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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Michael Foster   20 September 1871


Sep. 20. 1871.

My dear Sir.

I have just got back from a little trip on the continent and found your letter forwarded to me here from Cambridge. I have no doubt that when I go back to Trinity in a day or two I shall find the curari all right1   It has been a great pleasure to me to have given you any help—even towards a negative result (for negative results are wholesome though bitter) and I do hope that if ever you want anything that lies in my way you will let me know at once.2

Anything that you want doing, I should be only too happy either to do myself or to get one of my students to do. I mean to have a good hard try to get physiology thoroughly established at Cambridge.3 I am afraid you will think it rather shabby to have threatened to come over to Down and yet never to have come.4 I found my time so much more occupied than I expected and could not get a free day. Perhaps some day I may have the pleasure of seeing you—but meanwhile please do not forget that you have only to whisper a wish to Trinity and it will be heard.

Believe me | Ever yours | M. Foster


CD’s letter has not been found, but see the letter to Michael Foster, 29 [June 1871].
Foster was praelector in physiology at Trinity College, Cambridge, from 1870. He established practical courses in biology and physiology, and became the first university professor of physiology in 1883 (ODNB).


ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Offers his services for the future.

Working hard at establishing physiology at Cambridge.

Letter details

Letter no.
Michael Foster
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 164
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7957,” accessed on 16 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19