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Letter 1299

Darwin, C. R. to Fitch, Robert

1 Feb [1850]

    Summary Add

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    Mentions illness.

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    Describes work on fossil cirripedes. Asks to keep specimens somewhat longer.


Down Farnborough Kent

Feb 1st

Dear Sir

As this is the first of Feby I write to report progress. I have lost 5 days by my own unwellness & the illness of one of my children.— On every other day, without exception I have worked 212 hours (which the Doctors only allow me) on fossil Cirripedia. I believe I have now about 200 specimens in the house & the labour of comparing so many valves (many of which I have to clear out of matrix & repair) is great.

I have described eleven species in detail & next Wednesday I take up many specimens to be drawn.— I suppose I have at least 12 more species to describe, of which several belong to you.— I cannot work quicker, but I pledge myself to go steadily on with the fossil pedunculate species till they are finished.—

Please to observe that where there are many valves each species requires 5 or 6 pages of description.—

From the kindness of your notes, I do not believe you will object to my keeping your specimens somewhat longer—if I do not hear I shall understand I have your permission.—

Yours faithfully | C. Darwin

I forgot before to say that all your specimens shall be returned named specifically & with name of valve

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1299.f1
    CD took them to James de Carle Sowerby, who drew the figures of the fossil Lepadidae. See letter to James de Carle Sowerby, 12 February [1850].
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    f2 1299.f2
    Of Fitch's specimens, CD described five species (two of Scalpellum and three of Pollicipes), besides several varieties of Scalpellum maximum, all from the Upper Chalk of Norwich.
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