skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Darwin   2 May 1876


May 2. 76

Dear Father

It was very good of you to send me the dose of vain glory, I am very glad he approves.1

Jemmy’s letter is grand—2 Amy & I can write 16 words a minute already.3 The earth has gone off all right this morning—4 Fritz has come back from the Vicar of Orpington who was taking care of him5

Yrs affec | Frank Darwin


George Henry Lewes had praised Francis’s recent publications (see letter to Francis Darwin, [1 May 1876]).
Jemmy was Horace Darwin’s nickname; Francis possibly refers to a letter from Horace written on CD’s new typewriter. On 1 May 1876, Horace had sent George Howard Darwin a typewritten letter from London (DAR 258: 860), and he might have written to CD or Francis on the same day.
Francis and his wife, Amy Darwin, had been practising typing on a dummy printing machine in advance of the arrival of CD’s typewriter (see letter from Francis Darwin, [1 May 1876] and n. 4).
CD had asked Francis to send samples of soil to Edward Frankland (see letter from Francis Darwin, [1 May 1876] and n. 2).
Fritz was a dog belonging to Richard Matthews Ruck, Francis’s brother-in-law. Fritz ran away around 23 April 1876 (letter from Emma Darwin to Leonard Darwin, 24 April [1876] (DAR 239.23: 1.42)). Presumably he was found by William Gardner, vicar of Orpington, whose late wife, Emily Gardner, was a very distant relative of Amy Darwin. It is unclear why Fritz had been brought to Down; he was collected by Richard Ruck in October (see letter from Emma Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, [24–5 October 1876] (DAR 219.9: 142)).


Has read letter from Jemmy. Amy has been practicing on the printing machine. Fritz has come back from the Vicar of Orpington.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 274.1: 23

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10492F,” accessed on 17 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24