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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. T. Thiselton-Dyer   21 November [1878]1

4. Bryanston St | Portman St.

Nov. 21st.

My dear Dyer

I must thank you for all the wonderful trouble which you have taken about the seeds of Impatiens & on scores of other occasions.—2 It in truth makes me feel ashamed of myself, & I cannot help thinking “oh Lord when he sees our book he will cry out is this all for which I have helped so much”.—3 In seriousness I hope that we have made out some points, but I fear that we have done very little for the labour which we have expended on our work.—

We are here for a week for a little rest, which I needed.—4

If I remember right Nov. 30th is the anniversary at the Royal, & I fear Sir Joseph must be almost at the last gasp.— I shall be glad when he is no longer President.5

Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the period of CD’s stay at 4 Bryanston Street, London (see n. 4, below).
CD had requested seed of Impatiens noli-me-tangere (a synonym of Impatiens noli-tangere, western touch-me-not) in his letter to Thiselton-Dyer of 30 October [1878]. See also letter to Francis Darwin, [21 November 1878].
Thistelton-Dyer’s assistance is acknowledged in Movement in plants, p. 9.
CD stayed at the home of Richard Buckley and Henrietta Emma Litchfield at 4 Bryanston Street, London, from 19 to 27 November 1878 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
The anniversary meeting of the Royal Society of London was held on 30 November 1878; Hooker delivered the presidential address (see Nature, 5 December 1878, p. 109). He served as president from 1873 to 1878 (ODNB).


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

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


CD hopes his book [Movement in plants] will be worth the effort WTT-D has put into getting plants for him; fears he has achieved little.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer
Sent from
London, Bryanston St, 4
Source of text
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Thiselton-Dyer, W. T., Letters from Charles Darwin 1873–81: 207–8)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11753,” accessed on 14 April 2021,