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Darwin Correspondence Project

From G. H. Darwin   23 January 1882

Trin. Coll. Camb.

Jan 23. 82

My dear Father,

I enclose a letter from Ball wh. it might amuse you to see.1 Fancy his placing reliance on Haughton’s wild speculations. I’m sorry he has not referred to my protest & I have told him so.2

I looked over my last paper today & have been enjoying a little idleness this afternoon. We have the drudgery of adding marks before us yet, but that is nothing.3

Yours aff. | G H Darwin

I have taken my ticket for Jamaica4

I am sorry to hear that Challis is worse. I hope he may live until I get away. I will go whatever happens.5

My cold shows some signs of moderating at last.


The letter from Robert Stawell Ball has not been found.
George had been highly critical of Samuel Haughton’s views on geological time (see G. H. Darwin 1878a and Correspondence vol. 26, letter from G. H. Darwin, 28 January 1878 and nn. 1 and 2). CD had refereed a paper by Haughton for the Royal Society of London’s Proceedings and described Haughton’s estimation of geological time as ‘extremely wild’ (Correspondence vol. 26, letter to G. G. Stokes, 28 April 1878).
George was an additional examiner for the mathematical tripos in the University of Cambridge (see letter from G. H. Darwin, [22 January 1882]).
George left for Jamaica on 2 February 1882 (see letter from W. E. Darwin, 2 February [1882] and n. 3).
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).


Darwin, George Howard. 1878a. On Professor Haughton’s estimate of geological time. [Read 14 March 1878.] Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 27: 179–83.


Encloses letter from R. S. Ball [missing], who has placed reliance on Samuel Haughton’s wild speculations.

Has heard that J. Challis’s health is worse.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Howard Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Trinity College, Cambridge
Source of text
DAR 210.2: 104
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13640,” accessed on 7 June 2023,