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Darwin Correspondence Project

From D. F. Nevill   [c. 14 March 1862]1

Dangstein | Petersfield

My dear Sir

I ought long ere this to have acknowledged the photo which has been for some time hung up in my own sitting room opposite my esteemed friend Sir W Hooker.2 When in London—for a few days I went down to Mr Ruckers to see his gardens which are wonderful and he told me he had sent you a plant of a Mormodes—3 I am watching our Vanilla lutescens— it is a magnificent plant full 20 feet long as yet no flowers—but I never forget your wants when I enter the house—4 I hope you will never scruple to ask me for anything I can give for it will be a real pleasure to me to do so—

believe me | most truly yours | Dorothy Nevill


The date is conjectured from the reference to CD’s having sent Nevill a photograph of himself (see n. 2, below), and from the reference to Sigismund Rucker’s having sent CD a specimen of Mormodes; in the letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 March [1862], CD described his examination of a specimen of M. ignea sent to him by Rucker (see n. 3, below).
William Jackson Hooker. In the first of two letters dated [before 22 January 1862], Nevill asked CD for a photograph or portrait of himself. In his letter to D. F. Nevill, 22 January [1862], CD stated that the photograph would be sent ‘in a few days’.
See letter to J. D. Hooker, 14 March [1862] and n. 7. Nevill was among those from whom CD had sought specimens of Mormodes (see Correspondence vol. 9, letters to D. F. Nevill, 12 November [1861] and 19 November [1861]). In mid-March 1862, he was lent a plant of M. ignea by Rucker, an East and West India broker residing in West Hill, Wandsworth, whose assistance in this regard is recorded in Orchids, p. 249. Rucker also subsequently, on 8 June 1862, provided CD with a specimen of M. luxata, CD’s description of which is in DAR 70: 99–102.
CD had wished to examine specimens of the orchid tribe Arethuseae, to which the genus Vanilla belongs, before completing Orchids, and had asked Nevill if she could provide him with specimens (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to D. F. Nevill, 12 November [1861]). He eventually acquired some Vanilla flowers from Joseph Dalton Hooker (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [29 May 1862]).


Belated thanks for CD’s photograph.

When in London at Rucker’s wonderful gardens she learned he had sent CD a Mormodes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Dorothy Fanny Nevill
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Dangstein, Petersfield
Source of text
DAR 172.1: 28
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3431,” accessed on 16 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10