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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Darwin   [before 15 December 1880]1

4 Bryanston St

My dear Father,

If you dont want anything I think I will stay here till after the Linn Soc, but if you do I can come down quite well on Wednesday pm till Thursday pm if you telegraph.2

Will you please send me the abstracts of my papers registered to Bry Street3   Each abstract consists of one sheet of paper, and they are clipped with 2 or 3 (not more) other sheets, and lie on my little straw table; but please & for goodness sake as Ubbadub4 says dont hunt but write & say they cant be found & I will come on Thursday & get them. I have my potash M.S. here to go on with.5

Yrs affec | F.D

I have made short abstracts of my papers for Nature. but I’m afraid they are too short to be interesting.6


The date is established by the date on which Francis’s papers were read at the Linnean Society (see n. 2, below).
Francis presented two papers at the Linnean Society on Thursday, 16 December 1880 (F. Darwin 1880a and F. Darwin 1880b).
Four Bryanston Street, London, was the home of Henrietta Emma and Richard Buckley Litchfield.
Francis had been experimenting with potash (see letter to G. H. Darwin, 30 May [1880]). He began these experiments based on Julius Sachs’s suggestion that potash was exuded from leaves (see Correspondence vol. 26, letter from Francis Darwin, [4–7 August 1878], and Correspondence vol. 27, letter to Edward Frankland, 8 February 1879).
Francis summarised his two papers in Nature, 23 December 1880, pp. 178–81. See letter to Francis Darwin, 27 December [1880].


Darwin, Francis. 1880a. On the power possessed by leaves of placing themselves at right angles to the direction of incident light. [Read 16 December 1880.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 18 (1881): 420–55.

Darwin, Francis. 1880c. The theory of the growth of cuttings; illustrated by observations on the bramble, Rubus fruticosus. [Read 16 December 1880.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 18 (1881): 406–19.


Will stay until London until after the Linnean Society meeting unless CD wants anything. Asks to send abstracts of papers. Has made short abstracts of papers for Nature.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 274.1: 62
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12379F,” accessed on 15 September 2023,