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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   10 August [1853]

Down Bromley Kent

Augt. 10th

My dear Fox

I thank you sincerely for writing to me so soon, after your most heavy misfortunes.1 Your letter affected me much. We both most truly sympathise with you & Mrs. Fox. We too lost, as you may remember, not so very long ago, a most dear child, of whom, I can hardly yet bear to think tranquilly;2 yet, as you must know from your own most painful experience,3 time softens & deadens, in a manner truly wonderful, one’s feelings & regrets. At first it is indeed bitter. I can only hope that your health & that of poor Mrs Fox may be preserved; & that time may do its work softly, & bring you all together, once again as the happy family, which, as I can well believe, you so lately formed.

My dear Fox | Your affectionate friend | Charles Darwin


The death of Louisa Mary Fox on 29 July 1853 (see letter to W. D. Fox, 29 [July 1853]).
Anne Elizabeth Darwin had died on 23 April 1851.
Fox had previously suffered the death of his first wife on 19 March 1842 (see Correspondence vol. 2, letters to W. D. Fox, 23 March [1842], [31 March 1842], and [25 March 1843]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Thanks WDF for writing so soon after his misfortunes, and again expresses sympathy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 85)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1527,” accessed on 16 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5