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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Francis Darwin   27 December [1880]1


My dear F.

I think that you have told everything important in your abstract in an excellent manner.2 Every part is as clear as daylight.—

Pray give my kindest remembrances to Marshall, Marshall & Co.— No, this is too impudent, give my kindest remembrances to them as simple Christians3

Ever yours affect | C. D

Dec. 27th


The year is established by the reference to the Marshalls (see n. 3, below).
Francis had recently presented two papers at the Linnean Society (F. Darwin 1880a and F. Darwin 1880b; he summarised these in Nature, 23 December 1880, pp. 178–81 (see letter from Francis Darwin, [before 15 December 1880]).
Francis and his son, Bernard Darwin, had gone to Coniston (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). CD had stayed at the Waterhead Hotel, Coniston, on Victor Marshall’s Monk Coniston estate, in 1879. Marshall’s wife was Victoria Alberta Alexandrina Marshall; his cousin William Cecil Marshall was a friend of CD’s son Horace Darwin at Cambridge and had designed extensions to Down House (Freeman 1978).


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.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


FD’s abstract ["Physiology of plants", Nature 23 (1880): 178–81] is excellent, and as clear as daylight.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 211: 68
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12945,” accessed on 17 May 2022,