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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Caroline Darwin   [21 February 1837]


My dear Charles

We have at length got a Frank to send you Fanny’s note.1 She is going on vy well herself— We are longing to have an account of Lyells speech.2 my Father’s desires his love & begs for a letter soon from you that we may hear any thing you can repeat or remember that he said about you— my Father is extremely pleased by Mr Lyells friendship for you. he thinks it invaluable as a happiness & assistance—and most flattering as a proof of your information & the value of it— I quite envy Eras being able to hear Lyells speech for I suppose men are admitted to hear by Hensleigh having been present when you read your paper— I can quite understand that it will be a vy mixed feeling leaving Cambridge & the vy agreeable conversations at the dinners you have been to lately.

Thank you exceedingly for both your last letters, it is really such a vy great pleasure to us to know what you are doing that it is quite worth your while writing home from the pleasure it gives— My Father is very well & we have had a visit from Miss Wingfield3 which he liked vy much.— we pass such vy quiet lives, one day so like another that it is difficult to write— I copied your message to Uncle Jos in a letter to Elizabeth but I am afraid Uncle Jos was gone to London on Canal affairs4 before my letter could have got to Maer— What a vy pleasant 3 days we had together at Maer— I would not have missed meeting you there on any account & I hope some time to have such another “three glorious days” Emma is still at Edinburgh going out almost evy night to Balls & Concerts. Lady Gifford seems to have a vy large as well as vy gay set of acquaintances & they take vy kindly to Emma & shew her great civility which is more than Londoners would do to their friends friends. My Father wants to know when next you write if you receivd your money all right in London & whether you had no difficulties— How did Eras look? we heard in a round about way that he was a good deal pulled down by the Infuenza—

Be sure you keep & shew me Lyells complimentary letter asking you to go to London Can you (if a few words will do) tell me on what points it is that Lyell “fully agrees with your views” ‘on subjects you say you talked over together in London’. The Coral islands I know was one subject—but if I can understand & if you can with out much trouble give me an idea of the other subjects I should be vy glad.— I thought that Lyell & all the modern Geologists disbelieved, or thought we did not understand rightly, the chronology of the Old Testament—so I do not see how what Sir J Herschell5 says is new.— I should have liked extremely to have seen the letter.— Do you know whether yours & Capt Fitzroys paper on The Missionaries6 has ever been sent to England, & what is it called in order to get it?

ever my dear Charles yrs affly Caroline Darwin

Susan’s love & she will write before long & I hope not so dull a letter as this—


Fanny Biddulph’s letter was franked by George Benvenuto Mathew.
Lyell’s Presidential Address to the Geological Society on 17 February 1837 (C. Lyell 1837a).
Josiah Wedgwood II. ‘Canal affairs’ were of vital interest to the Wedgwoods. The Etruria potteries were located on the Trent and Mersey Canal, of which Josiah Wedgwood I had been a leading promoter, shareholder, and later director (see Meteyard 1865–6, 1: 345 ff.).
‘A letter, containing remarks on the moral state of Tahiti, New Zealand, &c.’ (see Correspondence vol. 1, letter of 28 June 1836, and Collected papers 1: 19–38).


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Meteyard, Eliza. 1865–6. The life of Josiah Wedgwood from his private correspondence and family papers … with an introductory sketch of the art of pottery in England. 2 vols. London: Hurst & Blackett.


Interested in Lyell’s address [Proc. Geol. Soc. Lond. 2 (1833–8): 479–523]. Asks what the points are on which CD and Lyell are fully agreed.

Inquires about the paper FitzRoy and CD wrote on missionaries ["Moral state of Tahiti" (1836), Collected papers 1: 19–38].

News of family.

Letter details

Letter no.
Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Darwin/Caroline Sarah (Caroline) Wedgwood
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 204: 141
Physical description
ALS 6pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 345,” accessed on 19 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2