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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Susan Darwin   [23] May 1834


May. 1834

My dear Charles—

Catherine very cleverly missed her turn of writing in the month of April, by inserting a few words in a Letter of Mr Owens, that he sent here to be directed: she had nothing to say, & so she just told you we were all well; & that she thought would be sufficient, which I hope you understood & don’t think you have lost a letter.— I am afraid it will be very long before we can expect to hear again from you (except once by the Falkland Islands which you give us hopes of) It is very provoking the tiresome Charts keeping you in such an odious part of the world so long You must feel that such a waste of time & life. I have sent your last letter to Erasmus so I have not got it here to refer to: but I know it was dated sometime in November.— Caroline has told you of course how delighted the British Museum was to hear you had found part of the Skull of one of the unknown Animals1 it certainly was a most extraordinary piece of luck that the bones shd. just fit: it makes one think it really must belong to the identical same animal. We have just been reading a very clever book written by the famous Surgeon Sir Charles Bell “on the Hand” & there he laments very much that all the Antideluvian beasts should be given such uncouth names that no ignoramus can remember or pronounce them.—2 Papa has long been talking of going to visit Tom Eyton’s Cameleon, but unfortunately it died a fortnight ago. however he still went to Eyton & found only the old Squire at home who shewed him a number of curious water birds & he also inspected T. Eyton’s room which was one mass of skeletons— Tom was staying with Major Bayley who always as you may be sure enquires most warmly about you.— Papa liked his visit very much he stayed there 2 hours & found Mr Eyton very agreeable tho a very strong Tory: as they talked over some of the new Ministerial plans with regard to the Poor Laws.—

Erasmus has behaved very shabbily this Spring & not paid us his usual Easter visit: he half lives with the Hensleighs, & Mrs. H. has just had another child a boy:3 How the Wedgwoods multiply!! Next week I am going to stay with Jessie & Harry at Keel where I shall be introduced to their new house as well as baby.— I am just come from Overton you cannot think what nice little boys all your 4 nephews are    Marianne had serious thoughts of sending Parky to school this Summer as he will be 9 next Sept. however instead she has got a Schoolmaster of Overton to come & put Latin into him every day which is a very good thing: for he is so happy & good at home that I shall be very sorry when he is sent to school— Papa & Caroline are gone a short Tour into Wales chiefly to see Penrhyn Castle & the weather is so lovely I am sure they will enjoy it very much.—

We have sold our old crazy Car for 5 pounds & got from London a beautiful light little Phaeton which we can post with if we please so I hope we shall make good use of it this Summer.—

Poor Francis Owen sails to India next Tuesday he came to take leave of us with tears in his eyes & so low he cd hardly speak: it is a great pity he cd. not get a commission to have gone out with Arthur for at that time he wished it, but now he was so happy at Woodhouse he could not endure “the Black Indies” as he always called them.— I think he fancied himself in love with Harriet Boughey which I suppose made his departure so painful.— Mr Owen is gone up to London to ship him off in the Broxbournebury.—

I am glad to say Mr Mytton is dead at last in the Kings bench, they made a most absurd pompous funeral,—which put Papa in a rage.—

Robert Wedgwood is going to leave Maer & has taken the Curacy of Mucklestone near Drayton which surprises every body as he will have to live in the house with that good for nothing old Mr Crewe which must be very disagreeable to him & he only gets 20 pounds more a year by the change.— Catty & I are living all alone in the Drawing room & with all the horses & Servants at our command we take our pleasure fr morg till night How I wish my dear old fellow you were here to make a third. I sometimes have a most violent longing to see you again but I hope & trust we shall have a happy meeting in two years & till then Good bye & God bless you my dearest C.

Ever yr affecte | Susan Darwin


See letter from Caroline Darwin, 9–28 March [1834]. Susan’s mention of the British Museum is a mistake. She refers to the reception of the bones by William Clift and Richard Owen at the Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons.


Bell, Charles. 1833. The hand: its mechanism and vital endowments as evincing design. Fourth Bridgewater treatise. London: William Pickering.


News of family and friends.

Letter details

Letter no.
Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Shrewsbury MY 23 1834
Source of text
DAR 204: 103
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 246,” accessed on 4 June 2023,

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