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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Edward Walford   22 [January–April 1865?]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Sir

I should of course be proud to be one of your Series;2 but I cannot spare a day to go to London; & I am not likely to be there soon: I may, however in course of summer, & will call on Mr. Edwards, if it be then not too late; & he can inform me.—3

My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The date range is conjectured on the assumption that CD visited the photographer, Ernest Edwards, during his stay to London in November 1865, with a view to being included in Walford’s photographic series (see nn. 2 and 3, below), and on the basis of CD’s illness, which began at the end of April (see ‘Journal’, Appendix II).
Edward Walford had assumed editorial responsibilities for the series Portraits of men of eminence in literature, science, and art, with biographical memoirs, begun by Lovell Augustus Reeve (see Walford 1868 and Browne 1998, pp. 269–71). A portrait of CD taken by Edwards appeared in volume 5 of the series, published in 1866 (Reeve and Walford eds. 1863–7, 5: facing p. 49).
CD probably sat for Edwards during his visit to London between 8 and 20 November 1865. See letter from E. A. Darwin to Emma Darwin, 25 [November 1865] and nn. 2 and 3.


Browne, Janet. 1998. I could have retched all night. Darwin and his body. In Science incarnate. Historical embodiments of natural knowledge, edited by Christopher Lawrence and Steven Shapin. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Walford, Edward. 1868. Representative men in literature, science and art. London: A. W. Bennett.


CD would be proud to be one of EW’s series [Portraits of men of eminence (1863–7)]. If he goes to London in the summer he will call on Mr Edwards [the photographer].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Edward Walford
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.237)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5508,” accessed on 28 October 2020,

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