the physician, poet, etc: grandfather of Charles Darwin Erasmus Darwin II, also Erasmus Darwin the Younger (1759-1799), the son of Erasmus Darwin, brother of Robert Darwin, and uncle of Charles Darwin Erasmus Alvey Darwin (Erasmus Darwin III) (1804–1881... Image File history File links Portrait_of_Erasmus_Darwin_by_Joseph_Wright_of_Derby_(1792). ... An Experiment on a Bird in an Air Pump (1768). ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 10 Downing Street becomes the official residence of the United Kingdoms Prime Minister when Robert Walpole moves in. ... Elston is a small village in Nottinghamshire to the southwest of Newark, and a mile from the A46 Fosse Way. ... Nottinghamshire (abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. ... Newark (also Newark-on-Trent) is a town in Nottinghamshire, located on the River Trent. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... --69. ... Breadsall is a village in the English county of Derbyshire, grid reference SK370397. ... Derby (pronounced dar-bee ) is a city in the East Midlands of England. ... Bust of Erasmus Darwin by Wiliam John Coffee (C 1795), on display at Derby Central Museum and Library. ... Bust of Erasmus Darwin by Wiliam John Coffee (C 1795), on display at Derby Central Museum and Library. ... William John Coffee (1774–1846) was an internationally renowned English artist and sculptor who worked in porcelain, plaster, and terra cotta. ... is the 346th day of the year (347th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 10 Downing Street becomes the official residence of the United Kingdoms Prime Minister when Robert Walpole moves in. ... is the 108th day of the year (109th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... --69. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is God Save the Queen. See also Proposed English National Anthems. ... The Doctor by Luke Fildes This article is about the term physician, one type of doctor; for other uses of the word doctor see Doctor. ... The Lunar Society was a discussion club of prominent industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham, England. ... Natural philosophy is a term applied to the objective study of nature and the physical universe before the development of modern science. ... The Darwin — Wedgwood family was a prominent English family, descended from Erasmus Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood, the most notable member of which was Charles Darwin. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ...

Contents

Biography

Early life

Darwin was born at Elston Hall, Nottinghamshire near Newark-on-Trent, England, the youngest of seven children of Robert Darwin of Elston (12 August 1682 - 20 November 1754), a lawyer, and his wife Elizabeth Hill (1702-1797). His siblings were: Nottinghamshire (abbreviated Notts) is an English county in the East Midlands, which borders South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire. ... Newark (also Newark-on-Trent) is a town in Nottinghamshire, located on the River Trent. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem No official anthem specific to England — the anthem of the United Kingdom is God Save the Queen. See also Proposed English National Anthems. ... is the 224th day of the year (225th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events March 11 – Chelsea hospital for soldiers is founded in England May 6 - Louis XIV of France moves his court to Versailles. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1754 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ...

He was educated at Chesterfield School, then later at St John's College, Cambridge. He obtained his medical education at Edinburgh Medical School. Whether Darwin ever obtained the formal degree of MD is not known. Robert Waring Darwin (1724–1816) of Elston Hall. ... is the 290th day of the year (291st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 14 - King Philip V of Spain abdicates the throne February 20 - The premiere of Giulio Cesare, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel, takes place in London June 23 - Treaty of Constantinople signed. ... is the 308th day of the year (309th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 8 - Catherine I became empress of Russia February 20 - The first reported case of white men scalping Native Americans takes place in New Hampshire colony. ... April 8 is the 98th day of the year (99th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... // ON MAY 5 1853 MR.FADER HAD SEX WITH A MAN NAME MR WIEN THEN THEY HAD SON NAMEDMRS COTURE AND MR MANOOGIAN WENT INTO MRS HASKELLS OFFICE NAKED AND DANCED AROUND AND MASTERBATED ON HER CHEST AND SHE LICKED IT OFF THEN THEY HAD ORAL SEEX WITH NAPLOEAN OF... is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events George Friderich Handel becomes a British subject. ... is the 280th day of the year (281st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1783 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... is the 316th day of the year (317th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 1727 to 1800 - Lt. ... is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1813 (MDCCCXIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ... is the 100th day of the year (101st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events July 30 - Baltimore, Maryland is founded. ... is the 272nd day of the year (273rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 271st day of the year (272nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events Pope Clement XII elected September 17 - Change of emperor of the Ottoman Empire from Ahmed III (1703-1730) to Mahmud I (1730-1754) Anna Ivanova (Anna I of Russia) became czarina Births April 16 - Henry Clinton, British general (d. ... is the 144th day of the year (145th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1805 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... College name The College of Saint John the Evangelist of the University of Cambridge Motto Souvent me Souvient (Latin: I often remember) Named after The Hospital of Saint John the Evangelist Established 1511 Location St. ... The University of Cambridge (often Cambridge University), located in Cambridge, England, is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a reputation as one of the worlds most prestigious universities. ... The University of Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: ), founded in 1582,[4] is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... MD or md may stand for: Air Madagascar IATA code make dir (Microsoft DOS) or meta device (UNIX) in computing Managing Director, or CEO Maryland state code McDonnell Douglas aircraft McDonalds, a fast food restaurant Medicinæ Doctor, Doctor of Medicine (academic degree) Mendelevium (Md), symbol for the chemical element...


Darwin settled in 1756 as a physician at Nottingham, but met with little success and so moved the following year to Lichfield to try to establish a practise there. A few weeks after his arrival, using a novel course of treatment, he restored the health of a young man whose death seemed inevitable. This insured his success in the new locale. Darwin was a highly successful physician for more than fifty years in the Midland counties. George III invited him to be Royal Physician, but Darwin declined. , The West Front of Lichfield Cathedral, June 2005 Lichfield (Welsh: Caerlwytgoed) is a small city and civil parish (one of six single parishes with city status in England) in Staffordshire, 110 miles northwest of London and 14 miles north of Birmingham. ... “George III” redirects here. ... Physician to the King/Queen is the title of one (or more?) physicians acting as officer of the Medical Household of the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. ...


Marriages and children

Darwin married twice and had 14 children, including 2 illegitimate daughters by a mistress, and, possibly, at least one further illegitimate daughter.


In 1757, he married Mary (Polly) Howard (1740-1770). They had four sons and one daughter, two of whom (a son and a daughter) died in infancy:

  • Charles Darwin (1758-1778)
  • Erasmus Darwin II (1759-1799)
  • Elizabeth Darwin (1763), survived 4 months.
  • Robert Waring Darwin (1766-1848), father of the naturalist Charles Darwin
  • William Alvey Darwin (1767), survived 19 days.

The first Mrs Darwin died in 1770. A governess, Mary Parker, was hired to look after Robert. By late 1771, Darwin and Parker had become intimately involved and together they had two illegitimate daughters: Robert Darwin, from an oil painting by James Pardon. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... A governess is a female employee from outside of the family who teaches children within the family circle. ... Robert Darwin, from an oil painting by James Pardon. ...

  • Susanna Parker (1772-1856)
  • Mary Parker Jr (1774–1859)

Susanna and Mary Jr later established a school boarding school for girls. In 1782, Mary Sr married Joseph Day (1745–1811), a Birmingham merchant, and moved away.


Meanwhile, Lucy, daughter of Lucy Swift (was born in 1771, and was christened a daughter of William and Lucy Swift; but she may have been Erasmus Darwin's daughter [1]. Lucy Jr. married John Hardcastle in Derby in 1792 and their daughter, Mary, married Francis Boott, the physician. Derby (pronounced dar-bee ) is a city in the East Midlands of England. ... Francis Boott (1792–1863) was an American physician and botanist who was resident in Great Britain from 1820. ...


In 1775, Darwin met Elizabeth Pole, daughter of Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore, and wife of Colonel Edward Pole (1718-1780); but as she was married, Darwin could only make his feelings known for her through poetry. Edward Pole died in 1780. So, in 1781, Darwin married Elizabeth Pole and moved to her home, Radburn Hall, four miles west of Derby. (The hall and village are these days known as Radbourne.) In 1782, they moved to Full Street, Derby. They had four sons, one of whom died in infancy, and three daughters: Charles Colyear, 2nd Earl of Portmore (27 August 1700 – 5 July 1785), was a Scottish nobleman, known as Beau Colyear for his conspicuous dress. ... Derby (pronounced dar-bee ) is a city in the East Midlands of England. ... Radbourne may refer to: Radbourne, Derbyshire Radbourne, Warwickshire This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ... Derby (pronounced dar-bee ) is a city in the East Midlands of England. ...

  • Edward Darwin (1782-1829)
  • Frances Ann Violetta Darwin (1783-1874), married Samuel Tertius Galton, was the mother of Francis Galton
  • Emma Georgina Elizabeth Darwin (1784-1818)
  • Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin (1786-1859)
  • John Darwin (1787-1818)
  • Henry Darwin (1789-1790), died in infancy.
  • Harriet Darwin (1790-1825), married Admiral Thomas James Malling

Samuel Tertius Galton (1783-1844) was a businessman and scientist. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin (17 June 1786 - 6 November 1859) was a physician and traveller who was knighted by King William IV. // Francis Sacheverel was a son of Erasmus Darwin and his second wife Elizabeth Collier Sacheverel-Pole. ...

Death

Darwin died suddenly on the 18 April 1802, weeks after having moved to Breadsall Priory, just north of Derby. He is buried in All Saints Church, Breadsall. Breadsall Priory in December 2005. ... Derby (pronounced dar-bee ) is a city in the East Midlands of England. ...


Erasmus Darwin is commemorated on one of the Moonstones; a series of monuments in Birmingham. The Moonstones are a set of eight carved memorials to various members of the Lunar Society. ... Birmingham (pron. ...


Scientific writings

Botanical works

Darwin formed the Lichfield Botanical Society in order to translate the works of the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus from Latin into English. This took seven years. The result was two publications--A System of Vegetables between 1783 and 1785 and The Families of Plants in 1787. In these volumes, Darwin coined many of the English names of plants that we use today. Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 23, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ...


Darwin then wrote The Loves of the Plants, a long poem, which was a popular rendering of Linnaeus' works. Darwin also wrote Economy of Vegetation, and together the two were published as The Botanic Garden. Title page from The Botanic Garden (1791) The Botanic Garden (1791) is a set of two poems, The Economy of Vegetation and The Loves of the Plants, by the British eighteenth-century poet and naturalist Erasmus Darwin. ... Title page from The Botanic Garden (1791) The Botanic Garden (1791) is a set of two poems, The Economy of Vegetation and The Loves of the Plants, by the British eighteenth-century poet and naturalist Erasmus Darwin. ... The frontispiece to The Botanic Garden, designed by Henry Fuseli The Botanic Garden (1791) is a set of two poems by Erasmus Darwin on botany: Economy of Vegetation and the more popular and well-known The Loves of the Plants, which had originally been published in 1789. ...


Zoönomia

Darwin's most important scientific work is Zoönomia (1794–1796), which contains a system of pathology, and a treatise on "generation", in which he, in the words of his famous grandson, Charles Robert Darwin, anticipated the views of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who in turn is regarded to have foreshadowed the theory of evolution. Darwin based his theories on David Hartley's psychological theory of "associationism".[1] The essence of his views is contained in the following passage, which he follows up with the conclusion that one and the same kind of living filament is and has been the cause of all organic life: Zoonomia, vol. ... Pathology (from Greek pathos, feeling, pain, suffering; and logos, study of; see also -ology) is the study of the processes underlying disease and other forms of illness, harmful abnormality, or dysfunction. ... Generation (From the Greek γιγνμαι), also known as procreation, is the act of producing offspring. ... Charles Robert Darwin in 1854, five years prior to the publication of The Origin of Species Charles Robert Darwin (February 12, 1809 – April 19, 1882) was an English naturalist whose revolutionary theory laid the foundation for both the modern theory of evolution and the principle of common descent by... Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. ... This article is about biological evolution. ... For other persons of the same name, see David Hartley. ... In the philosophy of mind, associationism began as a theory about how ideas combine in the mind. ...

Would it be too bold to imagine that, in the great length of time since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the commencement of the history of mankind would it be too bold to imagine that all warm-blooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which the great First Cause endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions and associations, and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down these improvements by generation to its posterity, world without end!

Erasmus Darwin was familiar with the earlier evolutionary thinking of James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, and cited him in his 1803 work Temple of Nature. James Burnett, Lord Monboddo (1714 - May 26, 1799) was a Scottish judge, scholar and eccentric. ...


Another of his grandsons was Francis Galton (see family tree below). This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Poem on evolution

Darwin's final long poem, The Temple of Nature, was published posthumously in 1803. The poem was originally titled The Origin of Society. It is considered his best poetic work. It centers on Darwin's newly-conceived theory of evolution. The poem traces the progression of life from microorganisms to civilized society. Darwin largely anticipated most of what his grandson Charles Darwin would later propose, except for the idea of natural selection. This article is about biological evolution. ... Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ...


His poetry was admired by Coleridge and Wordsworth. It often made reference to his interests in science; for example botany and steam engines. His most famous work of poetry was The Botanic Garden. Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772 – July 25, 1834) (pronounced ) was an English poet, critic, and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. ... William Wordsworth (April 7, 1770 – April 23, 1850) was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads. ... // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... The frontispiece to The Botanic Garden, designed by Henry Fuseli The Botanic Garden (1791) is a set of two poems by Erasmus Darwin on botany: Economy of Vegetation and the more popular and well-known The Loves of the Plants, which had originally been published in 1789. ...


Lunar Society

The Lunar Society: These dates indicate the year in which Darwin became friends with each of these persons, who, in turn, became member so the Lunar Society. The Lunar Society existed from 1765 to 1813. The Lunar Society was a discussion club of prominent industrialists, natural philosophers and intellectuals who met regularly between 1765 and 1813 in Birmingham, England. ...


Prior to 1765:

  • Matthew Bolton, originally a buckle maker in Birmingham
  • John Whitehurst of Derby, maker of clocks and scientific instruments, pioneer of geology

After 1765: John Whitehurst (10th April 1713 - 18th February 1788) of Cheshire, England was a clockmaker and scientist, and made significant early contributions to geology. ...

Darwin also established a lifelong friendship with Benjamin Franklin, who shared Darwin's support for the American and French revolutions. The Lunar Society was instrumental as the intellectual driving force behind England's Industrial Revolution. Josiah Wedgwood Josiah Wedgwood (July 12, 1730 – January 3, 1795, born Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent) was an English potter, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. ... William Small (1734-1775) was a British physician and a member of the Lunar Society. ... The College of William and Mary (also known as William & Mary, W&M or The College) is a small, selective, coeducational public university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States. ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ... Richard Edgeworth, 1812 Richard Lovell Edgeworth (May 31, 1744-June 13, 1817) was a British writer and inventor. ... James Watt James Watt (19 January 1736 – 19 August 1819) was a Scottish inventor and engineer whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the changes wrought by the Industrial Revolution. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Thomas Day (22 June 1748 - 28 September 1789), was a British author. ... William Withering (March 17, 1741 - October 6, 1799) was a British botanist, physician and the discoverer of digitalis. ... Joseph Priestley (March 13, 1733 - February 6, 1804) was an English chemist, dissenting clergyman, and educator. ... Samuel Galton Samuel John Galton Jr. ... Benjamin Franklin (January 17 [O.S. January 6] 1706 – April 17, 1790) was one of the most well known Founding Fathers of the United States. ... The Industrial Revolution was a major shift of technological, socioeconomic, and cultural conditions that occurred in the late 18th century and early 19th century in some Western countries. ...


Other achievements

In addition to the Lunar Society, Erasmus Darwin belonged to the influential Derby Philosophical Society, as did his brother-in-law Samuel Fox (see family tree below). He experimented with the use of air and gases to alleviate infections and cancers in patients. A Pneumatic Institution was established at Clifton in 1799 for clinically testing these ideas. He conducted research into the formation of clouds, on which he published in 1788. He also inspired Robert Weldon's Somerset Coal Canal caisson lock. The crowded Princess Victoria Street lies at the heart of Clifton Village Clifton is an inner suburb of the English port city of Bristol. ... Cumulus mediocris clouds, as seen from a plane window. ... The Somerset Coal Canal (otherwise the Somersetshire Coal Canal) was a narrow canal from Paulton to Limpley Stoke where it joined the Kennet and Avon Canal so giving ready access from the coal fields of Somerset, which at their peak contained 80 collieries, to London. ... Operation of caisson lock A caisson lock is a type of canal lock in which a Narrowboat is enclosed in a sealed box and raised or lowered between two water levels. ...


Darwin's experiments in galvanism were an important source of inspiration for Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein. In biology, galvanism is the contraction of a muscle that is stimulated by an electric current. ... Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English romantic/gothic novelist and the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. ... This article is about the 1818 novel. ...


Cosmological speculation

Contemporary literature dates the cosmological theories of the Big Bang and Big Crunch to the 19th and 20th centuries. However Erasmus Darwin had speculated on these sorts of events in The Botanic Garden, A Poem in Two Parts: Part 1, The Economy of Vegetation, 1791: For other uses, see Big Bang (disambiguation). ... This article is about the cosmological theory. ...

Erasmus Darwin
Erasmus Darwin

Roll on, ye Stars! exult in youthful prime,
Mark with bright curves the printless steps of Time;
Near and more near your beamy cars approach,
And lessening orbs on lessening orbs encroach; —
Flowers of the sky! ye too to age must yield,
Frail as your silken sisters of the field!
Star after star from Heaven's high arch shall rush,
Suns sink on suns, and systems systems crush,
Headlong, extinct, to one dark center fall,
And Death and Night and Chaos mingle all!
— Till o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm,
Immortal Nature lifts her changeful form,
Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame,
And soars and shines, another and the same.
Erasmus Darwin This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Erasmus Darwin This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ...

Inventions

Darwin was the inventor of several devices, though he did not patent any. He believed this would damage his reputation as a doctor, and encouraged his friends to patent their own modifications of his designs.

A Dutch tower windmill, sporting sails, surrounded by tulips A windmill is an engine powered by the wind to produce energy, often contained in a large building as in traditional post mills, smock mills and tower mills. ... Josiah Wedgwood Josiah Wedgwood (July 12, 1730 – January 3, 1795, born Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent) was an English potter, credited with the industrialization of the manufacture of pottery. ... Catherine IIs carved, painted and gilded Coronation Coach (Hermitage Museum) George VI and Queen Elizabeth in a landau with footmen and an outrider, Canada 1939 The classic definition of a carriage is a four-wheeled horse drawn private passenger vehicle with leaf springs (elliptical springs in the 19th century... The crowded Princess Victoria Street lies at the heart of Clifton Village Clifton is an inner suburb of the English port city of Bristol. ... Canal locks in England. ... Copying is the duplication of information, or an artifact, based only on an instance of that information or artifact, and not using the process that originally generated it. ... For the geological process, see Weathering or Erosion. ... Geological strata giving rise to an Artesian well An artesian aquifer is an aquifer whose water is overpressurized. ...

Rocket engine

In notes dating to 1779, Darwin made a sketch of a simple liquid-fuel rocket engine, with hydrogen and oxygen tanks connected by plumbing and pumps to an elongated combustion chamber and expansion nozzle, a concept not to be seen again until one century later. A cold (un-ignited) rocket engine test at NASA A rocket engine is a reaction engine that can be used for spacecraft propulsion as well as terrestrial uses, such as missiles. ...


Anti-slavery campaigner

Darwin, along with other members of the Lunar Society, opposed the slave trade, and attacked it in The Botanic Garden (1789 - 1791), in both The Loves of Plants (1789) and The Economy of Vegetation (1791).


Quotations

Organic life beneath the shoreless waves
Was born and nurs'd in ocean's pearly caves;
First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
These, as successive generations bloom,
New powers acquire and larger limbs assume;
Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
And breathing realms of fin and feet and wing.
The Temple of Nature 1802

For if we may compare infinities, it would seem to require a greater infinity of power to cause the causes of effects, than to cause the effects themselves. This idea is analogous to the improving excellence observable in every part of the creation; such as in the progressive increase of the solid or habitable parts of the earth from water; and in the progressive increase of the wisdom and happiness of its inhabitants; and is consonant to the idea of our present situation being a state of probation, which by our exertion we may improve, and are consequently responsible for our actions.
Zoönomia, vol. 1 1794 Zoonomia, vol. ...

Major publications

  • Erasmus Darwin, A Botanical Society at Lichfield. A System of Vegetables, according to their classes, orders... translated from the 13th edition of Linnaeus’ Systema Vegetabiliium. 2 vols., 1783, Lichfield, J. Jackson, for Leigh and Sotheby, London.
  • Erasmus Darwin, A Botanical Society at Lichfield. The Families of Plants with their natural characters...Translated from the last edition of Linnaeus’ Genera Plantarum. 1787, Lichfield, J. Jackson, for J. Johnson, London.
  • Erasmus Darwin, The Botanic Garden, Part I, The Economy of Vegetation. 1791 London, J. Johnson.
  • Part II, The Loves of the Plants. 1789, London, J. Johnson.
  • Erasmus Darwin, Zoonomia; or, The Laws of Organic Life, 1792, Part I. London, J. Johnson,
  • Part I-III. 1796, London, J. Johnson.
  • Erasmus Darwin, A Plan for the Conduct of Female Education in Boarding Schools, 1797, Derby, for J. Johnson.
  • Erasmus Darwin, Phytologia; or, The Philosophy of Agriculture and Gardening. 1800, London, J. Johnson.
  • Erasmus Darwin, The Temple of Nature; or, The Origin of Society. 1806-07, London, J. Johnson.

Family tree

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2352x1002, 153 KB) Darwin-Wedgwood-Galton family tree. ...


References

  • Desmond King-Hele, Erasmus Darwin: A Life of Unequalled Achievement 1999, Giles de la Mare Publishers
  • Desmond G. King-Hele (ed.), Charles Darwin's 'The Life of Erasmus Darwin 2002, Cambridge University Press
  • Desmond G. King-Hele, The Letters of Erasmus Darwin 1981, Cambridge University Press
  • Jennifer Uglow, Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made the Future 2003, Faber and Faber

Appearance in Fiction and Music

Charles Sheffield, a author noted largely for hard science fiction, wrote a number of stories featuring Darwin in a style quite similar to Sherlock Holmes. These stories were collected in a single book, The Amazing Dr. Darwin. Charles Sheffield (June 25, 1935 – November 2, 2002), was an English-born mathematician, physicist and science fiction author. ... Hard science fiction is a category of science fiction characterized by an emphasis on scientific or technical detail, or on scientific accuracy, or on both. ... A portrait of Sherlock Holmes by Sidney Paget from the Strand Magazine, 1891 Sherlock Holmes is a fictional detective of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who first appeared in publication in 1887. ...


Darwin's opposition to slavery in poetry was included by Benjamin Zephaniah in a reading. This inspired the establishment of the Genomic Dub Collective, whose album includes quotations from Erasmus "Ras" Darwin, his grandson Charles Darwin and Haile Selassie. Benjamin Obadiah Iqbal Zephaniah (born 15 April 1958, Coles Hill, Birmingham, England) is a British Rastafarian writer and dub poet, and is well known in contemporary English literature. ... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... Haile Selassie Haile Selassie (Power of Trinity) (July 23, 1892 – August 27, 1975) was the last Emperor (1930–1936; 1941–1974) of Ethiopia, and is a religious symbol in the Rastafarian movement. ...


External links

Persondata
NAME Darwin, Erasmus
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION English physician, botanist; member of the Lunar Society
DATE OF BIRTH December 12, 1731(1731-12-12)
PLACE OF BIRTH Elston Hall near Nottingham, England
DATE OF DEATH April 18, 1802
PLACE OF DEATH Breadsall Priory near Derby, England

 
 

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