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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [14 October 1859]1

North House, Wells Terrace | Ilkley | Otley | Yorkshire


My dear William

On Monday they all come from Barlaston to the above address & I leave the Establishment.2 The House is at the foot of a rocky, turfy rather steep half- mountain. It would be nice with fine weather; but now looks dismal. There are nice excursions & fine walks for those that can walk. The Water Cure has done me much good; but I fell down on Sunday morning & sprained my ancle, & have not been able to walk since & this has greatly interfered with the treatment.

It is a curious life here: we sit down 60 or 70 to our meals, & in the evening, there is either singing, or acting (which they do capitally) or proverbs &c.— I have got amongst a nice set, & get on very comfortably & idly. The newspaper, a little novel-reading the Baths & loitering kills the day in a very wholesome manner. Did you ever hear of the American game of Billiards: ⁠⟨⁠five lines excised ⁠⟩⁠ There are some splendid players here who often make breaks of 20, 30, & 40. These good players never play anything but the American game.— I shall miss the Billiard Table when I leave here & go into our ⁠⟨⁠    ⁠⟩⁠ House which is


The Friday before Emma Darwin and the younger children arrived in Ilkley (see n. 2, below).
Emma Darwin’s diary records that she went to the home of her brother Francis (Frank) Wedgwood in Barlaston, Staffordshire, before travelling to Ilkley on 17 October 1859. CD had taken a rented house in Wells Terrace to accommodate the family.


Discusses events at Ilkley.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 49
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2498,” accessed on 29 May 2023,

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