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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   7 May [1879]1

Western Hotel | Heene

May 7th

My dear George

A big book 8vo did arrive on Monday evening; & I think I told F. to forward it, but am not sure. I had intended opening it, but forgot in the hurry-skurrys.— I hope that it is Thompson & Tait, for it does show what they think of you.—2 It is will be grand if you have made a correction about such an old sinner as the Sun; & I trust that your arithemetick may turn out right on your old subject—3

I am particularly obliged about the M. Magazine: please send copy to Basset.—4 I have the education book of Dr. D. & it a very sensible production, written, certainly, to aid his two illegitimate daughters. After much reflection I mean to touch on this subject.5

I have had two long talks with Anthony & like him very much. I think he is very agreeable.— Your mother & I are going very soon to lunch with him.6 He sent all sorts of kind messages to you, & trusts if ever you are in this part of the world that you will pay him a visit

Goodbye my dear George| I hope that all will “fit to a T”7

Your affect Father | C. Darwin

Off early tomorrow morning to Basset.8


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. Darwin, 5 May 1879.
George had asked whether the first volume of a new edition of William Thomson and Peter Guthrie Tait’s Treatise on natural philosophy had arrived for him (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 5 May 1879 and n. 6). Francis Darwin may have forwarded it from Down.
George had located an article CD wanted on Erasmus Darwin in the Monthly Magazine (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 5 May 1879 and n. 1). CD travelled to Bassett, Southampton, the home of Sara and William Erasmus Darwin, on 8 May 1879 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Erasmus Darwin had published A plan for the conduct of female education in boarding schools after setting up a school for his two illegitimate daughters, Susanna Parker and Mary Parker, to run (E. Darwin 1797). CD described the book in Erasmus Darwin, pp. 115–17, but did not name the Parker sisters; he said that Erasmus gave his illegitimate daughters a good education, and that his practice as a physician did not suffer by his openly bringing them up (ibid., p. 88 n.).
CD and Emma Darwin had arrived in Heene, Worthing, on 6 May 1879 to visit Anthony Rich; they had lunch with him on 7 May (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). Rich proposed to leave Darwin a large bequest in his will (see Correspondence vol. 26).
A reference to George’s discovery about the sun (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 5 May 1879).
CD and Emma stayed at Bassett from 8 to 21 May 1879 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Darwin, Erasmus. 1797. A plan for the conduct of female education in boarding schools. London: J. Johnson.

Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1879.


A big book arrived for GHD before CD left Down. Hopes it is Thomson and Tait [Treatise on natural philosophy, 2 vols., 2d ed. (1869)]. It shows what they think of GHD.

Thinks it grand if GHD has made a correction about "such an old sinner as the Sun" and hopes his arithmetic on his old subject will turn out right.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Western Hotel, Heene
Source of text
DAR 210.1: 80
Physical description
ALS 5pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12036,” accessed on 23 May 2022,