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Letter 1396

Darwin, C. R. to Fox, W. D.

[27 Mar 1851]

    Summary Add

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    Sends condolences to WDF on the death of his father. Has brought his daughter [Anne] to J. M. Gully for the water-cure.

Transcription

Malvern

Thursday

My dear Fox

In passing through London two days ago I heard from Erasmus with sorrow of your Father's death. A few weeks since I had been much interested in hearing from Susan an account of your Fathers equable & apparently happy state, & of the surprising manner in which he retained his faculties & interests. In a note from Susan she expresses how very glad she now is at her last visit.— I grieve to hear that your health prevents you attending the Funeral: this was my case, & though it is only a ceremony I felt deeply grieved at this deprivation & you no doubt will feel this more. You have my sincere sympathy & very sorry indeed I am to hear that your health is not so good, even as formerly.

Hereafter, when at leisure, do let me have a line from you, my dear old Friend. I often think of our happy days at Cambridge; almost if not quite, the happiest part of my life & much associated in my memory with you.— Long continued ill-health has much changed me, & I very often think with pain how cold & different I must appear to my few old friends to what I was formerly; but I internally know that the inner part of my mind remains the same with my old affections.

Believe me, my dear Fox, I am & shall ever be your affectionate friend | Charles Darwin

I have brought my eldest girl here & intend to leave her for a month under Dr Gully; she inherits I fear with grief, my wretched digestion. I return in a day or two home.—

When next you write to any of your Family pray express my sincere sympathy for Mrs Fox & all your sisters.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1396.f1
    CD's Journal (Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I) records that he left Down for Malvern on 24 March 1851.
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    f2 1396.f2
    See letter to John Wickham Flower, 23 March [1851], n. 3.
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    f3 1396.f3
    Erasmus Alvey Darwin, CD's brother. CD usually visited Erasmus when passing through London or attending meetings there.
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    f4 1396.f4
    Samuel Fox died 20 March 1851 at Rendalls, Hertfordshire (Darwin pedigree).
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    f5 1396.f5
    Susan Elizabeth Darwin, CD's sister, still residing at The Mount, Shrewsbury, was a close friend of Fox's sister.
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    f6 1396.f6
    For CD's inability to attend his father's funeral, see Correspondence vol. 4, letter from Catherine Darwin, [13 November 1848], n. 1.
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    f7 1396.f7
    Fox was a clergyman in the Church of England.
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    f8 1396.f8
    See Correspondence vol. 1 for CD and Fox's friendship at Cambridge.
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    f9 1396.f9
    CD had first been treated by James Manby Gully at his hydropathic establishment in Malvern in 1849. Anne Elizabeth Darwin, whose health had been failing since the summer of 1850 (Emma Darwin 2: 132), was to be left in Malvern under the care of her nurse, Brodie, and governess, Miss Thorley, and with Henrietta Darwin as a playmate. According to Emma Darwin's diary, Miss Thorley left for Malvern on 28 March. CD arrived back in London on Friday, 28 March, and did not return to Down until 31 March (Emma Darwin 2: 130 and ‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 5, Appendix I).
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    f10 1396.f10
    Ann Fox, widow of Samuel Fox.
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