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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Wedgwood to F. E. E. Wedgwood   17 December 1836



My dear Fanny

I am thinking that it is a long time since I have written to you. We heard several times from the Tollets how Marianne was going on, but I was glad to get your letter & to hear that you were not the worse. We are in such a dissipated humour that we have actually invited the Mainwarings & Mrs Moreton for next Wednesday & then we shall be clear of the world for a year to come. I dined there last Tuesday, & had some more of the Capts lovely flute playing. There was a Mr Clark there a clergyman from Eccleshall who played very tolerably but we were not spared a note of Capt M’s notwithstanding. Poor Mrs M is no longer able to feed herself & I cant think how they can endure her to sit in company to be made a spectacle of with Miss Chawner putting the food into her mouth. I suppose Miss M. does not like to propose her not dining with them.

Eliza is now staying with us & I think she is a little better for rest though she is very weak   It is out of the question to hope that she will not be anxious for I never saw any one so much disposed to it. All the rest of Seabridge party are coming in a few days. Jessie recovers her strength very slowly & has only just begun to come down stairs to breakfast & is nervous & often poorly. I dined with them the other day & she was in very good spirits & enjoys her little scarecrow very much. It is become very tidy to look at now. Allen is poorly too & if we leave him at home one evening we are afraid he will be very bad by the next day, not that he comes every day either. Catherine tells me they are very anxious to have yours & H’s real opinion of Charles’s journal. I am convinced Dr Holland is mistaken if he thinks it not worth publishing. I don’t believe he is any judge as to what is amusing or interesting. Cath does not approve of its being mixed up with Capt Fitzroys & wants it to be put altogether by itself in an Appendix

I wish Miss Martineau would invite you to meet Mrs Fanny Butler. I hope Erasmus was there. I am very curious about her. I envy you Mr Scott’s lectures. If he makes you understand the Epistle to the Romans I shall think him a great genius. We had a very nice visit from Godfrey. It was pleasant to see how fond he is of his little maid   He always saved some dessert or asked for some for her. She appears dull when one is with her but I think she is shy & may be more amusing when nobody is by & she is certainly very good tempered & gentle. His only bon mot was enquiring what papas overalls were & saying “Are they to prevent his hurting his knees when he tumbles down. I began teaching him to read which he did not much like but never rebelled. My Aunts admired him very properly. We enjoyed their visit thoroughly. Uncle Allen was very gay & his conversation amused Mamma very much & brought all sorts of old recollections into her head. Louisa Holland paid £ 2 " 10 for her boa so Hensleigh can pay himself when he has any money affairs.

Hensleigh was taken with a very ill timed fit of prudence about Penelope’s speech which I want to hear & we will be duly cautious. I am afraid poor Bros tantrums are a sign of his not being well. I like his Grace very much. Schloss Hainfeld makes one dispise Capt Hall. What a conceited egotist he is. Do you remember about the bell rope & pocket handk. I like Buckland but rather wish I had finished him. Susan is coming to Seabridge but not here she says which is naughty of her. Edinburgh is not settled yet as Bessy H. & I keep on telling each other to settle the time. Are the Giffords come yet. Goodbye my dear Fanny my best love to H. & a kiss to the two.

I can’t think what Penelope wd do if Uncle Baugh offers to go abroad   She will not endure to go with him.


The Darwin family are anxious for FEEW’s and Hensleigh’s opinions of CD’s journal. EW is convinced that Henry Holland is wrong if he thinks it not worth publishing.

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, Emma
Wedgwood, F. E. E.
Sent from
Source of text
V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 233)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 328,” accessed on 18 January 2017,