This letter, sent by Charles Darwin’s wife, Emma, to their son William, is in the Darwin Archive of Cambridge University Library (DAR 219.1: 49). Although it will not be published in our edition of Charles Darwin’s Correspondence, we have been given permission by the Darwin family to publish the text online as part of the ‘Darwin & Gender‘ educational resource material.
My dear William
I think we shall certainly have the boys on Saturday so that if you can come it will be very nice. Horace has several attacks in the course of the day generally but they are so much milder that he is on the whole making progress.
Jones is gone & he & Papa parted on terms of high consideration as ‘He had treated him quite like a gentleman.’ Horace’s devotion to Miss L. is got to such a pitch that I don’t know what he will come to. He can’t bear to sit on difft side of the table at meals so that he often gives up the fire side for the sake of sitting by her. I am actually going to have the drawing room painted & papered. Papa thinks it a most unnecessary expense. I don’t know how much of the hall & stair case must be done as the boys spoil the paint so much. Papa is correcting the press of the orchis’s & he gets Hen. to read it over to see whether she understands it & she finds it not easy. Last week she was 4 days at Sudbrook Park & found it very amusing seeing her old friends again. Mrs Moin her particular was there. She went to Kew & Hampton Court but such bitter East wind that it was no use going any where. I send you a nice letter of Godfrey’s which you may burn.
They are so happy & so open that Ellen Tollet says it is like Adam & Eve in Paradise.
Goodbye my dear old Man yours | E. D.