The house at 12 Upper Gower Street is theirs.
[36 Great Marlborough Street]
My dear Emma
I am tired with having been all day at Business work,—but I cannot let a post go by, without writing to tell you Gower St is ours, yellow curtains & all.— I have to day paid some advance money, signed an agreement & had the Key given over to me & the old woman informed I was her master henceforth. The minute I put the whole affair into the Solicitors hands, he arranged all the difficulties, about Colonel Irvine's absence & made the Agent come to terms directly.— I am delighted with the house, the more I see of it; I have just been going over all the furniture with the inventory.— We shall not have much to buy,—even the crockery & glasses are very perfect.—
I am also delighted to say that the Solicitor, (having some minutes to spare) looked at the furniture of the rooms & he said he had just been furnishing his own house with care & knew the prices of things, & he maintains the furniture is cheap at 550£ & the rent extraordinarily low— He examined all the tables & chairs & said they are made of excellent wood & must have cost a great deal of money.— In fact I am convinced we have been most fort<unat>e & I am in great triump at having come to so good an end.— M
I long for the day when we shall enter the house together; how glorious it will be to see you seated by the fire of our own house— Oh that it were the 14
Goodbye, my own dear Emma | Most affectionately yours.— Chas. Darwin
The Cook from Shrewsbury is a failure as she cannot cook, & has a drunken husband. I am fearful of getting a converted Jewess from Miss Farrer; but we will hope for the best— I am going to have an interview with Margaret tomorrow to see how her health is, I wish the other maid from Cambridgeshire was arrived to institute a comparison about their merits.—
I was thinking of calling on Miss Martineau to enquire whether she knew anything of a Cook.—
I find I must wait in town till the latter end of next week, on account of the lease & paying the money.—& I suspect I must attend the Geolog Soc on the 9
- f1 463.f1For a description of Gower Street and its environs at the time, see Freeman 1982.
- f2 463.f2From the letter from Emma Wedgwood, [7 January 1839], it is clear that the marriage of CD and Emma was originally to take place on 24 January, but the date was changed to 29 January.
- f3 463.f3Macaw Cottage—so called because of the gaudy colours of the walls and furniture (Emma Darwin 2: 18). The house was badly damaged by bombs during a World War II air raid. The site is now occupied by a part of the University of London.