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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Caroline Darwin   [7 December 1836]

[43 Great Marlborough Street]


My dear Caroline,

I should have written to you earlier, but I had little to say and little time to say that little. I will give you my annals. On Sunday I dined at Clapham,1 and had a very pleasant party.— I enjoyed the satisfaction of making Erasmus jealous by Snow flirting with me and sitting on my knee, and at the same time Hensleigh & Fanny were very jealous at Bro’s coqueting with Erasmus. Fanny & Hensleigh have agreed to look over my Journal and give me some detailed criticisms. My plans have, since being here, become more perplexed, with respect to the Journal part. I am becoming rather inclined to the plan of mixing up long passages with Capt Fitzroy. Dr Holland looked over a few pages, and evidently thought that it would not be worth while to publish it alone, as it would be partly going over the same ground with the Captain. The little Dr talked much good sense, and, what was far more surprising much sincerity. I shall go on with the geology and let the journal take care of itself. I have been very busily engaged almost every hour, but have been to very few parties, on Friday however we go to the Marshes.2 I called as in duty bound, on Miss Martineau, and sat there nearly an hour. She was very agreeable and managed to talk on a most wonderful number of subjects, considering the limited time. I was astonished to find how little ugly she is, but as it appears to me, she is overwhelmed with her own projects, her own thoughts and own abilities. Erasmus palliated all this, by maintaining one ought not to look at her as a woman. Miss Martineau has asked me to meet on Saturday week Fanny Butler,3 who has suddenly appeared from the other side of the Atlantic. I should have much liked this, but on Saturday or at furthest on Monday, I go to Cambridge, and the invitation is for Saturday week. Nothing has happened very particular, with respect to my affairs. The fossil bones are at a higher premium for curiosity than ever. I have seen Lyell, who was exceedingly friendly, & gave me much sensible advice and told me how he managed to make the most of his time; an art which no one understands better.

Will you tell my Father I have not yet called on the Bank, but intend doing so.

I will write from Cambridge; excuse this abominable letter. I really have not industry after a hard day of excitement to write a more tidy one. | Yours C Darwin


The Hensleigh Wedgwoods lived in Clapham.
The actress Fanny Kemble had married Pierce Butler in 1834.


Dinner at the Hensleigh Wedgwoods’. They have agreed to go over his journal. Henry Holland thinks it not worth publishing alone because it goes over FitzRoy’s ground.

His impressions of Harriet Martineau: "She is overwhelmed with her own projects, her own thoughts and own abilities."

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Darwin/Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Wedgwood
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 154: 50
Physical description
C C 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 325,” accessed on 2 March 2024,

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