Search

Plea for return of Darwin’s notebook on anniversary

PUBLISHED: 16:19 25 November 2009 | UPDATED: 10:19 12 August 2010

HISTORIANS used the 150th anniversary of Darwin s On the Origin of Species to appeal for information about his missing notebook which may have been stolen. Tuesday marked a century-and-a-half to the day since the groundbreaking works of the celebrated ev

HISTORIANS used the 150th anniversary of Darwin's On the Origin of Species to appeal for information about his missing notebook which may have been stolen.

Tuesday marked a century-and-a-half to the day since the groundbreaking works of the celebrated evolutionist were first published.

Experts from English Heritage, which curates Down House in Downe where Darwin lived, used the occasion to appeal for information about an invaluable book stolen in the 1980s.

They want the public to help search for the missing 'Galapagos' notebook which contains the scientist's on-the-spot observations and which would prove and integral part of his later work.

It is believed to have gone missing around the early 1980s from Down House before it came under the care of English Heritage.

Darwin's own great-great grandson also made a heartfelt plea to return the pricesless book.

Author and conservationist Randal Keynes said: "Our family always felt that the best Darwin material should be at Down House so that the public could see it in his home. The Galapagos notebook is of outstanding value for the history of science. "If Darwin had not posed the questions in that notebook, he might never have written On the Origin of Species. The notebook was almost certainly stolen around the 1980s. But I am hopeful that it is only a matter of time before it resurfaces and when it does, it must be returned to English Heritage and Down House."

Meanwhile other celebrations were underway to mark the special occasion. A stamp with the image of the Tree of Life, drawn by the evolutionist, along with personal messages were sealed into a time capsule at the end of the day by the staff who have witnessed a double anniversary at Down House in 2009, the first being the bi-centenary of Darwin's birth in February.

The capsule was placed into the Down House archive so that staff can find it in 50 years.

Visitors were also given tours around the property and its greenhouses where Darwin carried out his research.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bromley Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Bromley Times