skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Haeckel   12 February [1878]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Feb. 12th

My dear Friend

I thank you sincerely for all your most kind words & good wishes on my birth-day.2 My health has been better of late, & I am able to do every day what I consider a fair amount of work, but what you would consider a mere trifle. Considering my age it will be the more prudent course for me not to attempt to write on large & difficult subjects of a general nature, but to use my remaining strength in studying small special points, & thus to aid, as far as I can, the noble cause of science. To you & others must be left the extending & fortifying the principles of Evolution.— I am now working with the aid of my son Francis, chiefly on the growth, movements & development of seedling plants; & we have observed some new & curious facts.—3

I rejoice to hear that you are well, & that you are hard at work, about which I did not in the least doubt. As you say time time is what is wanted most.—

With all good wishes to you & yours & with many thanks | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Ernst Haeckel, 9 February 1878.
Francis Darwin was assisting CD with his work on tropisms of cotyledons for Movement in plants.


Movement in plants: The power of movement in plants. By Charles Darwin. Assisted by Francis Darwin. London: John Murray. 1880.


Thanks EH for birthday greetings.

Mentions his work on movement of plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Sent from
Source of text
Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A-Abt. 1: 1–52/44 [9897])
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11354,” accessed on 14 April 2024,