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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [23 October – 20 November 1859]1

⇒ Wells Terrace | Ilkley | Otley | Yorkshire


My dear William

I have got your letter, addressed to Mamma, & was glad to hear some news of your wanderings. Tell Miss Mayor2 that the London Library is not rich in scientific Books, but yet I believe is the best. If her friend writes to “The Librarian, London Library, St James Sqe” he or she will get all information. Nothing is easier than to become a member.3 It requires I think, some one to recommend; & everyone must know some one member.

You need not register your Pass Book, if you do not enclose a letter, it will go by Book Post (with ends open) & cost only 1d.

Here is a dreadful wet day—no baths, no nothing, & all the patients half dead with ennui.—

Farewell my dear Gulielmus—stick to your work,—I know I wish I had some work—

Your poor old ennuyè father | C. D.


The first possible Sunday that CD could have written from this address was 23 October. The last possible Sunday was 20 November. On 24 November Emma Darwin left Ilkley and CD returned to Ilkley Wells House (Emma Darwin’s diary).
The daughter or sister of William Darwin’s former housemaster at Rugby School, Robert Bickersteth Mayor. The possibility of William paying a visit to Rugby during his holidays is mentioned in the letter to W. E. Darwin, 3 June [1859].
The London Library was founded in 1841 as a subscription library for the use of scholars (EB).


EB: The Encyclopædia Britannica. A dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information. 11th edition. 29 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1910–11.


Tells how to get information on, and gain membership in, the London Library.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 48
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2497,” accessed on 1 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7