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Letter 3671

Darwin, G. H. to Darwin, C. R.

[after 5 Aug 1862]

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    Describes insects caught while visiting Lythrum.


-- -- too much of a job & so F. & I got the tickets for Thursday night gratis. It was most awful fun & they were very good places. On Saturday we came down here with Aunt Sue. On Monday Birch & a lot of men (Ronnald) from his yatch came & had dinner here. Ernest couldn't stop but had to go off to London early in the morning. They went back to their yatch at about 12 & sailed very early in the morning to the channel islands. On Tuesday I went to watch the Lythrums—& had a very wet scrummage.

I caught 3 hive bees sucking & saw any number of others & also caught 5 flies sucking & saw lots of others; saw a butterfly (Pieris Rapæ) suck several flowers but could not catch it.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 3671.f1
    The date is established by the reference to George observing Lythrum salicaria (see n. 7, below) and by the reference to Susan Elizabeth Darwin (see n. 3, below).
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    f2 3671.f2
    Francis Darwin.
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    f3 3671.f3
    Susan Elizabeth Darwin evidently joined George and Francis in London, and accompanied them on their visit to William Erasmus Darwin in Southampton. See also letter to W. E. Darwin, [2--3 August 1862], and letter from W. E. Darwin, 5 August 1862.
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    f4 3671.f4
    This individual has not been identified.
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    f5 3671.f5
    The reference is probably to Ronald Mackintosh, cousin of Ernest Hensleigh Wedgwood (see n. 6, below).
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    f6 3671.f6
    George's cousin, Ernest Hensleigh Wedgwood, was a clerk in the Colonial Office, London (Post Office London directory 1861).
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    f7 3671.f7
    In the letter to W. E. Darwin, [2--3 August 1862], CD asked George to observe the insects visiting Lythrum salicaria. CD discussed the necessity of insect pollination in this species, and described the insects involved, in `Three forms of Lythrum salicaria', pp. 175--6 (Collected papers 2: 111--12). See also letter from W. E. Darwin, 5 August 1862 and n. 9.
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