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Letter 2866

Darwin, C. R. to Gärtner, Emma

14 July [1860]

    Summary Add

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    Thanks for memoir of her father [G. Jäger, Zum Andenken an Dr. C. F. von Gärtner (1851)] and engravings.

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    Declines gift of CFvG's collection of hybrid plants. Suggests Kew Herbarium.


Down Bromley Kent [Hartfield]

July 14th

Dear Madam

I have received & am grateful for your extremely kind letter. After an absence from home of a fortnight I found on my return the memoir of your honoured Father (which I have not had time to read yet, as I was obliged to leave home again immediately on account of the illness of one of my children) & the two Engravings.—   I value much that of your Father & the expression of countenance is most intellectual & delightful.—

You generously offer me a collection of your Father's specimens of Hybrid plants. The offer is a most valuable one; but I do not collect plants, & I am not likely to have time to experimentise much myself, on Hybrid plants.—   If on reflexion you should still think that a collection of these plants would be well bestowed on England, I would suggest your giving them to the Herbarium at the Royal Gardens at Kew near London. The Collection is under the care of Sir William Hooker & of Dr. Hooker & is by far the best collection in Britain; indeed I believe one of the very best in the world. I asked Dr. Hooker & he said if presented, the collection would be much valued & taken care of for perpetuity.

Should you think of this, I would advise you to consult some German Botanists, & see whether my account of Kew is not correct.

Pray believe me dear Madam, with much respect & gratitude | Yours very truly obliged | Charles Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2866.f1
    See letter to Emma G¨artner, 9 June [1860]. The presentation copy of the memoir of Karl Friedrich von G¨artner (J¨ager 1851), inscribed by Emma G¨artner, is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection--CUL.
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    f2 2866.f2
    G¨artner's herbarium was not presented to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
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