Those frankly wonderful people at the Darwin Correspondence Project have announced the publication of volume 17 of their stupendously researched series of books. The latest volume contains the full texts of more than 500 letters Darwin wrote and received during the year 1869. The project has also announced that volume 15 of the correspondence is now online.
Forget all the biographies, and Darwin's own Autobiography; if you want to get to know the real Charles Darwin, you should be reading his correspondence.
I don't have many ambitions in life, but one of them is to live long enough to read the complete set of Darwin's correspondence. To be frank, it's touch-and-go whether I'll make it: they aren't exactly knocking these books out once a fortnight. It has taken 23 years to publish the first 17 volumes, and there will be approximately 30 volumes in the complete series. The final volume is due to be published around 2025.
I'll be off to my local bookshop to order my copy of volume 17 this morning.