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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. E. Darwin   [8 December 1860]


Saturday night.—

My dear William

I write one line to remind you to bring back Babington.—1

Secondly, my curiosity is excited about the blind Fawcett by his capital article in Macmillan on The Origin.2 Can you find out anything about him. Did he take high degree? What county does he come from? Is he rich?3

How jolly it will be to have you home again; I am almost forgetting how to play at Billiards.—4

The Boys got out your drawings this evening & we were all looking at them & voted it a horrid shame if you do not go on practising a little.5 I am hard at work at a new & corrected Edit. of the Origin; Murray having sold 400 more copies that he has in hand.—

Aunt Catherine came to day, but she returns on Tuesday6 & Miss Pugh goes on Monday.—7

Farewell | My dear old man | Yours affecty | C. Darwin


Probably C. C. Babington 1851, a copy of which is in the Darwin Library–CUL.
Henry Fawcett was a fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge University, and a close friend of the geologist and mathematician William Hopkins. In 1863 he was appointed professor of political economy at Cambridge. He had been blinded in a shooting accident in 1858.
William went home for the Christmas holidays on 13 December (Emma Darwin’s diary).
William had begun to paint in 1857 (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter to W. E. Darwin, [November 1857]).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary, Emily Catherine Darwin visited Down from 8 to 11 December 1860.
Mary Ann Pugh had been governess to the Darwin children during the years 1856 and 1857 (Freeman 1978). Afterwards, she maintained close contact with the family and was a frequent visitor to Down.


Babington, Charles Cardale. 1851. Manual of British botany, containing the flowering plants and ferns arranged according to the natural orders. 3d edition. London: John van Voorst.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Fawcett, Henry. 1860. A popular exposition of Mr Darwin on the origin of species. Macmillan’s Magazine 3 (1861): 81–92.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Asks identity of [Henry] Fawcett, who wrote a capital article on the Origin in Macmillan’s Magazine [3 (1860): 81–92], "A popular exposition of Mr Darwin".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
DE 9 60
Source of text
DAR 210.6: 60
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3014,” accessed on 29 May 2023,

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