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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Wedgwood   [9 January 1839]

My dear Charles

I was very glad to have your letter though I was not at all enraged at not receiving one before, but I must make much of your letters now for I don’t suppose I shall receive more than two or perhaps three more in the course of my life from you. There is a melancholy consideration. With respect to the curtains it is a difficult question but I almost think you had better let them alone till I can come & fret about them myself. perhaps we might want them for some other room & get new ones for the drawing room, but I dont care only if you do send them I don’t think drab or grey or any of the dubious colours are very safe to dye, I think it must be a decided dark colour such as maroon or dark purple. Margaret may unpick them & observe how they are made if you send them, that we may have them made up in the house again. But I rather advise you to let them alone. I am glad we have got a cook. I am very glad you resisted the blue coat you would have looked very unnatural in it. The white trowsers were no great temptation in this weather. I wonder what extravangiencies (this word will not come right) you have been committing. A diamond pin for your stock or some such thing I should not wonder. I am surprized you never read Mungo Park before. I remember being more interested in it when I was a child than in almost any book & admiring Mungo with all my heart. I became very fond of Sir Walter when I got near the end of his life though there is nothing in him very much to respect. It is surprizing that he could be so perfectly fresh & natural in his journal being well aware as he was that it was sure to be published after his death However I guess you are too busy setting off just now to have much leisure for my observations. Catty & I had a great dispute whether Sir W. cared much for the death of his wife or not, which side do you take. By the way now we seem to be clearing old scores they told me at Shrewsbury that you had the audacity to call me “little baggage”! but I won’t believe it till I hear it with my own ears, (& then I advise you to take care of your own ears) I suppose you are going to the Geological today. It is very disgraceful not to fill up my letter but I really have nothing more to say to you but to leave my blessing with my own dear old geologist

yours affectly| Emma W.  Maer Wednesday.


Glad to have his letter; supposes she will receive only two or three more from him in her life.

Thinks he should leave the curtains for her.

Discusses Mungo Park and Sir Walter Scott’s Life.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 204: 160
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 486,” accessed on 27 September 2022,

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