From W. D. Fox 21 February 1
Broadlands | Sandown | I. Wight
My dear Darwin
I have to thank you much for “the Descent of Man”.2 I have often wondered when it would come out, and need not tell you how anxious I was to see it. That its perusal will give me intense pleasure I have no doubt—tho’ very probably I may not agree with you wholly. I have been too much engaged since Sunday, when I received your Book, to be able to throw myself into it, and luxuriate in it; I have only roamed a little thro’ it, somewhat with the feeling of a Miser gloating over his treasure without enjoying it. I hope very shortly to be able to give it my full attention, and anticipate no little pleasure from doing so.
How I wish we were within a moderate distance of each other, so that we might sometimes meet.
If I am in Town, as is probable in April, if not sooner, I shall certainly try to run down to Down—if only for an hour, if you are at home at the time.3
How old we get!— and yet it seems but the other day when we spent those glorious times together at Cambridge.
I have always hoped that as you grew older, you might possibly much improve in health, but I fear you cannot confirm my hopes, tho’ by this time I trust you have quite got rid of the miseries attending your fall from horseback, and I hope that misfortune did not make you give up that exercise.
I was much shocked to see Frank Parkers death in the paper.4 He seemed as likely to live as most men, unless he met with an accident on horseback, when his great weight would tell against him.
We have been here since Novr, and all had excellent health. I have been very busy in making a large garden out of the most wretched field I ever had to deal with. By means of sea Sand and a Profusion of Sewage Manure I have succeeded beyond my expectation, & we have already an abundance of most things.
I suppose we shall migrate Northwards in April, unless we cd let our house for six months, when 〈w〉e should leave at once; but this is not likely.5 My Wife6 desires her kindest regards to Mrs Darwin. I wish she would write me a line saying how you are and also how Mrs Wedgewood7 is.
Ever Dear Darwin | Yours affecly | W. D Fox
Thanks CD for copy of Descent.
Notes the death of Frank Parker [CD’s nephew].