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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Reginald Darwin   1 April 1879


April 1, 1879.

My dear Cousin

I write only to thank you for your most kind letter and to say that the great book arrived safely last night.1 I will begin at once to look through it, and whether or not I find anything to use, I shall be particularly glad to see it, as throwing some light on our grandfather’s character.2

Yours sincerely obliged | Charles Darwin

I will write again hereafter.

P.S. I thought of giving woodcuts of the house in which Dr. D. was born, and have got a photograph of Elston Hall from Mrs. Darwin of Creskeld.3 Could you give or lend a photograph of the Priory, as the scene of his death? I possess a drawing,—a poor copy in pencil of a lithograph, made from a drawing by some member of the Family, but I cannot exactly make out by whom.4


See letter from Reginald Darwin, 29 March 1879; CD had received Erasmus Darwin’s Commonplace book (Down House MS) and some of his letters.
CD was preparing a biographical sketch of his grandfather Erasmus Darwin to accompany an English translation of Ernst Krause’s account of Erasmus Darwin’s scientific work (Krause 1879a).
Elston Hall, Nottinghamshire, was the seat of the senior branch of the Darwin family and the birthplace of Erasmus Darwin. Charlotte Maria Cooper Darwin of Creskeld Hall, Otley, Yorkshire, had sent CD two photographs of Elston Hall in March 1879 (see letter from C. M. C. Darwin, 27 March 1879).
Erasmus Darwin died at Breadsall Priory, near Derby. The copy was made by Ann Boott; it was copied from a lithograph that had been made by Violetta Harriot Darwin (see letter to Reginald Darwin, 4 April 1879).


The "great book" [presumably Dr Erasmus Darwin’s commonplace book, see Erasmus Darwin, p. iii] arrived safely.

Can RD supply a photograph of [Breadsall] Priory?

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Reginald Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 153: 96
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11966,” accessed on 12 September 2023,