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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Francis Darwin   [2 June 1876]1

[Hopedene, Surrey.]

My dear F.

Look amongst my circulars or such rubbish which may have arrived today for an allotment of new stock in N.E.Ry Coy.— as perhaps they can be sold at profit.—2

From your note I look at your grand discovery as almost certain. Could you not cut off top of gland and clean in Nitric A. or Potash and then look for apertures?3 Can there be aperture at very early period which then closes. There will be lots to observe and make out.— It is grand

C. D.

Poor dear W. had a bad day yesterday from effects of London. His head is in very delicate condition.—4


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Francis Darwin, [1 June 1876].
Francis joined the Darwins at Hopedene in Surrey on 3 June 1876 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). CD evidently wanted any post regarding the North Eastern Railway Company brought to him.
See letter from Francis Darwin, [1 June 1876]. Francis had discovered protoplasmic filaments protruding from the glandular hairs of the cups of the common or fuller’s teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris, now D. fullonum; see letter from Francis Darwin, [28 May 1876], and F. Darwin 1877b).
William Erasmus Darwin had been injured on 10 May 1876, when his horse fell (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242); letter to W. D. Fox, 26 May [1876]). He went to London to see the surgeon James Paget on 30 May and returned on 31 May (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242); letter from James Paget, 30 May 1876). The ‘bad day yesterday’ would presumably have been 1 June.


Looks to FD’s "grand discovery" as almost certain. Suggests observations.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 271.3: 16
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10526,” accessed on 17 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24