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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   [20 November 1843]

Down. Bromley Kent


My dear Fox

I have been a neglectful dog, for I see in your last note, an age since, that you ask for one line to hear about Emma & her Babby— She has never had so good a recovery & there never was such a good little soul—as Miss Henrietta Emma Darwin— she is beginning to smile & be very charming,—though how she has any idea, except whether the milk comes fast or slow is hard to conjecture— I have now nearly got this place in order, though there is much yet to do—& I think when you next see it, you will think it greatly improved—1 I have made a nice little orchard, all dwarfs, as you, for one, recommended.— Susan is staying here & likes the quiet of the place much. She has leave of absence, as Caroline & Jos have not yet removed from Shrewsbury, where Caroline produced a little girl, a few days after our affair.— We continue in the same profoundly tranquil state, as when you were here, & have only got to know one person well, namely Lady Lubbock, who is a very nice person, absorbed with the education of nearly a dozen very nice children.— I wish, with all my heart that we were, as you say, rather nearer, but remember we are near London & that in effect is being near everyone.— They heard of you the other day at Shrewsbury from Col. Egerton,2 who spoke much of you.— my Father likes Col. Egerton particularly & he must be a very pleasant neighbour for you.— But I fear this last sentence & all that speaks of pleasure grates on your feelings—

I trust you are well bodily & believe me | Ever yours— C. Darwin


According to Emma Darwin’s diary, ‘Mr Fox came’ on 27 May 1843 (DAR 242).


Family news and their quiet life at Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 68)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 715,” accessed on 16 May 2022,

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