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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. D. Fox   3 February [1868]1

Delamere Rectory | Northwich | Cheshire

Feb 3

My dear Darwin

It gave me almost as much pleasure to see your Son 2nd Wrangler as if he had been my own.2

I did not at once write to congratulate you because I thought you would be burdened with letters, and now I have another cause for writing—viz to thank you for your kind present of your new Work, which I received on Friday last.3

I have run it over with much satisfaction, and shall now proceed to ruminate it over at my leisure. It will be a great treat to me.

I have not written to you of late, because I feared to give you the trouble of a reply, which I thought would, in your health, be an annoyance.

I greatly rejoiced to hear from Erasmus,4 that you were much better than you had been. When next in Town, I shall write to ask if I can run down to you for a few hours. It would be a great pleasure to again see you.

I have not been very well of late. I fear I am threatened with Angina from the pain I often have. I have consulted 2 Medicos, who gave me exactly opposite advice, so am going upon my own plan, till I can take a 3rd Doctors advice.

We are all well— when quite at liberty I should much rejoice to hear of you and yours.

With kindest regards to Mrs Darwin, and most heartfelt congratulations upon her Sons success—

Ever dear Darwin | Yours affectly W D Fox


The year is established by the reference to George Howard Darwin’s examination success (see n. 2, below).
George Darwin had achieved second place in the final examination for the mathematical tripos at Cambridge University in January (Cambridge University calendar); the position was known as ‘second wrangler’.
Fox refers to Variation; his name appears on CD’s presentation list for the book (see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV).


Cambridge University calendar: The Cambridge University calendar. Cambridge: W. Page [and others]. 1796–1950.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Congratulates [G. H. Darwin] on being Second Wrangler.

Thanks CD for Variation.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Darwin Fox
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 186
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5837,” accessed on 19 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16