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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Hugh Falconer   15 October [1858]1


Oct. 15th.

My dear Falconer

I mistook your former note2 and thought you intended to let me know when you returned to London. Unfortunately I cannot come up till Tuesday.3 Will this be too late? If it be, will you kindly send me one line by return of post, that I may not have my journey for nothing. If I do not hear, you may expect to see me on Tuesday morning, about 11.15 to .30 A.M.   As my health is so indifferent I am never certain of my movements;4 but if I do not appear by 11.45 you will understand the cause; for certainly I will come if I possibly can. Shall you be in London on Wednesday if I should fail on Tuesday?

With hearty thanks | Yours most truly | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 20 [October 1858] (Correspondence vol. 7). See n. 3, below.
Falconer’s letter has not been found.
In 1858, the Tuesday after 15 October was 19 October. In his letter to J. D. Hooker of 20 [October 1858] (Correspondence vol. 7), CD referred to meeting Falconer in London on the previous day. CD wished to consult Falconer on the identification of skeletal remains of breeds of pigeon for his ‘skeleton & Pigeon M.S.’; he had been working on the manuscript since August, and it later formed the basis for a discussion in Variation (Variation 1: 162–7; see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to T. C. Eyton, 4 October [1858] and n. 4, and Appendix II).
CD’s stomach was troubling him, and he was planning to visit a hydropathic establishment at Moor Park, which he did between 25 October and 1 November, to take the water cure (see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to W. E. Darwin, 15 [October 1858], letter to J. D. Hooker, 20 [October 1858], and Appendix II).


Cannot come to London until Tuesday. Arriving about 11: 15.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Hugh Falconer
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 144: 34
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4636,” accessed on 9 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)