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Darwin Correspondence Project

To WD. Fox   [31 March 1842]

12 Up. Gower St.


My dear Fox

I have purposely delayed writing to you for some little time, until the last and most sacred ceremony had past.1 Your note was most affecting to read—such tender love and so soon separated.— What a comfort it must be to you,—that is I think I should find it the greatest—the having children—2 it must make the separation appear less entire—the unspeakable tenderness of young children must soothe the heart & recall the tenderest however mournful remembrances—

My dear old friend, I do not know why I write, for I can offer only sympathy, & I can well imagine what small comfort that must be— I trust your bodily health has withstood your trial pretty well. You must have a good deal of occupation at present, which I should think would be your best relief— My health has been as usual oscillating up & down, but I certainly gain strength though at a very slow pace.— my two dear little children are very well and very fat. Emma however is uncomfortable enough all day long & seldom leaves the house,—this being her usual state before her babies come into the world— I trust time & your own innate powers of cheerful endurance will eventually make your future prospects appear brighter than can now seem possible—

Farewell.— Let me hear from you again | My dear Fox farewell | Charles Darwin


Harriet Fox was buried on 28 March 1842.
There were five children.


Second letter of condolence, following burial of Mrs Fox.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 56)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 625,” accessed on 3 August 2021,

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