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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood   18 [August 1854]1



My dear Fanny

We are infinitely obliged to you, after all your fatigue, writing to us about poor dear old Erasmus’ illness.— We had heard nothing of it. As he seemed somewhat better when you wrote, I will not doubt that the worst is over, for I think a Fever hardly ever lulls when it once begins. But it must pull him down terribly, weak as he always is.— I shd. very much like to hear pretty soon ever so briefly. I daresay Caroline or Jos. would find time to write a line.— You must all have been very much frightened.2

Good bye my dear Fanny, how many you have aided in illness. I shall never forget the comfort you were once to me, My dear Fanny.—3

C. Darwin


Dated by the reference to the illness of Erasmus Alvey Darwin, which was also mentioned in the letter from J. D. Hooker, 25 August 1854.
Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood had been residing at Erasmus Darwin’s new house in Queen Anne Street in order to nurse him (Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980, p. 262).
During the fatal illness of CD’s daughter Anne. See letters to Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood, [24 April 1851] and [25 April 1851].


Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, Hensleigh. 1980. The Wedgwood circle, 1730–1897: four generations of a family and their friends. London: Studio Vista.


Thanks for writing about E. A. Darwin’s illness. Will never forget the comfort she was [when Anne Darwin died, 1851].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Frances Emma Elizabeth (Fanny) Wedgwood
Sent from
Source of text
Cleveland Health Sciences Library
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1547,” accessed on 17 October 2021,

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