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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Marianne Parker   [c. 13 March 1826]


My dear Charles

I have a great mind to begin my letter to you with as severe a scolding as you gave me— how could you for a sensible young man who has left School & settled at Edinburgh, think of finding fault with a person for not directing a letter properly, & then neglect to give them the right direction— I could not have answered your letter ’till I had written to Shrewsbury to enquire how I ought to direct if Caroline luckily had not come over on Monday to stay a day with me— She desired me to put in Mrs. Macky’s name but did not tell me what number in Lothian St—but my last letter found you so I have not many fears for this—

I will tell you every particular I can think of relating to poor little Spark. She ran away from us very early in the morning the day after she came here She had been shut up as Mark said he did not think she would bear tying up, & sombody in going out of the kitchen where she was, had left the door open. She made her escape before we were up but as soon as we knew of it, we sent a great many people after her, & offered a guinea reward to whoever could find her, the consequence of which was we had many little black & white dogs brought us but no Spark—& for a whole fortnight we could learn nothing of her—when one day Dr. Parker met Dr. Wynne the Rector of Overton & Bangor who said that he had heard we had lost a dog, & that, his servant had found a very pretty little black & white one on the road about a fortnight ago, which he had no doubt was ours as it proved— I am sorry to say none of her puppies were born alive, there was but one born & that was dead. She did not seem to suffer much pain but was restless & uneasy for two days before she died The puppies were too large for her was the cause of her death— I am glad you did not wish to have Dr. P.’s little puppy as it also is dead— We are so unlucky in puppies, that I hope we never shall have any more— I am very busy with my flower garden which I am altering & improving very much, but I am grived to find all the labels Erasmus wrote for me are washed out, & I am afraid I shall not get him to christen any more.

Baby’s Mine & Dr. P’s love to you & Eras | Yrs aff. | M P.

I hope to hear from you again my dear Charles as I shld be very sorry if our correspondence stops here


Further particulars of Spark’s death.

Letter details

Letter no.
Marianne Darwin/Marianne Parker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Overton ⁠⟨⁠    ⁠⟩⁠ 17⁠⟨⁠5⁠⟩⁠; MAR H 15 ⁠⟨⁠E⁠⟩⁠ 18⁠⟨⁠2⁠⟩⁠6
Source of text
DAR 204: 27
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 27,” accessed on 17 May 2022,

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