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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   28 August [1837]

36 Grt. Marlborough | St

August 28th.

My dear Fox

I take shame to myself for not having sooner answered your letter,—and such a letter deserved more gratitude— I partly waited, that I might be able to tell you more definitely my plans. The proof sheets are beginning to tumble in; so that I shall be tied by the leg, hard at work as any galley slave during the next five weeks.— I then mean to run down to Shrewsbury for a few days, as actually since the middle of the winter I have only been able to pay them one visit of nine days.— It is a good joke, that during the whole five years I was longing most sincerely to be at Shrewsbury & now time glides by, & I am stewing in this great den of a place.— How I should like a good walk or a good days shooting, with you on a fine clear autumnal day, when every thing does look so very beautiful. In the whole world there cannot be anything more delightful than a wooded country in England during the Autumn. I recollect the day, I shot the ears of an unlucky pointer, (which always sticks in my conscience) at some farm to which we drove, was one of those glorious days.—

But to go on with my plans.— After taking a peep at Shrewsbury & Maer, I come back to Marlborough St. & begin in earnest with pure Natural History.— I quite forget whether when I last wrote the Goverment had given me a 1000£ to illustrate Zoology of Beagle’s voyage. I shall not have much to do with it beside superintendence, but it will consume time; whilst this is going on I shall be trying to make progress with the Geology.— But writing is most tedious & difficult work. Till lately I had not the slightest idea what a difficulty it was to ⁠⟨⁠    ⁠⟩⁠1

I suppose you heard long ago by the papers, of Henslow’s good living.—2 Is it not glorious. I think we shall live to see him, my lord Bishop. if so the whigs will spoil a good naturalist, but make excellent bishop


The rest of the letter is missing. The final paragraph appears as a postscript at the top of the first page.


Proof-sheets [of Journal of researches] are tumbling in. Mentions future plans for Zoology and geological works. Has £1000 from Government for illustrations.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
University of British Columbia Library, Rare Books and Special Collections (Pearce/Darwin Fox collection RBSC-ARC-1721-1-76)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 374,” accessed on 5 March 2024,

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