Item 7 - Letter from A. S. Eddington to Sarah Ann Eddington

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EDDN/A/2/7

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Letter from A. S. Eddington to Sarah Ann Eddington

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  • 7 Oct. 1912 (Creation)

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1 folded sheet

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Passa Quatro
1912 Oct 7

My very dear Mother

We are getting near to the eclipse time now and our preparations are practically complete today. Nothing much remains but rehearsals & practices before the eclipse takes place. We have got two volunteers {1}, who are just the kind we wanted, young fellows whom we met and got to know on board the Arlanza. One of them Aguirre has been three years in England learning engineering and he is a great help; the other Andrews is of an English family but was born in Brazil and speaks rather broken English. The Brazilian government pays all their (and our) expenses here. They arrived here last Thursday {2}.

We are a very large party here now as there are four expeditions with their volunteer assistants and so on. We all have déjeuner together at the station and dinner at the hotel. Some of the later arrivals sleep out in other houses.

We are having a very pleasant time here though there is plenty of work to do. We (ie the Greenwich party) make tea at the camp every afternoon on a wood fire; and we have a great deal of fun. Yesterday (Sunday) we took a half-holiday (for the first time) and had a beautiful walk. We did not get very far as there was so much to stop and see. Aguirre was a good guide and able to tell us what the plants were. The bamboos growing in clumps are very graceful. The banana trees (in flower now) look very ragged and ugly. The castor oil plants and wild pineapples (not edible) are very abundant. The ants are very interesting here; the white ants’ nests being often taller than a man. We are not much troubled with insects and have seen no mosquitoes. We had coffee in the afternoon at a little wayside shop; it was quite an amusing experience.

Last night there was a cinematograph performance and nearly 20 of us went to it (the Brazilian government paying for us!!) The performance was not very interesting, but the village audience was decidedly so.

You would be amused to see us all riding down to the Fazenda (eclipse camp) on an engine. There were about 20 of us today clinging on in various places—the cow-catcher is the best seat.

I do not expect to reach England until Nov 9 and have given up thoughts of the earlier boat. I was very glad to have your letter of Sept 11.

The rooms at the hotel are very bare of furniture. I am writing this at the camp as there is practically no opportunity at the hotel. Dinner occupies most of the evening lasting from 7 to 9. It is a terribly complicated affair of about 12 courses, chiefly meats of various kinds.

We have had a few wet days last week but yesterday and today have been beautiful days.

With very dear love from
your affectionate son
Stanley

—————

Letter-head of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. Numbered ‘7’ at the head in pencil.

{1} Olyntho Couto de Aguirre and Leslie Andrews. See the Report in MNRAS, lxxiii, 386.

{2} 3rd.

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