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Letter 7188

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

13 [May 1870]


Encloses part of letter from Fritz Müller on Passiflora, with seeds.

Is endeavouring to have included in next census a question as to whether the parents in each household are cousins.


Down, Beckenham | Kent


My dear Mr Farrer

Enclosed a partial answer with hopes of further answer.—f2 You hadbetter sow seeds as soon as possible; but I fear they look squashed.—It is curious the turning up of flower; but I am afraid opposed to you.—f3

I am endeavouring to persuade Mr. Bruce to have inserted in Census querywhether in each household the parents are cousins: I am deeplyconvinced that this is an important subject: if you can influence anymember of government, pray do so.f4 Some few M.P.s will take up thequestion.—

I have given my reasons in a Chapt in 2d. Vol. of my Domesticanimals.—f5

Pray believe me | yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

We were both truly grieved to hear of Mrs. Farrer’sf6 most seriousillness, though I hope she is now quite well again.

Linnean Society of London



The month and year are established by the relationship between thisletter and the letter to H. H. Vivian, 11 May [1870].
CD enclosed part of the letter from Fritz Müller, 16 February1870. It is the only section of that letter that has been found.
Müller had enclosed seeds of wild plants of Passiflora and adried flower of a species from his garden for Farrer with his letterof 16 February 1870. Earlier, Farrer had concluded that humming-birdswould not be able to act as pollinators for Passiflora. He argued,‘The inner coronas and the processes belonging to them admit theflexible proboscis of the bee or other insect to the nectary below,but would not admit the stiff beak of the humming bird.’ Farrerfurther argued that the pendant flowers, elastic processes and longtube in Tacsonia (a genus now subsumed within Passiflora) werebetter adapted for access by hummingbirds (see Correspondencevol. 17, Appendix IV, pp. 593–4).
CD refers to Henry Austin Bruce. See letter from H. H. Vivian, 10 May 1870 and n. 1, and letter to H. H. Vivian, 11 May [1870].
See Variation 2: 123–4.
Frances Farrer.
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