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Darwin Correspondence Project

From F. J. Wedgwood to H. E. Darwin   [1867–72]1

Friday night

My dear Harrot

Miss Gourlay answers me about that case of face hiding Uncle Ch wanted in detail, but there ⁠⟨⁠is⁠⟩⁠ almost nothing to say. She does not specially look after that class of women but had a little school for the lowest class of child⁠⟨⁠r⁠⟩⁠en & of course some of the⁠⟨⁠se⁠⟩⁠ fall into that way of life.2 This was a case of this kind. it was at the Lock Hospital she saw the girl, or rather did not see her, for she was in bed & as Miss G approached pulled the clothes over h⁠⟨⁠e⁠⟩⁠r face, & in spite of all her efforts to draw them off, would not allow her to do so, —so she cd not see any part of her face nor get any ⁠⟨⁠ans⁠⟩⁠wer from her.3 Afterwards on coming out she came to Miss G for help & counsel, but took offence because she gave her too thick & coarse a pair of ⁠⟨⁠bo⁠⟩⁠ots. That fact is irrelevant but I mention it to shew it was only shame made her hide her face.

I am writing on the sofa, after a bad day. I am so glad to hear of the departure from Tromers.4 I think Caroline is more of a person than R. but as you say it is a great subtraction to have to do without eyes.5

My head is ⁠⟨⁠    ⁠⟩⁠ stupid I wont try to write any more

Ever yr dr Harrot | FJW


The date range is established from the fact that the content of the letter relates to CD’s work on expression (see n. 3, below). CD was working on expression with a view to publishing between 1867 and1872.
Jane Gourlay had been a schoolteacher in Edinburgh (B. Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980, p. 288). See also the first letter from F. J. Wedgwood to H. E. Darwin, [1867–72].
CD described this case in Expression, p. 323. The Lock Hospitals were developed for the treatment of syphilis.
Tromer Lodge in Down was purchased by Emma Darwin’s sister Elizabeth Wedgwood in 1868 (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter to J. B. Innes, 20 January [1868] and n. 6).
Wedgwood may refer to Caroline Sarah Wedgwood and Erasmus Alvey (Ras) Darwin, Henrietta’s aunt and uncle.


Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, Hensleigh. 1980. The Wedgwood circle, 1730–1897: four generations of a family and their friends. London: Studio Vista.


Miss Gourlay reports case of girl at the Lock Hospital who covered her face in shame.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frances Julia (Snow) Wedgwood
Henrietta Emma Darwin/Henrietta Emma Litchfield
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 181: 45
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7058,” accessed on 30 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20