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In his Memoir for the Royal Society (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 29 (1983)), D. Lewis writes of Darlington that 'in his view work that is not published is work not done'. The truth of this is amply demonstrated by the amount of material in the section, which considerably exceeds the tally in the bibliographies which Darlington himself issued periodically, the last version being that printed in the Memoir (pp. 149-157). In particular, the number of book reviews is remarkable, not so much in the early years but increasingly from 1947 when Darlington was reviews editor for Heredity as well as accepting many commissions from other journals; several editors thank him for his diligence in meeting deadlines, though authors of the books he reviewed were not always so pleased by his assessments of their work.

Darlington's published bibliographies sectionalise his writings by subject (chromosomes; genetics and biology; history and biography; education and politics; man) and by format (books). This system presented problems even to its originator; some papers appear under more than one heading; others, of similar content, are dispersed between several headings for no apparent reason; others again reflect Darlington's own spirit of mischief, e.g. Problems of the English apple assigned to the rubric 'education and politics'. A chronological sequence has been aimed at here. Entries may include, as well as drafts, related editorial correspondence, reviews, translation rights, letters from colleagues and members of the general reading public: the latter especially in the case of Darlington's major books on evolution, human and social genetics.

The gestation of The Evolution of Man and Society (1969) and The Little Universe of Man (1978) can be followed through Darlington's successive drafts, his incorporation (or rejection) of suggestions by others, and the considerable amount of 'background material' which is interesting both for the type of source and evidence drawn upon and for Darlington's marginalia, underscoring and appended notes or comments.

Darlington's published work shows him as a stylist of distinctive lucidity and fluency, and, in his more polemic writing, of great persuasiveness. The careful drafts and re-workings show that these qualities were achieved by time and patience. Perhaps because of the care he lavished on his drafts, Darlington resented intensely any further editorial emendations made without his consent, and was given to describing manuscripts subjected to such treatment as 'censored' or 'emasculated'. There are several examples of this in this section. Similar insight into Darlington's masterly editorial gifts is provided by his work for Heredity; see especially MS. Darlington c. 92/G.41.

The series of 'Publications and drafts' covers the whole span of Darlington's career 1923-1981; even so, there remains substantial material for work planned, unpublished or not fully written up but kept in folders with descriptive titles similar to the research folders in Section D. See the note on the unpublished book A diagram of evolution in the General Introduction.

This section includes papers and writings additional to those listed in the bibliography, as well as unpublished material which was either not submitted or not accepted.


  • Creation: 1923-1981

Language of Materials

  • English
  • Russian

Related Materials

For Darlington's contribution to Science in War (Penguin Books, 1940), see under 'Tots & Quots', MS. Darlington c. 95/G.106-110.

For publications on Soviet science from 1947 see MS. Darlington c. 25/D.76 and following.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom