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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   19 November [1881]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

Nov. 19th

My dear George

I am tremendously interested by your news, & am very glad that you are going to Sir W. T. & you can then talk over affair.2 Could you get him to write to those electors, such as Swainson & Dr Thompson of Trinity who can hardly judge of your claims,3—I mean of course if Sir W. knows them at all well.—

If I were in your place, I wd. certainly return soon to Cambridge, for I believe that it is in human nature, if an elector was doubting between 2 men, the absent one wd. be apt to go to the wall.—

I will sign & despatch the deed according to your instructions.—4

The Luggage came all safe yesterday—2 vans, each with 4 horses!5 The house is crammed with goods.—

Your affect Father | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. Darwin, 17 November 1881.
George was going to Glasgow to see William Thomson. George was considering whether to apply for the Plumian professorship of astronomy and experimental philosophy at Cambridge University. The position was currently held by James Challis, who was very ill (see letter from G. H. Darwin, 17 November 1881).
Neither William Hepworth Thompson or Charles Anthony Swainson had backgrounds in mathematics or astronomy.
See letter from G. H. Darwin, 17 November 1881 and n. 1. George was one of the executors of Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s will.
The goods were from Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s house at 6 Queen Street, London.


Tremendously interested by GHD’s news [about the Plumian Professorship at Cambridge]. Suggests he get William Thomson to write to the electors.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.1.: 111
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13489,” accessed on 22 April 2024,