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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Marianne Parker   [23 February 1826]


My dear Charles

I think this is the first correspondence we have ever had together & it will sound odd to begin my letter with telling you that I never in my life was more sorry to write a letter than I am to write this one—but it is the case— I believe you know that we begged to have poor little Spark for a short time ‘till we found another, but I dont think you were told that the day after she came to us, she ran away, & though we made every possible enquiry & search we heard nothing of her for a fortnight when we found her established at a gentlemans’ house in this neighbourhood & the grand pet of all the family— We got her back again, but we soon perceived that she had during her absence from us become with pup— We were very sorry for it, as we knew you did not wish it. Last Monday the poor little thing was taken ill, & after the birth of one puppy she died— You cannot think how sorry we have all been about it— Every body in the house had got so fond of her, & she was such a nice little Dog. I hope you will write to me my dear Charles—for though I have been very sorry for poor Spark’s death on her own account, I have been still more so on yours, & altogether it has vexed me more than any thing that has happened for a long time— Shelah is going to have a family, but I am afraid they will not replace poor little black nose—

I should have written to you at once, but I thought they would have told you from home⁠⟨⁠.⁠⟩⁠ Dr. Parker desires me to say that he has now got a little black terrier puppy of a particularly good breed about the size of Spark, & that you are very welcome to her if you would like to have her.

I must just tell you that your little nephew & namesake Bobby is very well & the nicest little man that ever was seen. You must remember that you have promised to be fond of him when he is two years old & upon those conditions I will excuse you from caring about him now—

I was so sorry to hear of poor Eyre’s death— I had a letter from Miss Congreeve1 whose governess is one of Eyre’s sisters & makes enquiries about his illness &c.—supposing that Erasmus was at Cambridge— Are there any brothers left, or was poor Eyre the last. Did Erasmus regret very much that he was not with him during his illness—

I want to know how you both like Edinburgh— I suppose you like it better than the Drs.2 Eras not so well as his dear C. C— C—3

Good bye My dear Charles— My best love to Eras: & hoping to hear from you soon. Yrs. aff: | M P—


Dr Butler’s, i.e., Shrewsbury School.
Christ’s College, Cambridge.


Spark has died. Other family news.

Letter details

Letter no.
Marianne Darwin/Marianne Parker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Overton 175; Shrewsbury FE 23 1826
Source of text
DAR 204: 26
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 23,” accessed on 18 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1