Charles Darwin connections to Charles John Andersson and his father Llewellyn Lloyd
Published December 5, 2018
Few people know that Charles Darwin corresponded with the bear-hunter Llewellyn Lloyd, an Englishman who settled in Vänersborg in the 1820´s. In Darwin´s books, there are numerous references to Lloyd´s zoological studies in western Sweden.
In 1859 the book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was published in London. Never has a scientific publication revolutionized the scientific establishment in that degree.
The author, Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury, England, in the year of 1809. At early age, he showed a keen interest in natural science, mainly geology and zoology. In 1831 he was given the opportunity to accompany the ship The Beagle on a five-year circumnavigation. The scientific research that the young Darwin made during that trip would much later prove to be of fundamental importance for his scientific theory.
Inspired by economist Thomas Malthus´ (1766-1834) ideas about population-growth, Darwin developed in the 1840´s a theory of species destruction or alteration. Destruction or alteration would, according to these thoughts, depend on the individual´s ability to survive in different environments with respect to individuals´ different properties – the survival of the best adapted. The individual characteristics arose by chance while the environment decided which properties or individuals would survive and were able to have offsprings. After a long series of generations, new species or varieties could develop. The theory was launched in 1858 in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, and was developed in the mentioned book the following year.
Darwin´s theories on the origin of species caused a fierce debate, especially between science and the church. When Darwin published The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex in 1871, his theory of natural selection was already on its way to conquer the world of research.
As an interesting fact, Darwin corresponded with both Charles John Andersson as his countryman Llewellyn Lloyd Vanersborg. In particular, he became interested in Lloyd´s studies of the Swedish ornothology. In The Descent of Man Darwin has numerous references to Lloyds works. Charles Darwin died in Downe, England, in 1882.