To Charles Lyell [12 November 1838]
My dear Lyell
I suppose, you will be in Hart St, tomorrow the 14th.— I write because, I cannot avoid wishing to be the first person to tell Mrs Lyell and yourself, that I have the very good, & shortly since, very unexpected fortune, of going to be married.— The lady is my cousin Miss Emma Wedgwood, the sister of Hensleigh Wedgwood, & of the elder brother, who married my sister, so we are connected by manifold ties, besides on my part, by the most sincere love & hearty gratitude to her, for accepting such a one, as myself.— I determined, when last at Maer, to try my chance, but I hardly expected such good fortune would turn up for me.2
I shall be in town in the middle or latter end of the ensuing week.— I fear you will say, I might very well have left my story untold, till we met. But I deeply feel your kindness and friendship towards me, which in truth I may say, has been one chief source of happiness to me, ever since my return to England: so you must excuse me..— I am well sure, that Mrs Lyell, who has sympathy for every one near her, will give me her hearty congratulations
Believe me my dear Lyell | Your’s most truly obliged | Chas. Darwin.
Announces his engagement to Emma Wedgwood.