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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Horace Darwin to Emma Darwin   [18 September 1880]



This is only a line to show you that we are alive. We get back to Cam. on the 23rd.1 We have a delightful day today   We went up to the top of a hill 2555 ft. above the sea & found lots of worm castings, & had a delightful panarama of the town.2 We tramwayed to the bottom of the hill & walked up & trammed back. Then we saw a steam tram—imagine my excitement—& we went a long way in it, it was v. nice. Now we are going to dine at a cafe

H. D.

To Emma Darwin

CD annotations

1.1 This … today 1.2] crossed pencil
1.2 a hill] ‘probably Superga’ added above pencil
1.3 worm castings] closing square bracket pencil
1.3 & had … cafe 1.6] crossed pencil


Horace and Ida were on their honeymoon tour in the Alps; see letter from Emma Darwin to Sara Darwin, [3 September 1880] (DAR 219.1: 138), and letter from F. M. Balfour, 13 September 1880. Cam.: Cambridge.
CD discussed worm-castings at high altitude, including hills near Turin, in Earthworms, p. 12.


Earthworms: The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms: with observations on their habits. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1881.


Found worm-casts atop a 2555–foot hill.

Letter details

Letter no.
Horace Darwin
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Sent from
18 9 80
Source of text
DAR 162: 73
Physical description
ApcS † (by CD)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12717,” accessed on 15 April 2024,