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Letter 6861

Farrer, T. H. to Darwin, C. R.

12 Aug 1869

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    Will work on papilionaceous flowers since CD encourages it. Discusses function of hairs in certain plants.


Abinger Hall, | Dorking.

12 Aug/69

My dear Mr Darwin

I will certainly under such encouragement try to work out the papilionaceous flowers when I return from a three weeks semi offical cruise in the Trinity House Steamer. I have a few notes.

Are you sure about the hairs in the Foxglove. I watched some large humble bees—who are very fond of them—and it seemed to me that the hairs on the under lip of the corolla served as an excellent foothold. The flower bends directly the bee alights, and he has quite a struggle to get perpendicularly up in which as it seemed to me he was much helped by the hairs under his feet. This may be fancy but I thought I saw it—

I feel pretty sure about the hairs on the style of Vicia & Lathyrus.

But of all this more by & by.

I think I must when I come back run over for a day and ask you to shew me your crossing & covering up processes.

Fanny begs me to say that you are the last person she credits with savagery, & only wishes you were strong enough to come and enjoy a song

Very truly yours | T H Farrer

Charles Darwin Esqr FRS

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 6861.f1
    See letter from T. H. Farrer, 8 August 1869 and n. 4, and letter to T. H. Farrer, 10 August [1869]. Trinity House corporation in London was the official regulator of British shipping, its responsibilities including the erection and maintenance of lighthouses on the coasts of England and Wales (OED).
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    f2 6861.f2
    See letter to T. H. Farrer, 10 August [1869].
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    f3 6861.f3
    See letter from T. H. Farrer, 8 August 1869, and letter to T. H. Farrer, 10 August [1869].
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    f4 6861.f4
    Farrer refers to Frances Farrer; see letter to T. H. Farrer, 10 August [1869].
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