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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Frances Emma Elizabeth Wedgwood   28 June [1864]1


June 28th

My dear Fanny

I must tell you how sincerely I feel for all that you have gone through.2 The present time has called vividly to my mind, though it is never long forgotten, all that you did for us at Malvern with poor Annie,3 and the inexpressible stay and comfort you were then to me. I know how bitter your feelings must be; & I can only hope that you will pretty soon recover your bodily strength. It is at least some comfort to think that he can never suffer again.— Give my affectionate love to Hensleigh4 & all of you & believe me my dear Fanny | Yours affectionately | Charles Darwin

Send me your love, when Hope next writes to Etty.—5


The year is established by the reference to the loss suffered by Frances Emma Elizabeth Wedgwood (see n. 2, below).
James Mackintosh Wedgwood, the eldest son of Frances Emma Elizabeth and Hensleigh Wedgwood, died on 24 June 1864 after a long illness (Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980, p. 279; see also letter from E. A. Darwin, [15? April 1864] and n. 5).
Anne Elizabeth Darwin, CD’s eldest daughter, had died on 23 April 1851 at James Manby Gully’s hydropathic establishment in Great Malvern, Worcestershire (see Correspondence vol. 5). Frances had stayed with CD at Malvern to help look after Anne (see ibid., letter to Emma Darwin, [21 April 1851], and letter from Emma Darwin, [23 April 1851]). She also arranged for Anne’s burial after CD left Malvern to be with Emma, who had remained at Down awaiting the birth of their ninth child, Horace (see ibid., letter from F. M. Wedgwood, 25 April [1851]).
Hensleigh Wedgwood.
CD refers to Hope Elizabeth Wedgwood and to Henrietta Emma Darwin.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, Hensleigh. 1980. The Wedgwood circle, 1730–1897: four generations of a family and their friends. London: Studio Vista.


Family matters; CD’s feelings on death of FW’s son [James Mackintosh Wedgwood, 1834–64].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Frances Emma Elizabeth (Fanny) Wedgwood
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.300)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4547,” accessed on 2 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12