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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   [October 1828]



My dear Fox

I think I mentioned that I had a few stuffed birds, & as they would be of much more use to you than to me, I have taken the liberty of sending them to the “Osmaston Museum” & hope they will arrive safe.— I have also sent a few insects, a Carabus with 6 punctures—taken at Maer, & another Leistus of a light brown colour.— Tell me what you think of these insects, also of a common black (but new to me) carabus.— N.B. The Terne was shot on Maer pool last September.—

So much for Natu History, & excepting that I have been doing little else, & therefore my letter must be as stupid as I myself am. I staid two days at Maer, where I left orders about your birds, & on Monday returned to sweet home. Home is doubtless very sweet, but like all good things one is apt to cloy on it; accordingly I have resolved to go to Woodhouse for a week. This is to me a paradise, about which, like any good Mussulman I am always thinking; the black-eyed Houris however, do not merely exist in Mahomets noddle, but are real substantial flesh & blood. Formerly I used to have two places, Maer & Woodhouse, about which, like a wheel on a pivot I used to revolve. Now I am luckier in having a third, & I hope I need not say that third is Osmaston: I must say, although for the 10th time, & although you doubtless would elegantly term it humbug, I do not know when I have spent 3 pleas⁠⟨⁠anter⁠⟩⁠ weeks. Would you be so kind as to present to your sister Emma, a few franks, which I have rummaged out, & I hope some few of them will be new. Mr. Joseph splendid example was before me, he indeed gave original sonnets, I alas must be contented with my minor contribution

I hope, when you write, you will give me a most minute account of every thing alive & dead about Osmaston Remember me to your sister Julia & tell her how much amusement I received from her permission of peeping, & far from being able to forestall her in the article of news her letter afforded me as much pleasure as it did Catherine

Remember me most kindly to Mr & Mrs. Fox & most tenderly (it is your own term) to the rest of your family & believe me my dear old Fox | yours sincerely | Chas. Darwin

I want to know the name of a butterfly, which you have got, its wings are most wonderfully jagged, & of a reddish colour, after an immense chase with all the servants in the house I at last captured it—

Look over your butterflies & you will soon perceive what I mean—


Sends some stuffed birds for "Osmaston Museum" and some insects.

Home having cloyed, plans to go to Woodhouse to visit the Owens and the black-eyed houris [Sarah and Fanny] there.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 5)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 48,” accessed on 22 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1