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Letter 2967

Darwin, C. R. to Sharpey, William

28 Oct [1860]

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    Testimonial for Daniel Oliver's candidacy as Professor of Botany [DO was Professor of Botany, University College London, 1861–88].


15 Marine Parade | Eastbourne

Oct. 28

My dear Dr. Sharpey

I hear that Mr. Oliver is candidate for Professorship of Botany. Therefore I trouble you with a few lines to be laid, if you think fit, before the Committee.

I have lately had much correspondence with Mr. Oliver on certain physiological points, which I have been investigating; & I have been quite impressed at the range of his knowledge on facts buried in all sorts of foreign publications. I have been even more impressed at the philosophical caution he has shown in sifting the evidence on certain points laid before him, & in suggesting new experiments. In my judgment, whatever that may be worth, his mind is of a high philosophical order— Pray excuse brevity as my daughter is most dangerously ill—

My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

(of Down, Bromly, Kent)

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2967.f1
    Dated by the reference to the professorship of botany at University College London (see n. 2, below).
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    f2 2967.f2
    Daniel Oliver was a candidate for the chair of botany at University College London, which had fallen vacant through John Lindley's appointment as emeritus professor. Sharpey was professor of anatomy and physiology at University College and a member of the senate of the University of London, the governing body in charge of appointments.
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    f3 2967.f3
    Oliver's appointment to the chair was announced in the Athenæum, 10 November 1860, p. 633.
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