Indiana University Bloomington

Case no. 4: Fancy Fowl and Busy Worms.

Much of Darwin's appeal to his contemporaries depended on his observations of what happened close to home, in their own gardens, chicken houses, fairs, and so on. After his move to Down House in 1842, Darwin lived the life of a country squire. The popular story of Darwin the recluse does not take into account how involved he was in his community, serving, for example, as the treasurer of the Down Friendly Society for thirty years. His communications with fellow scientists around the world were one matter; the two works featured here reflect another one of his involvements, the contacts he maintained with his neighbors and scientific amateurs (clergymen, horse owners, cattle breeders, and pigeon fanciers) both at home and abroad.