Wartime and D'Arcy


About

An interesting fact about On Growth and Form is that both the first and second edition of the books were released during wartime, 1917 and 1942, respectively. D’Arcy himself acknowledges this fact in the preface to his second edition in which he says the books “gave me solace and occupation, when service was debarred me by my years.”

D’Arcy continues “Few are left of the friends who helped me write [the first book]”. Indeed, Joseph Larmor, who assisted D’Arcy in the first book and was one of the few people he considered sending the second edition proofs to, fell fatally ill around the same time as its publish.

In his letters, particularly to Geoffrey Thomas Bennett, D’Arcy discusses various elements of the war.

Bombings:

While St Andrews didn’t receive too much bombing, D’Arcy says that the sirens frayed his nerves constantly. Also, some of the Schools were destroyed in the bombing and meant that his Laboratory was crowded (ms26132). D'Arcy went on several holidays to Spayside during the second world war, and confessed to Bennett that he found it hard to leave his house for so long.

Churchill:

D’Arcy referred to Churchill as a “magician” who had won over the middle classes. He tells a story of how a boy he knew had joined the army after listening to Churchill’s radio addresses. Despite this, D’Arcy wasn’t impressed by his oration, saying he gives at best "second or third rate speech" delivered in a "third or fourth rate" manner (ms26294). D'Arcy was also unsure about his skill as a diplomat.

The Enemy:

In a letter to Geoffrey Thomas Bennett in 1940, D’Arcy refers to the war as the “greatest blunder and greatest calamity in English history” (ms26237). At this time, he certainly believed that Hitler was a better military strategist than anyone on the British side and that the German forces were stronger than the Allies.

Bombing
Bombing in nearby Dundee
Map
Map of German advances in 1940
Churchill
Churchill

Correspondents

Geoffrey Thomas Bennett

Introduction

   

Overview & D'Arcy's Life

   

On Growth and Form

   

Heilmann & Shufeldt

   

Maths of Transformations

   

Correspondence

   

D'Arcy and Mathematics

   

Coordinate Transformations

   

Logarithmic Spirals

   

Forms of Cells

   

Forms and Mechanical efficiency

   

Shrinkage

   

Wartime and D'Arcy

   

The Leg as a Pendulum

   

Recreational Maths

   

Fibonacci Sequence

   

Cell-Aggregates

   

All Correspondence Links

Claxton Fidler

   

Eric Harold Neville

   

John Marshall

   

Alfred North Whitehead

   

Charles Robert Darling

   

Peter Guthrie Tait

   

William Peddie

   

Geoffrey Thomas Bennett

   

Dorothy Wrinch

   


Main Index Biographies Index


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Cammy Sriram and Edward Smith © July 2019
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School of Mathematics and Statistics
University of St Andrews, Scotland

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