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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hugh Falconer   [1845?–7 or 1857–64]1


My dear Falconer

Instead of your coming here I should prefer coming to you at 212.— I know I may speak truth to you; I prefer it, because if I feel my head swimming I can go away at once;2 but if you were here I could not bear to send you away

Yours affectly. | C. Darwin

If I do not come punctually I shall be unable from head.


The date range is conjectured from those years when CD and Falconer were on visiting terms and when Falconer was resident in London. CD visited Falconer from at least 1845, and possibly from as early as 1843; they met in London in June 1847 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, [10 June 1847]); Falconer left for Calcutta in 1848 and returned to settle in London early in 1857. CD visited him in London in 1857 and 1858 but they did not meet again until at least November 1859 (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to J. D. Dana, 5 April [1857]; Correspondence vol. 7, letter from Hugh Falconer, 25 October and 12 November [1859]). They met again in London in August 1860 and May 1862 (Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Charles Lyell, 28 August [1860]; Correspondence vol. 10, letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 May [1862]). In October 1862 CD wrote to Falconer: ‘I had hoped to have called on you on Monday evening, but was quite knocked up’ (Correspondence vol. 10, letter to Hugh Falconer, 1 October [1862]). They may have met when CD was in London in February 1863 (see Correspondence vol. 11, letter to Hugh Falconer, 20 [January 1863]). No further meeting are known to have taken place before Falconer’s death early in February 1865. CD was not in London in January 1865.
CD complained of swimming of the head from mid-1848 to spring 1849, in 1854, February 1859, and September 1863 (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. S. Henslow, 6 May 1849, Correspondence vol. 5, letter to Edward Sabine, 28 June [1854], Correspondence vol. 7, letter to WDFox, [12 February 1859], and Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Arranges a time for visiting HF.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hugh Falconer
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 144: 21
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2305,” accessed on 28 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)