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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Darwin   [before 22 April 1871?]1

University “Pitt” Club

Dear Father

I send you Jackson’s letter—2 it seems to me to be what you want. I thought that shrugging meant only a raising & sudden dropping of the shoulders, & so thought it wouldn’t be much good3

About prayer he told me that he had been talking to old King about it, & he said that this (1) is one attitude of prayer4


he also said that this (2) is the attitude of adoration


Husckke’s attitude of astonishment seems to be natural to some people, Jackson asked a man how he should express astonishmen〈t〉 with his hands & he did it exactly5

CD annotations

1.1 I send … good 1.3] crossed pencil
2.1 About prayer] after opening square bracket pencil
Top of letter: ‘Hand in Prayer’ blue crayon; ‘& Astonishment’ pencil


The date is conjectured from the relationship between this letter and the letter to Francis Darwin, 22 April [1871?].
The letter from Henry Jackson has not been found, but see the letter to Francis Darwin, 22 April [1871?].
CD was interested in shrugging as an indication of helplessness (see Queries about expression, Appendix VII).
Francis refers to the antiquarian Charles William King. CD discussed the attitude of prayer in Expression, p. 221; he said the Romans did not join their hands.
In Expression, p. 287, CD referred to Emil Huschke and Huschke 1821, p. 18, in his discussion of ways of expressing astonishment.


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Huschke, Emil. 1821.Mimices et physiognomices: fragmentum physiologicum. Jena: Groeckeria.


Expressions in attitudes of prayer and adoration.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
University Pitt Club
Source of text
DAR 162: 55
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7420,” accessed on 23 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19