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Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. H. Darwin   [22 January 1882]1

Trin. Coll.

Sunday night

My dear Father,

I have done nothing about the books from Queen Ann St. as I can’t get Clark & Liveing to settle where these are to go to.2 I daresay they will do so sometime & then the residue can be sold for what they will fetch.

I am beginning to see the end of my work & have only 4 or 5 lbs weight left. I have had 40 lbs of M.S. altogether,—a greater weight than any “additional exr.” ever had before. Glaisher, like the good fellow that he is, has relieved of nearly the whole of one paper, otherwise I shd. have been in despair & I am leaving him as custodian of my interests in the matter of the Prof.ship but I think it probable that nothing may happen.3

I have just heard this morning that another paper of mine (read last June) is ordered to be printed in the Phil. Trans. Stokes wants to know if I can correct their proofs in Jamaica—& I suppose I can if I have the M.S. by me.4 My proofs always come at wrong times— one set I corrected in Paris—another on Dartmoor & Plymouth. It is rather difficult in case one shd. want to refer to a book.

Frank Balfour has been at Capri nursing a man sick of typhoid & nothing has been heard of him for some time.5 Foster is not at all easy about him— he shd. be in Sicily but no answers come to letters addressed there. Miss Balfour wrote to me to inquire & I cd. only answer what I heard from Foster. I suggested her telegraphing to Gerald who is I believe at Florence6   I think it is more probable that he has been delayed & not got to Messina rather than anything wrong.

I shall go to London on Friday morning & in all probability come to Down on Sat. if I can get my business done—then Sthton7 on Wedn. & sail Thursday noon—if my cold will let me.

Mary’s enthusiasm for the baby is quite comic, but Ida will have told you.8

Yours affectionately | G H Darwin


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from G. H. Darwin, 23 January 1882. In 1882, the Sunday preceding 23 January was 22 January.
George was an executor of Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s estate, and was clearing his house at Queen Anne Street in London. The books were for John Willis Clark and George Downing Liveing.
George was an examiner for the mathematical tripos in the University of Cambridge (see letter to Anthony Rich, 4 February 1882). James Whitbread Lee Glaisher was a fellow and lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge (ODNB). George intended to apply for the position of Plumian Professor of astronomy and experimental philosophy at Cambridge University, in the event of James Challis’s death (see Correspondence vol. 29, letter from G. H. Darwin, 17 November 1881).
George’s paper ‘On the stresses caused in the interior of the earth by the weight of continents and mountains’ (G. H. Darwin 1881b) had been read at the Royal Society of London on 16 June 1881. George Gabriel Stokes was secretary of the Royal Society. George left for Jamaica on 2 February 1882 (see letter from W. E. Darwin, 2 February [1882] and n. 3).
Francis Maitland Balfour was nursing a Cambridge student, William Hay Caldwell, in Naples (see M. Foster and Sedgwick eds. 1885, 1: 19).
Ida and Horace Darwin’s first child, Erasmus, was born on 7 December 1881. Mary was probably Mary Dibley, a housemaid to Horace and Ida in 1881, and possibly a nursemaid to Erasmus (letter from Elizabeth Darwin to H. E. Litchfield, 27 August 1882 (DAR 219.8: 39)).


Darwin, George Howard. 1881b. On the stresses caused in the interior of the earth by the weight of continents and mountains. [Read 16 June 1881.] Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 173 (1882): 187–230.

Foster, Michael and Sedgwick, Adam, eds. 1885. The works of Francis Maitland Balfour. 4 vols. London: Macmillan and co.


Writes of his work and a paper accepted for publication in the Philosophical Transactions [? "Stresses caused in the interior of the earth", Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 173 (1883): 187–230].

Gives news of friends.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Howard Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Trinity College, Cambridge
Source of text
DAR 210.2: 102
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13636,” accessed on 1 June 2023,