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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Darwin   3 March [1879]1


Monday Mar 3rd.

My dear Father,

I was very much astonished at the circular, & I think it is very good indeed of you; I will certainly take you sermon to heart & not consider it as increased income. I will go in for 3 per cents & risk those revolutions which drive George to foreign investments.2 Investing money will be a new & pleasant sensation.

It is getting near the end of my time here which has gone by very quick & has been a very good holiday, I shall have been a lunar month from sailing to sailing.3 This is an untidy looking town with bare hills about & rather dismal snowy mountains near; the streets have an uncomfortable dirty dusty look but are amusing from the lots of arabs about   There are some women dressed all in scarlet with only one eye peeping out who look very bright— The hills have wild oleanders growing over them which looks very tropical—4 Please thank Bessy for her nice letter. I liked Ubbadubbas letter very much. I will write to Bessy & answer Ubbadubba too next letter—5 I have no intellec⁠⟨⁠t⁠⟩⁠ tonight—

Your Affectionate son | Frank Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to the Darwin children, 21 February 1879.
See letter to the Darwin children, 21 February 1879. CD advised investing in safe securities paying low interest. No information on George Howard Darwin’s foreign investments has been found.
Francis had been visiting George in Algeria, having left Down on 4 February 1879 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). He arrived back at Down on 12 March 1879, departing from Algiers on 8 March (letter from G. H. Darwin, 3 March 1879; letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [12 March 1879] (DAR 219.1: 130)). By Francis’s calculation of a lunar month between sailings, he would have sailed to Algiers on 7 February 1879.
Blidah (now Blida) is an Algerian city, situated south-west of Algiers at the foot of the Tell Atlas mountains. Wild oleander (Nerium oleander) is native to the region.
The letters from Elizabeth Darwin have not been found, nor have Francis’s replies. Ubbadubba was a pet name for Francis’s son, Bernard Darwin.


Astonished at circular and will risk revolutions to invest. Describes Blidah, Algeria.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 274.1: 59
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11913F,” accessed on 27 May 2022,