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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. L. Brunton   25 September 1874

Down. Beckenham | Kent—

Sep. 25./74

My dear Sir

I suppose that you will now soon return home after your tour.1 I am extremely obliged for your information about the digestive action of pepsin with Hydrochloric acid on urea: the information will be even more useful to me than I had supposed.—2 You say in this same note of Sep. 4th. that you had succeeded in finding a photograph of Ruben’s picture & you add “I now send it”: but I am sorry to say it has never reached me & if posted must have been lost.3

With many thanks | my Dear Sir | Yrs. Sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The information about a tour may have been in the missing portion of Brunton’s letter of 4 September 1874.
See letter from T. L. Brunton, 4 September 1874 and n. 3. Brunton’s results supported CD’s own experimental observations that urea was not nutritious to Drosera (sundew; see Insectivorous plants, p. 124).
Brunton’s letter of 4 September 1874 is incomplete and the section referred to by CD is now missing. The reference is to a painting by Jusepe de Ribera, not Peter Paul Rubens (the copyist probably misread CD’s handwriting; see Correspondence vol. 21, letter from T. L. Brunton, 2 December 1873 and n. 2, and this volume, letter to T. L. Brunton, [29] October [1874] and n. 2.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.


Comments on digestive action of pepsin and hydrochloric acid.

Photograph of Rubens’ picture has not arrived.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Lauder Brunton, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 162
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9657,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22