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Letter 2809

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

18 May [1860]

    Summary Add

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    Attacks [on Origin] are "hot and heavy". Adam Sedgwick and William Clark at Cambridge Philosophical Society opened a battery. J. S. Henslow defended in grand style.

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    Slow progress on bigger book.


Down Bromley Kent

May 18th

My dear Fox

It was very kind of you to take so much trouble about the curious dog; but unless one is on the spot it is hopelessly difficult to understand the amount & origin of difference. The dog, however, must be a most curious creature.—   I am glad to hear of a naturalist taking up so difficult & neglected a subject as spiders.—

If I have time & if in London moderately soon, I will look at the deer-Hybrid— But the fact is, if it appeared ever so intermediate I shd. not believe in its hybrid nature, unless after careful dissection of its internal organs; & one might easily be deceived by hoofs being filed &c &c.

You will be sorry to hear that our eldest girl, Etty, has now been 3 weeks ill with odd fever, partly remittent partly typhoid; but I have great hopes we see signs of abatement. It has harassed us much, though not exactly frightened us. At one time, however, the Doctors seemed rather anxious.—   But I think it must end soon.— What a household you must have had with seven with Hooping Cough!

My health has been better of late, which I am inclined to attribute to mineral acids, no sugar, & drinking wine.—

I do not know whether you ever see various Reviews, but the attacks have been falling thick & heavy on my now case-hardened hide.—   Sedgwick & Clarke opened regular battery on me lately at Cambridge Phil. Socy. & dear old Henslow defended me in grand style, saying that my investigations were perfectly legitimate. I have begun my bigger Book, but make very very slow progress.—

My dear old friend, | Yours affect | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2809.f1
    See letter to W. D. Fox, 22 [March 1860].
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    f2 2809.f2
    Henrietta Emma Darwin had been diagnosed as having `a form of Typhus fever' (letter to J. D. Hooker, 11 May [1860]).
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    f3 2809.f3
    For a description of CD's new dietary regimen, see the letter to W. D. Fox, 22 [March 1860].
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    f4 2809.f4
    See letter from J. S. Henslow to J. D. Hooker, 10 May 1860.
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