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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Cresy   15 September [1862]1

Cliff Cottage, Bournemouth

Sept. 15th.

Dear Cresy

I have just received your kind note.—2 You will see where we are. My third son (not the former invalid, who is better) had the Scarlet Fever dreadfully badly3 and on our road here, at Southampton, Mrs. Darwin sickened;4 but both our patients are at last going on capitally. We shall remain here some weeks longer.— This incessant illness has utterly stopped all work, except a few miscellaneous observations. I intend to give up my beloved Drosera till I have got out a separate volume on Variation; and Heaven knows when that will be.—5 I am very glad to hear that you have had a good holiday and feel yourself rested; for I am sure your incessant work is enough to tire out anyone.6 One week of your work would send me to bed for half a year.— Kippist to whom you allude is a good-hearted little man; but not one whose opinion one would value.7

Mrs. Darwin sends her kind remembrances to Mrs. Cresy8 and yourself.— I am sorry that I shall miss seeing you.

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship to the letter from Edward Cresy, 13 September 1862.
CD refers to his fourth son, Leonard Darwin, who had been ill with scarlet fever since 12 June 1862 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). The ‘former invalid’ referred to is Horace Darwin, who was seriously ill during the early months of 1862 (see, for example, letter to W. E. Darwin, 14 February [1862]).
Emma Darwin became ill with scarlet fever on 13 August 1862 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
See letter from Edward Cresy, 13 September 1862 and n. 5. Variation was published in two volumes in 1868; CD’s work on Drosera rotundifolia was not published until 1875 (Insectivorous plants).
See letter from Edward Cresy, 13 September 1862. Cresy was principal assistant clerk at the Metropolitan Board of Works.
See letter from Edward Cresy, 13 September 1862 and n. 6. Richard Kippist was librarian of the Linnean Society of London.
Mary Cresy.


Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Son [Leonard] ill with scarlet fever. Also Mrs Darwin.

Intends to give up work on Drosera until Variation is done.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Cresy, Jr
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 143: 322
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3724,” accessed on 22 October 2021,

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