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Darwin Correspondence Project

To WDFox   6 February [1868]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Feb 6

My dear Fox

I thank you very sincerely for your most cordial congratulations. George’s success has been a very great pleasure to us.2 Whenever you come to London it will give me & Emma very great pleasure to see you here, but I hope that you will stay the night with us. You give but a poor account of your own health.3 I hope that what you fear is not the case. I have known quite a large number of men who the Drs declared (falsely as it afterwards appeared) to have had their hearts affected; & how many men there are who live to good old age although their hearts are certainly affected.

There is so much detail in my book that you will never be able to read it through; but some of the chapters, such as that on Reversion are I think curious. You will find several facts given on your authority.4

Believe me my dear old friend | yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from WDFox, 3 February [1868].
CD refers to George Howard Darwin. See letter from WDFox, 3 February [1868] and n. 2.
See letter from WDFox, 3 February [1868].
CD discussed reversion in the second of his chapters on inheritance in Variation 2: 28–61. He cited Fox for information on various domestic animals in Variation.


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


There is so much detail in Variation that WDF will never be able to finish it. Some chapters, like that on reversion, are "curious".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 148)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5842,” accessed on 31 July 2021,

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