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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Reginald Darwin   8 July 1879


July 8th., 1879.

My dear Cousin

I have kept all your Books &c. longer than I had intended, as I wished to correct the first proofs before returning them.1 This is now done and all your property dispatched to-day to R. Station. I ought to pay carriage, but this is impossible from our little Station, except to London. Very many thanks for all your kind assistance. Pray send me a P. O. card to say that parcel safely received.2

My little book will not be published, I suppose, till November, when of course a copy will be sent to you.3 I fear that you will be much disappointed with it. I am so in reading over the proofs and thought that I had made it a little more interesting than it is; but I have done my best and no man can do more.

Believe me, my dear Cousin | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Reginald had sent CD Erasmus Darwin’s Commonplace book (Down House MS), as well as letters and other items (letter from Reginald Darwin, 29 March 1879).
The nearest railway station to Down was Orpington, on the South Eastern Railway line; since Reginald lived in Buxton, Derbyshire, the package sent by CD would have been transferred to another company in London, so the carriage would be calculated at the receiving end. Prepaid halfpenny postcards had been in use since October 1870 (C. W. Hill 2007, pp. 4–5).
Erasmus Darwin was published in early November 1879 (letter from Reginald Darwin, 12 November 1879).


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

Hill, Cuthbert William. 2007. Picture postcards. 2d edition. Princes Risborough, Bucks.: Shire Publications.


CD has corrected the first proofs [of Erasmus Darwin] and so returns RD’s books. CD is disappointed with his work and fears RD will be also.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Reginald Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 153: 102
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12139,” accessed on 19 May 2022,