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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. V. Reed   12 November [1860]1

Down, Bromley Kent.—

Nov. 12th

My dear Sir

We returned on Saturday night from Eastbourne where we were detained by another severe attack of illness in my poor girl.2 She has rallied surprisingly & stood the journey very well; but after six months illness she is very weak & I fear in rather precarious state, though thank God there is no immediate danger.—   I tell you all this, because we know we have your sympathy.—

If I do not hear from you, I will send Leonard on Thursday morning;3 I say morning for the days are now so short, he would hardly have time to return by daylight, if he started after our midday dinner.—   In the Spring, if then not inconvenient to you, we will change to the afternoon.—   Franky seems getting on capitally, thanks to your kindness.4

Pray believe me | My dear Sir | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


Dated by the reference to Eastbourne (see n. 2, below).
The Darwins returned to Down, following a prolonged stay in Eastbourne, on 10 November 1860 (‘Journal’; Appendix II). Henrietta Emma Darwin had been very ill during their visit.
CD had arranged for Reed to tutor Leonard Darwin twice a week. See letter to G. V. Reed, 15 September [1860].
Francis Darwin had entered Clapham Grammar School in August 1860. Before going to school he had been tutored by Reed.


The family was detained at Eastbourne by a setback in Henrietta’s health.

Will send Leonard for tutoring on Thursday morning. Frank is doing capitally at school.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Varenne Reed
Sent from
Source of text
Buckinghamshire Record Office (D 22/39/5)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2982,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8