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Darwin Correspondence Project


To Leonard Jenyns   24 June [1841]

Maer Hall | Newcastle Staffordshire

Dear Jenyns

I have been scandalously indolent in not sooner answering your kind enquiries about me & mine. The country at first acted like magic on me, but the charm has latterly lost some of its virtue,1 I am, however, a good deal stronger than when in London, but I do not feel that I shall have any mental energy for a long time & the Doctors tell me, it will be some years, before my constitution will recover itself— You & I can tell people in health, they have little idea, what an unspeakable advantage they possess over us poor weak wretches.— I judge from your note that Hitcham acted on your health, somewhat like this place did on mine, that is as a temporary relief.—2

I can only repeat, what I have said before to beg you not to give yourself any anxiety to hurry forward your part,; let it come when it may.3 I feel sure it & all the other numbers, (whatever you may say to the contrary) will be good durable work.— I have lately had note from Bell, who has matter for Engraver’s ready, but alas says nothing about M.S. for Printers.—4 But I have made up my mind not to fret myself on the subject, & just take things easy.—

I earnestly hope your health may improve as the summer passes & follow my & Bells example & take your Fish Part easy.

Believe me dear Jenyns | Most truly your’s | C. Darwin June 24th


CD visited Maer and Shrewsbury from 28 May to 23 July 1841 (‘Journal’; Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II).
Jenyns had evidently been visiting the Henslows. His sister Harriet was Henslow’s wife.
Fish, No. 4, was not published until April 1842.
CD refers to Reptiles, by Thomas Bell.


Doctors predict it will take years for CD’s constitution to recover.

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, C. R.
Jenyns, Leonard
Sent from
Source of text
Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 599,” accessed on 26 October 2016,