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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Emma Wedgwood   [26 January 1839]



My dear Emma

I have ten minutes to write in, & I am determined to show you, that I think myself of sufficient consequence for you to care to hear our plans.—

The house is in such a bustle, that I do not know what I write.—

I have got the ring, which is the most important piece of news I have to tell.— My two last days in London, when I wanted to have most leisure, were rendered very uncomfortable by a bad headache, which continued two days & two nights, so that I doubted, whether it ever meant to go & allow me to be married.— The Railroad yesterday, however, quite cured me.— Before I came to Maer last time, I was eager in my mind for the advantage of going straight home after the awful ceremony.— You however, made me just as determined on the advantages of not going straight home, & now your last letter (for which I return you thanks, for being so good a girl as to write) has just put me half way between the two plans.— This will give you hopes of my being a very docile husbund, thus to have become twice absolute converts to your scheme.— I settled the matter by telling the housemaid to have fires lighted on Tuesday, & if we did not come then to have them Wednesday,—so that you may decide precisely as you please at any moment you please.— I went as near a false hood as any honest man could do, by pretending to deliberate & saying in a very hesitating voice, you need not have a fire on Monday, by which any would suppose we were to be married on that Morning.— whether I took them in, I do not know.—

The Carriage is at the door all this time, so that I cannot write any more.— I had intended to have written to you, my own dear little wife a long letter,—but I do not know what I have said, but I know you are a very dear good soul.—

so good Bye | Ever your affectionly | Chas. Darwin

I have not had time to speak to Charlotte, for I was very stupid last night.—


He has the wedding ring. Agrees to coming straight home after the wedding, if that is what she prefers.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.8: 13
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 493,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

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