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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Camilla Ludwig   26 August [1862]1

1. Carlton Terrace | Southampton

Aug. 26th.

My dear Miss Ludwig

We thank you sincerely for your heart-felt sympathy.2 We have had a bad time of it; but Emma is nicely recovering, & came down to the drawing room for a little bit to day.3 She had considerable fever. Leonard travelled too soon, & was injured by the journey.4 Poor little fellow, he has been so patient during all his terrible illness; he will be months before he will be strong. We hope to move to Bournemouth in about a week, if both patients go on well.5 Elizabeth Wedgwood is here, & has been, as usual, the most unselfish & devoted of nurses.—6

Horace is going on well & only occasionally has a baddish day.7 Etty8 is accustoming him to have no one to sit with him at night; & she has so much judgment & kindness, that she will do it well. It is a horrid bore, but we have been forced to engage a second house at Bournemouth, & so shall not be all together.— Emma sends her love & will write when she is strong: she hopes that Horace will soon be able to do some lessons, & then it will be capital for him to have you to return. But I hope we shall then have got him out of his invalid habits. Poor little man he has often cried, when he has tried & failed to write to you. And no wonder for nothing could have possibly exceeded your kindness to him.— What a wretched summer & spring we have had! We had a very nice letter lately from Louisa, written with so much feeling.9 I fear some things are very uncomfortable at the school; but she seems determined to bear them with excellent spirit. I sincerely hope that you have been happy & enjoyed yourself at home with as few drawbacks as this weary world permits.

My dear Miss Ludwig— Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is provided by reference to CD’s stay in Southampton and Bournemouth (see n. 5, below).
Ludwig’s letter has not been found. Ludwig, the Darwins’ governess, was on an extended visit to her family in Hamburg, having apparently been sent away in early June, on full pay, in order to separate her from Horace Darwin. The Down surgeon, Stephen Paul Engleheart, was concerned that Horace’s attachment to her might be exacerbating the illness from which he had been suffering. See the letters from Emma Darwin to William Erasmus Darwin, [2 March 1862], [27 May 1862], and [6 November 1862], in DAR 219.1: 49, 57, and 64; see also Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), and CD’s Classed account book (Down House MS).
According to her diary (DAR 242), Emma Darwin had become ill with scarlet fever on 13 August 1862.
The Darwins had planned to take a holiday in Bournemouth to assist Leonard Darwin’s convalescence (see letter from W. E. Darwin, 5 August 1862 and n. 8). CD, Emma, and Leonard began their journey on 13 August 1862, but were obliged to remain in Southampton as a result of Emma and Leonard’s illness (see letter to A. R. Wallace, 20 August [1862] and n. 2).
CD, Emma, and Leonard stayed with William in Southampton from 13 August until 1 September 1862, when they joined the other Darwin children in Bournemouth (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix II), and letter to A. R. Wallace, 20 August [1862] and n. 3).
CD refers to Emma’s sister, Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood.
Horace Darwin had been ill earlier in the year (see n. 2, above).
The reference is to Louisa Ludwig, apparently Camilla’s sister. During Camilla’s absence, she had assisted the family in looking after Horace (see the letter from Emma Darwin to W. E. Darwin, [27 May 1862], in DAR 219.1: 57). CD’s Classed account book (Down House MS) records, under the heading ‘Governess’, payments to Louisa totalling £8, made on 1 and 8 August 1862.


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


Family news; mostly an account of ill health.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Camilla Frederike Antonie (Camilla) Ludwig/Camilla Frederike Antonie (Camilla) Pattrick
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3700,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10