Sunday Morning, December 4
My dear Charles,
I am quite ashamed of myself for not having written to you before now; but I have been
putting off doing so from day to day for a long time, and I am afraid I have not now
much to tell you— The principal piece of news I have to tell you is that last
week Papa received the melancholy account of poor M
I have been spending a fortnight at Overton, from whence I
returned on Friday; it was horrid, rainy weather the whole time, as is always the case
there I think; but notwithstanding which I had a very pleasant visit there, and like my
brother, the D
Caroline and Susan are going to Woodhouse tomorrow to spend the
week— Fanny Owen is copying two beautiful pictures, a Coreggio and a Murillo,
and Caroline is going to attempt them them in miniature— We are reading aloud
a very entertaining novel lately published ``Matilda, a Tale of the Day''; it is written
by Lord Normanby, nephew to Capt Maling; if it should fall in your way, I advise you to
read it, as it is very clever and witty in many parts, and only one octavo
volume— The new Society is opened, and we have had
several books from it; among others ``the Story of a Life'' by the
au<thor> of Rec<ollec>tions of the Peninsula which you liked so much; <bu>t you never read such affected
stuff, quite unreadable.— Three little boys dined here the other day, Allan,
Browne, and H. Hutchings, and Susan played the pretty to them all evening; are
you not sorry you missed such a charming evening?— I met Watkins in the street the other day; I never saw such a dandy as he is
grown, his hair all frizzed out in the most absurd, coxcombish style and his hat on one
side— I did not feel at all inclined to call him ``M
I shall hope soon to hear from you, my dear Bobby; any little particular will be
interesting— What capital luck you are in, just to fall in with all the good
London performers at Edinburgh, Liston, Miss Stephens, and
Macready; give me some account of the latter, if you see him in any particularly good or
new characters; you know I am always interested in him— and now Good Bye, my
dear Charley— Love to Erasmus. Believe me, | Ever y
My dear Charley. I am very glad to hear you are such a good boy about your French, and
I hope now that you are reading something more interesting than the Baroness
& Countess' silly letters, you like French better than you did—
you must tell me how you spend y
Papa says Erasmus may wear Flannel next his skin in cold weather by all means & that he may sleep in it also, tho he does not think that very adviseable—but in warm weather he very much objects to it.
- f1 18.f1Harriot Maling, seventh child of CD's grandfather, Erasmus, by his second wife, Elizabeth.
- f2 18.f2Residence of Marianne and Dr Henry Parker.
- f3 18.f3Robert Parker.
- f4 18.f4`Woodhouse is a beautiful mansion of white freestone, the seat of William Mostyn Owen, [Sr] … delightfully situated on a gentle eminence, commanding fine views,and surrounded by park-like grounds beautifully wooded. The mansion is approached by a noble portico, supported by four circular columns; and there is a fine avenue of beech and other trees on the south side of the park.' (Bagshaw 1851, p. 204). Woodhouse is situated in Rednal, Shropshire, 13 miles north-west of Shrewsbury.
- f5 18.f5There were several private reading societies in Shrewsbury, besides a well-stocked Public Subscription Library (Howell 1816, p. 87).
- f6 18.f6Sherer 1823 and 1825.
- f7 18.f7Frederick Watkins, CD's Shrewsbury schoolmate and later fellow undergraduate at Christ's College.
- f8 18.f8Mary Darby and Edward Pryce Owen were married 6 December 1825 (Alum. Cantab.).
- f9 18.f9John Liston.
- f10 18.f10The final paragraph is written on the flap in Caroline Darwin's hand.