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Letter 3402

Nevill, D. F. to Darwin, C. R.

[before 22 Jan 1862]

    Summary Add

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    Will enclose list of orchids in bloom for CD's use.

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    Asks for photograph; her pleasure in knowing CD.

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    Most interested in the account of pigeons in CD's book [Origin].


Dangstein | Petersfield

My dear Sir

I have been a long time meditating whether I dared write and make the request I am about to do—but even if you cannot grant I hope you will take it as a compliment rather than in <any> other light— I am so gratified at having made your acquaintance altho <    > on paper <    > <w>ould so like if it were <po>ssible that you would give me a photo or lithograph or any other portrait of yourself to hang up in my own sitting room   Sir William Hooker and many more have done so and it is such a pleasure to have near me the resemblance of friends to whom I am indebted for so many pleasant hours—in reading their works and listening to their conversation— Do comply with my request if you possibly can— If I could I would buy one but to me that would be of no value unless it came from you and with your autograph— I shall enclose with this a list of orchids now in bloom that you may see whether you want any   We have 2 splendid Stangeria Paradoxa now in blossom one the fruitful one the barren flower   What a curious bulbous plant it is— Do you believe it is a Cycadaceous Palm of the same species as Dion Edule— I hope I have not exposed my ignorance in making these remarks—but I am so fond of all kinds of Botany and natural history that I fear I undertake too many things to do anything well— I only wish for an unframed photo or lithograph   however bad I shall be most grateful for it

Yrs most truly | Dorothy Nevill

I am so interested in the account of your pigeons in your book

Do you live ne<ar> to Sydneys <    >

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 3402.f1
    Dated by the relationship to the letter to D. F. Nevill, 22 January [1862].
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    f2 3402.f2
    Nevill grew orchids, pitcher plants, and other exotic species in her garden at Dangstein in Essex, and CD had asked her to assist him in procuring exotic varieties of orchids (see Correspondence vol. 9, letters to D. F. Nevill, 12 November [1861] and 19 November [1861]). He acknowledged her assistance in Orchids, p. 158.
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    f3 3402.f3
    William Jackson Hooker
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    f4 3402.f4
    See letter from D. F. Nevill, [before 22 January 1862] and letter to D. F. Nevill, 22 January [1862].
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    f5 3402.f5
    The enclosure has not been found.
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    f6 3402.f6
    Cycadaceous plants were known to be dioecious (i.e., to bear male or female reproductive structures on different plants). See Lindley 1853, p. 223. According to Loudon 1850, p. 537, Dion edule had been cultivated in Britain since 1843; Stangeria paradoxa, which is not mentioned in Loudon 1850, was apparently a more recent introduction.
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    f7 3402.f7
    An extensive account of pigeon varieties and their descent from the rock pigeon appeared in Origin, pp. 20--9.
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    f8 3402.f8
    The reference may be to John Robert Townshend, third Viscount Sydney, whose principal residence, Frognal, was about five miles from Down at Foots Cray, Kent (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1862).
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