Plum pudding for Charles Darwin

Posted: February 12, 2013 by Paul D Brinkman in History of Science, Research Blog
Tags: , , ,
A portrait of Charles Darwin made shortly after he returned from the voyage of the Beagle.

A portrait of Charles Darwin made shortly after he returned from the voyage of the Beagle.

On 12 February 1834, Charles Darwin’s sister Susan penned an affectionate birthday letter to her beloved brother, who was then enduring the voyage of HMS Beagle. She wrote (in part*):

My dear Charles

This is your Birthday; so I must begin my letter to wish you joy, and many happy returns of it (but not abroad) mind that.

Papa who never forgets anniversarys remembered this day of course at Breakfast and sends you his best love & blessing on reaching 25 years. Poor old Nurse Nancy entertained me all the time I was dressing this mor[nin]g with many lamentations over your absence on this day when you ought to be eating Plum pudding with us, & all the Servants say she has not failed to put them in mind of you; so as I have often told you before, you are not forgotten by the least of us.—

….Good bye my dearest old Charley from y[ou]r very affectionate Susan Darwin[.]

Happy birthday, Charles Darwin!

*For the rest of the text to this and other Darwin letters, see the Darwin Correspondence Database.

A watercolor sketch of the Beagle at anchor by Conrad Martens.

A watercolor sketch of the Beagle at anchor by Conrad Martens.

About these ads
Comments
  1. CD says:

    Ah, that story fits nicely with the Fat Tuesday theme.

    P.S. required fields are not starred on the smart phone version of your blog. Please ask techies to fix this so that one may comment with less frustration.

  2. dinonut says:

    Looking forward to seeing Darwin and the lambchops this Sat. Will there be plum pudding?

  3. Paul D Brinkman says:

    Dear Dinonut:

    Darwin Day should be a festive time for all, plum pudding or no. I expect the choppers will be a big hit, although I’ve had no word as of yet about the rest of the outfit. If you do come to the museum this Saturday please make sure to introduce yourself.

  4. rachelibers says:

    Charles Darwin is my man – thanks for sharing this! I can’t believe I missed his birthday!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s