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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   7 July [1837]

36 Grt. Marlborough Stt.—

Friday July 7th.

My dear Fox

It is a very long time since I have heard any news of you; why have you not written to tell me how you are going on?— Are you turned idle, or do you think I am too full of South American bird beasts and fishes to care about old friends.— I returned last night from a flying visit of a eight days to Shrewsbury; & I have now got a piece of news to tell you, which I am sure you will be interested about. Caroline is going to be married to Jos Wedgwood.1 I do not know whether you recollect him, he is the eldest son.— He is a very quiet grave man, with very much to respect & like in him, but I wish he would put himself forward more. He has a most wonderful deal of information, & is a very superior person; but he has not made the most of himself.— I am very glad of the marriage for Caroline’s sake, as I think she will be a very happy person, especially if she has children, for I never saw a human being so fond of little crying wretches, as she is. But I am an ungrateful dog to speak this way, for she was a mother to me, during all the early part of my life.— And I forget I must not talk to you of;—crying little wretches— You will not guess that I mean such little angels as all children doubtless are.—

This puts me in mind of your neice, who must have grown into a young lady;2 I have never heard where she is, or anything about her,—she was a great ally of mine, when I was at Osmaston.

I gave myself a holiday, and a visit to Shrewsbury, as I finished my journal, I shall now be very busy in filling up gaps & getting it quite ready for the press, by the first August.— I shall always feel respect for every one who has written a book, let it be what it may, for I had no idea of the trouble, which trying to write common English could cost one.— And alas there yet remains the worst part of all correcting the press.— as soon as ever that is done I must put my shoulder to the wheel & commence at the geology.— I have read some short papers to the geological Soc, & they were favourably received by the great guns, & this gives me much confidence, & I hope not a very great deal of vanity; though I confess I feel too often like a peacock admiring his tail.— I never expected that my geology would ever have been worth the consideration of such men, as Lyell, who has been to me, since my return a most active friend.—

My life is a very busy one at present, & I hope may ever remain so; though Heaven knows there are many serious drawbacks to such a life, & chief amongst them is, the little time it allows one for seeing one’s natural friends. For the last three years, I have been longing and longing to be living at Shrewsbury, and after all, now in the course of several months, I see my good dear people at Shrewsbury for a week.— Susan & Catherine have however been staying with my brother here for some weeks, but they had returned home, before my visit.—

Pray write to me, and tell me how you are,—my Father always enquires after Mrs. Fox & yourself,—& I could tell him nothing.— I dont know when I shall be able to pay the Isle of Wight a visit; I am very curious to see its geolog. besides the very great pleasure my dear Fox, of seeing you once again.— I often think of our old Entomological walks,—at this moment I can see a part of a wood (famous for big fungi & little jumping beetles (anaspis? orchesia)) near Osmaston, as plain as if we had been sweeping there a month ago instead of some seven long years.— And many a good day in Cambridge has left, & will I think ever leave, as bright a picture in my mind, as any I am capable of enjoying.—

How our friends are dispersed.— where is Whitmore?3 Orlebar, I hear has become an extremely evangelical preacher.—4 Albert Way is grown quite steady & turned Antiquarian;5 he is in town but I see nothing of him. I oftener recollect Whitlesea meer than I actually see him.— When & where we shall ever meet is doubtful, but I treasure up the past with joy.

God Bless you dear Fox.— Ever yours affectionaly | C. Darwin.


Caroline Darwin and Josiah Wedgwood III were married 1 August 1837 (Darwin Pedigree).
Albert Way was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1839 and later (1842–6) served as Director of the Society.


Has finished the Journal; is readying it for the press.

Adds family news including Caroline’s forthcoming marriage to Josiah Wedgwood III.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 52)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 364,” accessed on 22 April 2024,

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