As daddies go, Darwin was quite evolved himself, displaying a 21st-century level of devotion to and involvement with his young. He even went so far as to let one of his kids draw on the original manuscript for On the Origin of Species. Saving paper was as good for the environment in the mid-1800s as it is today, but his willingness to let his precious pages do double duty may explain why the seminal document survives as mere piecemeal today.
Maybe Charles and Emma read some article that suggested their household would run more smoothly if it were better organized, and lacking such modern solutions as colorful Ikea storage bins and scanners, simply pitched all but the absolute best of their children’s artwork. (Or maybe their youngest was a scruncher, destroying pages by the fistful.)
It seems a good bet young Francis Darwin’s watercolor of birds, bugs and a butterfly converging on a trio of botanically viable flowers (above) would’ve done his naturalist papa proud.
I can also state with near-scientific certainty that if the Darwins had had a refrigerator, The Battle of the Fruit and Vegetable Soldiers (top) would have been on it. Today, Francis’ masterpiece—and its flipside—reside in the Cambridge University Library.
via The Telegraph