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Letter 13877

Darwin, C. R. to Kingsley, Charles

[17 June 1865]

    Summary Add

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    Did not think anyone would notice case of Lathyrus.

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    Recalls reading correspondent's paper on great fir woods of Hampshire.

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    Thanks for photograph.

Transcription

Down Bromley Kent

Sat.

My dear Sir

I must thank you cordially for your note which has pleased me much. I did not think that any one wd have noticed the case of the Lathyrus, which interested me because I remember looking at it many years ago in a Lord Dundreary state of mind. It appears to me that we have looked at many things from the same point of view; at least I remember well when reading your capital paper on the great fir woods of Hampshire being surprised at your remarks on the presence of this or that weed shewing how exactly the same train of thoughts had often passed thro' both our minds.

I ought to have thanked you for sending me your photograph which I am extremely glad to possess.

Pray believe me my dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 13877.f1
    The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Charles Kingsley, 14 June 1865; 17 June was the first Saturday after 14 June 1865.
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    f2 13877.f2
    See letter from Charles Kingsley, 14 June 1865.
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    f3 13877.f3
    See letter from Charles Kingsley, 14 June 1865 and n. 2.
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    f4 13877.f4
    Lord Dundreary was a celebrated comic part in Tom Taylor's play Our American cousin (Taylor 1869) The character was described as an English aristocrat with a `well-bred air married to a vacant stare' (see Tolles 1940). See also Correspondence vol. 10, letter to W. E. Darwin, 26 April [1862]. Joseph Dalton Hooker wrote of Dundreary as `a far more scientific character than I anticipated' (Correspondence vol. 11, letter from J. D. Hooker, [28 March 1863]).
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    f5 13877.f5
    The reference is to `My winter garden' (Kingsley 1858), in which Kingsley praised the inexhaustible number of subjects of interest to a natural historian within a relatively small area. He considered, for example, `What makes Erica ciliaris grow in one soil, and the bracken in another?' or, `Why did that one patch of Carex arenaria settle in the only square yard for miles and miles which bore sufficient resemblance to its native sandhill by the sea-shore, to make it comfortable?' (ibid., p. 411).
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    f6 13877.f6
    See letter from Charles Kingsley, 10 June 1865. The photograph of Kingsley has not been found in the Darwin Archive--CUL.
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