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Letter 648

Darwin, C. R. to Horner, A. S. (a)

[4 Oct 1842]

    Summary Add

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    Emma recovering well from birth of third child, Mary Eleanor.

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    Sorry to hear Leonard Horner has been ill.

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    Has received high praise of Coral reefs from Lyell.


Down | Bromley | Kent


My dear Mrs Horner

I am very much obliged for your letter & most kind congratulations from yourself & Mr Horner & Katharine. We are going on very well & Emma is making a quicker recovery, owing I think to country air, than she has ever done before. Our children are very well & Willy approves of “country ouse” very | much.— I think the place will suit us very well & we have found moving so expensive, that I have not ceased to be thankful that we bought a very cheap house.— It is the quietest country, I ever lived in, & I fear must be very dull to all visitors, as it is scarcely possible to take any drives. To the east & west there are impassible valleys, to the south only one very narrow lane, & to the north, through the village, only two other lanes.— For walking the country is very good there being foot-paths in every direction.— My brother, who detests the country, declared we ought to call the place “Down-in-the-Mouth”—but he is now with us & has rather altered his opinion.—

I am exceedingly sorry to hear that Mr Horner has not made more rapid progress;—with his activity of mind corporeal bondage must be, I am sure, extremely distressing. Pray tell him, that I have received such a letter from Lyell on my Coral Volume (I mention it, as he approved of it) that I have scarcely yet ceased stalking about like a peacock. I do hope by your return Mr Horner will be sensibly better. His assistance & that of all true friends, will be wanted at the Geolog. Soc. in November.—

I never saw anything like poor Lonsdale's deep gratification at the present— My paper is full. Emma joins in warmest thanks to you & believe me, Yours truly obliged | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 648.f1
    Refers to the birth of Mary Eleanor Darwin on 23 September.
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    f2 648.f2
    Katharine Murray Horner, their daughter.
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    f3 648.f3
    Refers to the controversial election of a successor to William Lonsdale as Curator of the Geological Society. However the election did not take place until December. See letters to Lyell, [5 and 7 October 1842], and William Hallowes Miller, [16 October – 27 November 1842].
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    f4 648.f4
    Lonsdale had retired from his position because of ill health. On this occasion his friends presented him with a silver cup and a subscription of £600 (Geikie 1875, 1: 372). According to his Account Book (Down House MS), CD contributed £10. CD evidently saw Lonsdale on Friday, 30 September (see letter to Charles Lyell, [5 and 7 October 1842]).
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