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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin   31 August [1877]1

31 Aug.

Dear Charles

I send you Divd.2 I have just been reading a novel I recommend you to try “The Hon Miss Ferrard”3   I’m not at all sure you will like it but I’m quite sure Emma wont. She has lovely eyes & does not say ten words in three volumes. There is a charming love scene in breaking in a colt. The third vol is by far the best & one does not feel sure how it will end up to the very last. Some irish politics you’ll have to skip judiciously but that I believe Emma is an adept in.

Yours EAD


The year is established by the publication date of the novel (see n. 3, below).
The dividends were probably for shares that belonged to Emma Darwin; Erasmus was one of the trustees of Emma’s property (see Correspondence vol. 3, letter to Solicitor?, 1 October 1844).
The novel appeared as The Hon. Miss Ferrard ‘by the author of “Hogan, M.P.”’ ([Laffan] 1877). The author was later revealed to be Mary (May) Laffan. The novel was published in July 1877 (Publishers’ Circular, 17 July 1877, p. 487).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

[Laffan, Mary (May).] 1877. The Hon. Miss Ferrard. 3 vols. London: Richard Bentley and Son.


Sends a dividend.

Recommends a novel but is sure Emma will not like it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105: B102
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11123,” accessed on 21 September 2023,