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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. D. Fox   28 October [1870]1

Delamere Rectory | Northwich | Cheshire

Oct 28

My dear Darwin

What an age it is since we have met, or even corresponded.2 I have often thought of you and wished to write, but knowing how much you are engaged, I have not done so. Dr Hooker told me a few weeks since, that you are going to astonish us all very shortly by a new work.3 I shall anxiously look for it. There is such a freshness about your Books that I never tire of them, & when tired & worn out, take down a Volume, with the certainty that I shall soon be relieved from present troubles.

I now write in consequence of our having lost the direction of a Governess, which we believe Mrs Darwin applied to us to help. If we are right in Mrs Darwin being the Applicant—She will fill up the enclosed for 3 Votes at the proper place. We applied to several others I believe, & I hope they have kept the name & properly applied. Should we be wrong in imagining Mrs Darwin to be the applicant—you will kindly return the paper.4

We go next week to our Winter Quarters at Sandown in Isle of Wight—staying some days with Mrs Fox’s Father at Hampstead.5

Should you, by any accident be in London about that time I should greatly enjoy five minutes intercourse with you.

Tell Mrs Darwin, with our kindest regards, to reply to this letter, and Believe my old & much valued Friend to remain Yours always | W. D Fox


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. D. Fox, 15 November [1870].
The most recent extant letter between Fox and CD is the letter to W. D. Fox, 18 February [1870].
The references are to Joseph Dalton Hooker and Descent.
Correspondence between Emma Darwin and W. D. Fox or Ellen Sophia Fox regarding a governess and her address has not been found.
Ellen Sophia Fox’s father was Basil George Woodd of Hillfield House, Hampstead (Darwin pedigree).


Darwin pedigree: Pedigree of the family of Darwin. Compiled by H. Farnham Burke. N.p.: privately printed. 1888. [Reprinted in facsimile in Darwin pedigrees, by Richard Broke Freeman. London: printed for the author. 1984.]


Has heard of CD’s forthcoming book [Descent] from J. D. Hooker.

Leaves next week for winter quarters in Sandown.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Darwin Fox
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 191
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7353,” accessed on 28 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18