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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Darwin   [before 30 June 1872]1

New University Club, | St. James’s Street. S.W.

Dear Father

I couldn’t catch Garrod2 last night. He cannot give a definite answer without thinking over it. He thinks that in the quick beating of the heart in fear, it is not doing any more work— He cannot say even that it is actually working harder in hard exercise— Its seems to be rather complicated & not to easy to say what working harder means— He thinks that running & feeling the pulse wouldn’t prove anything.—3

Yrs F D


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from A. H. Garrod to Francis Darwin, 30 June [1872].
CD had presumably asked Francis to seek information that he could use in Expression in his discussion of the physical effects of strong emotion (see Expression, pp. 74–6). Garrod had been a contemporary of Francis Darwin’s at Cambridge University and had recently published a paper on the regulation of the frequency of the pulse (Garrod 1872). See also second letter from Francis Darwin, [before 30 June 1872], and letter from A. H. Garrod to Francis Darwin, 30 June [1872] and n. 6.


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Garrod, Alfred Henry. 1872. On the law which regulates the frequency of the pulse. London: H. K. Lewis.


Quickening of heart-beat in fear. A. H. Garrod does not think that this means that the heart is working harder.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
New University Club
Source of text
DAR 162: 52
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8364,” accessed on 25 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20