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Letter 2604

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

25 Dec [1859]

    Summary Add

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    His poor health keeps him from work.

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    His book [Origin] is a success "in the ordinary sense" – has had to reprint another 3000 copies.

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    Will now begin his "bigger book" which he plans to publish in three separate volumes with distinct titles and also a general title.


Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 25th

My dear Fox

I wish you as happy a Christmas as you deserve & I am sure that ought to be a very happy one.— Fifteen round the Fire in your room,—I never before realised what a party you are! I fear you cannot say much good about yourself, as you do not say it, & seem to have gone about so little in London.— We returned home last Friday fortnight. The last 10 days at Ilkley, I was splendidly well & for the first week at home; but since then I have had as bad a week as man could well have with incessant discomfort, I may say misery.— I have necessarily been very busy during these weeks but not with work which would be any strain to any other mortal man. I was hardly able from lameness, Boils &c to give Water-cure a fair trial this time, but I think we shall go there again next early summer.

My Book has been very successful in the ordinary sense; & I have had to reprint with few corrections a new Edit of 3000 copies. Kingsley has permitted me to print a good sentence on the theological bearing of my work. The Book has already made a few enthusiastic & first-rate converts, viz Lyell, Hooker, Huxley, Carpenter &c.— It will, I find, attract some little attention abroad. I daresay parts may be fanciful & I look at it as certain that there will be a large amount of error, though I cannot as yet see such errors.—

I am going soon to begin my bigger book, which I shall publish as 3 separate volumes, with distinct titles, but with a general title in addition.— I think this will make the work less hard labour.— Here is an egotistical note for you my dear old friend.—

Yours affecty | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2604.f1
    Fox had thirteen children, five from his first marriage and eight from his marriage to Ellen Sophia Fox (Darwin pedigree).
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    f2 2604.f2
    See letter from Charles Kingsley, 18 November 1859, and letter to Charles Kingsley, 30 November [1859].
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