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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   [4 June 1876]1

[Hopedene, Surrey.]

My dear George.—

I am determined not to believe in your grand astronomical work, until Adams accepts it & you have reached your final results, for I shall be so dreadfully disappointed, if it all breaks down.2 As for yourself all I can say is do not commit suicide.

Poor Jemmy has just come here & I have heard the sad news that the planetary movement will not act.—3

W. is beginning to recover from the unfortunate 2 days in London.—4

Yours affect | C.D



The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. Darwin, 1 June 1876. In 1876, the first Sunday after 1 June was 4 June.
See letter from G. H. Darwin, 1 June 1876. John Couch Adams communicated George’s paper on the influence of geological changes on the earth’s axis of rotation to the Royal Society of London, and George thanked him in the paper for his help (G. H. Darwin 1877).
Horace Darwin (nicknamed Jim or Jemmy) had met George in London to see a machine that Horace had designed to demonstrate planetary motion (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 1 June 1876 and n. 8).
William Erasmus Darwin went to London on 30 May to consult James Paget about the after-effects of his horse-riding accident and returned on 31 May (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), letter from James Paget, 30 May 1876).


Darwin, George Howard. 1877. On a suggested explanation of the obliquity of planets to their orbits. Philosophical Magazine 5th ser. 3: 188–92.


Is determined not to believe in GHD’s astronomical work until J. C. Adams accepts it, for he would be so disappointed if it breaks down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.1: 55
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10530,” accessed on 17 June 2021,

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