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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-13857

From Charles Wicksted to Georgina Tollet1   13 March [1870?]2

Shakenhurst, Bewdley.

March 13th.

My Dearest Georgina,

I have submitted Charles Darwin’s questions about Foxes to a jury of fox-hunters assembled here, on the occasion of the Ludlow Fox hounds having met here yesterday, & their experiences quite agree with mine— Neither I nor any of them can remember ever having seen a hound catch hold of a fox by the brush, or ever seen the common movement (of a dog (that puts his tail between his legs when frightened) performed by a fox either in a tame3

CD annotations

1.4 or ever … tame 1.6] scored blue crayon
1.6 either in a tame] ‘or wild state’ added pencil
Top of letter: ‘Mr Wickstead, kept Fox-Hounds for 20 years.—’ pencil

Footnotes

1
The correspondents are identified by CD’s annotation and by the address. Charles Wicksted, a noted fox-hunter and breeder of hounds, lived at Shakenhurst in Worcestershire, and was the brother of Georgina Tollet.
2
The year is conjectured on the assumption that the letter is a reply to a question CD submitted after reading an article on foxes in Land and Water, 6 November 1869 (see n. 3, below). Charles Wicksted died on 4 June 1870 (Burke’s landed gentry 1879).
3
CD’s questions have not been found. In Expression, p. 125, CD refers to an article in the 6 November 1869 issue of Land and Water that claimed that foxes, however tame, never exhibited expressive movements, such as tucking their tails, when frightened. CD stated of foxes: ‘I have been assured that when frightened they never tuck in their tails’ (Expression, p. 126).

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-13857
From
Wicksted, Charles
To
Tollet, Georgina
Sent from
Strakenhurst, Bewdley
Source of text
DAR 181: 97
Physical description
†(by CD)

Summary

Jury of fox-hunters report on hounds’ behaviour when catching fox. Fox never behaves like frightened dog.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13857,” accessed on 6 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-13857

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