Letter 13857

Wicksted, Charles to Tollet, Georgina

13 Mar [1870]

Summary

Jury of fox-hunters report on hounds’ behaviour when catching fox. Fox never behaves like frightened dog.

Transcription

Shakenhurst, Bewdley.

March 13th.

My Dearest Georgina,

I have submitted Charles Darwin’s questions about Foxes to a jury offox-hunters assembled here, on the occasion of the Ludlow Fox houndshaving met here yesterday, & their experiences quite agree withmine— Neither I nor any of them can remember ever having seen ahound catch hold of a fox by the brush, or ever seen the commonmovement (of a dog (that puts his tail between his legs whenfrightened) performed by a fox either in a tamef3

DAR 181: 97

true

Footnotes

f1
The correspondents are identified by CD’s annotation and by theaddress. Charles Wicksted, a noted fox-hunter and breeder of hounds,lived at Shakenhurst in Worcestershire, and was the brother ofGeorgina Tollet.
f2
The year is conjectured on the assumption that the letter is areply to a question CD submitted after reading an article on foxes in Landand Water, 6 November 1869 (see n. 3, below). Charles Wicksted diedon 4 June 1870 (Burke’s landed gentry 1879).
f3
CD’s questions have not been found. In Expression, p. 125, CDrefers to an article in the 6 November 1869 issue of Land and Waterthat claimed that foxes, however tame, never exhibited expressivemovements, such as tucking their tails, when frightened. CD stated offoxes: ‘I have been assured that when frightened they never tuck intheir tails’ (Expression, p. 126).
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