DARWIN Charles (1809-1882)

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DARWIN Charles (1809-1882)

Autograph MANUSCRIPT, [circa 1875 ?]; 2 pages in-4 format (scattered foxing); in English.
Darwin’s notes on “insectivorous plants” and regeneration.
The fi rst side contains Darwin’s notes for his work, Insectivorous Plants (1875), and the reverse, a discussion of an operation apparently concerned with regeneration.
Darwin explains his interest in the fi rst chapter of Insectivorous Plants: “During the summer of 1860, I was surprised by fi nding how large a number of insects were caught by the leaves of the common sun-dew (Drosera rotundifolia) on a heath in Sussex. I had heard that insects were thus caught, but knew nothing further on the subject”. At fi rst Darwin spent time on the Drosera when he “had nothing to do” but as he became more and more intrigued with the habits of insectivorous plants he began “working like a madman” and told Lyell that he cared “more about Drosera than the origin of all the species in the world.” Forced to turn his attention to other matters, however, Darwin was not able to take the subject up again until 1872, when he began preparing his “pile of experiments” for publication in 1875.
On the verso, one reads Darwin’s notes for an operation apparently involving regeneration: « Mrs. Darwin explained that Lyne made a cutting at the fi rst operation on Dec. 5 which makes clear an expression in the diary for Jan. 9th. She then says that Lyne fully agreed with her father that the stump had grown between the operation on Dec. 5th, 1850 and that on May 9th, 1851. The stump which was removed on May 9th included a bone, but bore no nail. She adds “We thought that Prof. Lyne felt a little annoyed about the business, as he had tried to cut as close as he could the fi rst time (i.e. on Dec. 5) when he made fi rst one cutting and then another”. After the second operation on May 9th, 1851, she goes on to say: “We could see and feel how much it grew afterwards. It is now (for no attempt has bee
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