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Letter from Peter Pauling to Linus, Ava Helen and Crellin Pauling. January 13, 1953.
Peter writes to report on his recent travels through Belgium and Germany. He also writes of the most recent work being done on DNA, adding that "for more than a year Francis [Crick] and others have been saying to the nucleic acid people at Kings 'You had better work hard or Pauling will get interested in nucleic acids.'"


13 January 1953

Dear Momma and Daddy and Crell,

I came back today, just in time for [mail?] and now I am having a little Christmas all by myself. I had an immense pile of letters and magazines and a package. And I put out my greens and the nicely wrapped presents with them and put my cards on the mantel. I have not opened the things to eat, (except I cheated a little and had a date) the wrappings are grand. I got a book, Boswell in Holland, but I know not from whom. It came from Uromans. Sounds like Uncle Z.

Last night in London, the night before in Brussels Bruxelles, (I don't know how you spell it in English.) Perhaps I ought to go see Daddy there. Really loud city. Parks and a ring, big boulevard. We stayed there a day. And two days in Frankfurt with George McManus. Do you remember him. Funny. He is about 40, works for the High Commission for Germany. Lives in a big house and has four full time servants. I do not think you should go back to Germany. It is too heart rendering. Rubble-rubble everywhere. The people are industrious and are making great progress though. Still, it is too tragic.

I got your letter to Vienna forwarded to [Eisenery?]. We stayed there ten days. Fun, but too long for me to think I'll go alone in the future.

Next summer I'll go to Sweden. I would like to float down the Rhine or something on a little raft and see you in Sweden. I fear the Myoglobin work will be so hot I'll have to stay here and work. Those dates are grand. Thank you very much for everything. Such an immense piece of fruit cake. I hope there is some left for the others, like you and Linda.

I went to dinner at the Braggs with daughter Margaret, the night before leaving in December. She is too much the sophisticated Oxford undergraduate. Bragg is very nice.

I got a letter from Tsang-Hsiang-San. He sent ten dollars for me to buy Planck for him which he should not have done. Address: 1820 N. Vista, L.A. 46. He did not get into Canada.

There is now a bath tub here. I can bathe.

Thank you, Crellin, very much for the New Yorker. I was hoping that some one would send it to me and I am glad you did. Thank you also for the Audio Engineering business. I am sorry it was so much work.


We all think you are hopping mad at Nature and rightly so. Evidently John & Francis finally got Bragg to write a letter to the editor telling him to get off the pot. But I guess by then he had already published. I was told a story today. You know how children are threatened "You had better be good or the bad ogre will come get you." Well, for more than a year Francis and others have been saying to the nucleic acid people at Kings "You had better work hard or Pauling will get interested in nucleic acids." I would appreciate very much a copy of "your" article. The MRC Unit would like one too. They are very interested. A couple of months ago Corey wrote Donahue or someone and said "'We' are writing another article..." With the we in quotation marks. I don't know if I should tell you all this. It is pretty amusing.

Do you want more problems, or is it too late? I did not take the book with me on the trip. Could not do any work.

My copy of the new International Table came. Very nice looking book. Ought to be for 8.40

I don't really need pictures of the chairs. Just dimensions and angles. Daddy knows what would be needed to make one.

I am working on sperm whale myoglobin. To determine the molecular shape. Stranded whales are the property of the Queen, but we have an agreement with her to get a piece of meat if one comes ashore.

I might buy a kerosene heater.

The nuts are wonderful. You are a darling Mamma.

Bragg wants to know, and so do I, if you are coming to England after the Solvay Congress?

Dearest family, thank you for everything.

Much love,


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