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Darwin Correspondence Project

From V. H. Darwin   28 May [1879]1

2. Park Villas. | North Str | Derby

Wed. May 28—

My dear Cousin

I shall be glad to make the drawing of Elston, though it will not be easy, as the perspective is all wrong, and it is such a “birds’-eye” view— That country is so very flat, that unless they took the view from the top of the Church Tower, I do not know how they managed it— The Farm buildings must be left out, and I must be allowed to put in some judicious bushes in the foreground to break the line of that fatal wall— also I cannot in conscience take it from the exact centre, like an elevation,

If my drawing does not turn out satisfactory I can but copy the old drawing with just a few corrections—2

I will take it for granted you agree to all this, and if I can make out anything in answer to your questions about Dr. Darwin will write again. I am but a poor rememberer of stories, and do not even know the Highway robber story— Mrs. Nixon must tell it me—she is a near neighbour—& she has the enviable talent of recollecting these things with the when & the where, & the who—3

I remain | Yours very affectly | V. H. Darwin


The year is established by the references to the illustrations for Erasmus Darwin, which was published in 1879.
Violetta Harriot Darwin was preparing a drawing of Elston Hall using two ‘pretty views’ (possibly photographs taken by Leonard Darwin) as well as an old sketch of Elston Hall made around 1750 (see letter from V. H. Darwin, 30 [May 1879]). CD had found the old sketch among letters from Erasmus Darwin and others (see letter to C. M. C. Darwin, 6 April 1879 and n. 6). A woodcut of Violetta’s drawing of Elston Hall was published in Erasmus Darwin, p. 3. See plate on p. QQQQ.
CD’s letter to Violetta has not been found. Emma Nixon was Violetta Darwin’s cousin. For the highway robber story, see the letter from E. A. Wheler, 25 March 1879 and n. 7.


Erasmus Darwin. By Ernst Krause. Translated from the German by W. S. Dallas, with a preliminary notice by Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1879.


Will attempt to copy the drawing of Elston Hall [Erasmus Darwin, p. 3]. Does not remember the highway robber story [ibid., pp. 64–5].

Letter details

Letter no.
Violetta Harriot Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 99: 169–70
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12065,” accessed on 23 May 2022,