3 July 2007
DARWIN, Charles (1809-1882). Autograph letter signed to an unnamed recipient, Down House, 17 [?January, n.y.], 2 pages, 8vo.
Darwin has been 'worn out'; he wishes he could help his correspondent, but 'I hardly know Lady D. Nevill well enough to borrow plants for a third party'. He asks his correspondent if he is aware that 'Dr Hooker has worked hard at Nepenthes ... I told him to try the secretion of pitchers which had caught no insects, & it cd not digest. Therefore to get the ferment, it is necessary to give some nitrogenous compound ... '.
Lady Dorothy Fanny Nevill (1826-1913), the daughter of Horatio Walpole, 3rd Earl of Orford, developed a notable garden at Dangstein near Petersfield, where she cultivated orchids and pitcher-plants. Darwin had shared his observations on pitcher-plants with Hooker in 1874 (see the Darwin Correspondence Project, no. 9523) and refers to Hooker's discoveries in his work, Insectivorous Plants, published the following year.
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