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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox    26 [August 1829]


Wednesday 26th.—

My dear Fox

I returned from Black Game shooting at Maer on Monday, & was most exceedingly glad to find your letter, when I came home: I am very much obliged for your most kind & welcome invitation to Osmaston. And, as by good luck your visit into Yorkshire has been delayed, if it will suit you, I will come there early in September.— I intend going to Maer for the first, & shall stay there about a week, after which I will come through Newcastle to Derby.— I will write & let you know when I can find out about coaches &c &c

But first, to know whether it is perfectly convenient I must have a letter directed to me at J. Wedgwood Esq. Maer Hall Newcastle under Line. You must write nearly as soon as you receive this.—

I am afraid it is almost too late for Entomologizing, but I shall like a quiet week at Osmaston better than anything else: I had so very pleasant a visit the last time I was there; that every thing has a charm to me from Pig Park to your’ Sanctum Sanctorum.—

The Wedgwoods1 whom you saw at Kingscote are staying at Maer. they have been for the last year living with Mrs. Sismondi2 near Geneva & there they saw the Ways who have a house there.— They did not see little Albert. his direction is Les Dèlices,3 Près de Genève.— If you have any virtue & are not too much engaged, you will of course immediately write to him.—

You will be surprized to hear that I have been again to Barmouth. my sisters took a sudden freak4 to go to the sea-side so I chaperoned them there. The weather was dreadfully bad so I did not do much amongst the beetles.— We will work gloriously, when I am at Osma⁠⟨⁠ston.⁠⟩⁠ I shall extremely like going regularly through your collection, & I think I shall be able to name a good many.— I will bring you the duplicates of this summer work, such as they are.—

My Father of course meant to send the Martens as they were as I also did the Dundiver, and we are glad they arrived safe.— My Father is glad to hear that Mrs. Darwin is tolerably well: it must have been a terrible blow to her.—

The Owens of Woodhouse, the idols of my adoration, have been staying at Buxton, & are now returned for the 1st of September. They give a most amusing account of the state decrepitude to which the Beau Garcons are there reduced.—

But if I begin to talk about Woodhouse & la belle Fanny, I never shall conclude this letter, so believe me my dear Fox, Yours sincerely | Chas. Darwin

My Father sends his best regard to you.— Be sure write soon, & direct to Maer.


Jessie Sismondi, wife of the historian, Jean Charles Léonard Simonde de Sismondi.
Les Délices was one of Voltaire’s houses, near Geneva. He bought and named the property in 1755. ‘It is the palace of a philosopher with the gardens of Epicurus: it is a delicious retreat’ (Besterman 1969, p. 338).
‘A sudden causeless change or turn of the mind …’ (OED).


Besterman, Theodore. 1969. Voltaire. London and Harlow: Longmans.

Emma Darwin (1915): Emma Darwin: a century of family letters, 1792–1896. Edited by Henrietta Litchfield. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1915.

OED: The Oxford English dictionary. Being a corrected re-issue with an introduction, supplement and bibliography of a new English dictionary. Edited by James A. H. Murray, et al. 12 vols. and supplement. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1970. A supplement to the Oxford English dictionary. 4 vols. Edited by R. W. Burchfield. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1972–86. The Oxford English dictionary. 2d edition. 20 vols. Prepared by J. A. Simpson and E. S. C. Weiner. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1989. Oxford English dictionary additional series. 3 vols. Edited by John Simpson et al. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1993–7.


If convenient, CD will visit WDF at Osmaston early in September. Went to Barmouth with his sisters.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Shrewsbury AU 27 1829
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 20)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 70,” accessed on 21 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1