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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin   [1863–6?]1

Dear Charles

I have signed for SED2 also, as I presume the shares stand in our joint names.3

I am afraid your good time has not lasted long from Henrietta’s acct 4

Yours affec. | E D


The date range is conjectured by the reference to CD’s health and by the date of his sister’s death (see n. 2, below). CD’s ‘good time’, which had ‘not lasted long’, may refer to a period preceding one of the intervals of poor health that he suffered during 1863, 1864, and 1865 (see Correspondence vols. 11, 12, and 13, Bowlby 1990, pp. 370–84, and Colp 1998).
Susan Elizabeth Darwin, CD and Erasmus’s elder sister, died on 3 October 1866 (R. B. Freeman 1978).
The shares have not been identified but were probably related to a legacy to Susan, Erasmus, and CD from a Darwin or Wedgwood relation. CD’s legacies and investments are recorded in his Investment book (Down House MS).
CD’s daughter Henrietta Emma Darwin may have visited Erasmus’s residence in London on some of her many trips to London from 1863 to 1865; Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) records Henrietta travelling to London at least four times in 1863, twelve times in 1864, and nine times in 1865.


Bowlby, John. 1990. Charles Darwin: a biography. London: Hutchinson.

Colp, Ralph, Jr. 1998. To be an invalid, redux. Journal of the History of Biology 31: 211–40.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Has signed for the shares. Fears CD’s "good time" has not lasted long.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105: B34
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4726,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18 (Supplement)