Tells of his father's ill health.
Discusses mesmerism and Harriet Martineau's recovery. If animals could be put into a stupor, he would be convinced. Suggests WDF have some mesmeriser attempt it with cats.
Down near Bromley | Kent
My dear Fox
I was on the point of going to London when your note arrived, whence I returned
yesterday, from visiting Erasmus with whom Susan staying. She begs me to say, (which I
With respect to mesmerism, the whole country resounds with wonderful facts or tales:
the subject is most curious, whether real or false; for in the latter case, what is
human evidence worth? I am astonished at your zeal, with respect to Miss Martineau, for to my mind, the girls case bears more
plainly, than I sh
If mesmerism was investigated, like a science, this c
As long as you like to receive the Athenæums, I shall have pleasure
in sending them. Sh
Pray excuse this very untidy note, written in a Hurry & | believe me | ever yours | C. Darwin
- f1 801.f1On his 80th birthday (30 May 1846) Robert Waring Darwin weighed 22 stone 3
pounds (‘Weighing Account’ book, Down House MS). 1 2
- f2 801.f2Harriet Martineau's health had broken down in 1839. In 1844 she undertook a course of mesmerism, after which her health was dramatically restored. She published an account of her cure in the Athenæum (Martineau 1844) and subsequently published it in Letters on mesmerism (1845). See Arbuckle ed. 1983, p. 78.
- f3 801.f3Jane Arrowsmith, a partially blind 19-year-old girl, thought by Harriet Martineau to be clairvoyant. According to Martineau, Jane, while in a mesmeric trance at a séance on 15 October 1844, predicted the safe return of the crew of a wrecked ship. See R. K. Webb 1960, p. 229.
- f4 801.f4Henry Holland.
- f5 801.f5Harriet Martineau suffered from ‘prolapse of the uterus and polypous tumours’ (R. K. Webb 1960, p. 193). She had been deaf from the age of 20 (p. 6).