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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Caroline Darwin   24 October [1836]

[43 Great Marlborough Street]

October 24th.—

My dear Caroline,

I send you these few lines, just to prove I have not quite forgotten you in all the bustle of London— These four days since leaving Cambridge have entirely been passed in calling on various naturalist people, but my plans only become more perplexed instead of any clearer— I think the Beagle will reach Woolwich in one or two days— I have heard from the Captain; & what do you think, he is going to be married!! to a Mary O’Brien, with whom formerly he had a long flirtation. I cannot tell you particulars, but will keep the letter to gratify your little propensity of curiosity— They are to be married in December.— I believe the Lady is a good one, but it is a most inconvenient time to marry— I mean to send all my property from the Beagle to Cambridge, where I have determined to reside for at least some months.— But I fear London must be the final quarters.— I find the geologists all willing to render all assistance & exceedingly kind,—but the Zoologists seem to think a number of undescribed creatures rather a nuisance.—

I do not think mortal man ever talked more than I have done during the last three days. I am quite tired & long to be living quietly with dear old Henslow, at Cambridge— This skipping about is part of the five years voyage.— The voyage is not yet come to an end.— I do not see any prospect of being able to leave London under a fortnight. I think your plan of my going direct to Maer a very good one— But I will write again in about a weeks time, when I shall see a little more of the way— I hope & trust Charlotte will be there,—Maer will not be itself without her.—

The letter from E. Holland contained no message.— It was a mere letter of civility, indeed I may say of patronage.— If you make out this letter you will be both very clever, & patient.— I wish I was with you at this moment at Maer.— I foresee my next visit to Shrewsbury will be one constant struggle of much can be done in a certain number of days.— Pray write a gossiping untidy letter to me.— I find Erasmus most agreeable, & his house most comfortable.

Your most affecate. | Chas. Darwin.


Last four days have been spent calling on naturalists. Geologists have been kind, but zoologists seem to think a number of undescribed creatures a nuisance.

Will send his belongings to Cambridge, but eventually his quarters must be London.

FitzRoy is to be married.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Darwin/Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Wedgwood
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 43
Source of text
Physical description
C 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 313,” accessed on 16 May 2022,

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