skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Michael Foster   25 June 1871

5 Vanbrugh Park Road | Blackheath.

Jun 25. 1871

My dear Sir.

Not being very regular at the New Club I did not get your letter till yesterday.1

I am very sorry to say that I am now engaged every day at South Kensington with Mr. Huxley2 from 10 to 5 so that it will be impossible for me to call at Queen Anne St,3 as otherwise I should have been delighted to do.

It was very kind of you to have thought of asking me to stay at Down—but I feel I have no right to take up so much of your own time or that of your family and besides I am very loth to spend all Sunday away from our two little ones, that being the only day I have with them.4

I would not have said anything about coming over to Down, if I had thought of doing anything else but what I said.5

I lived at Bickley for two years—and what I will still do if you will let me, will be to look at my old home some morning and then walk on to Down— if you are at leisure and feeling pretty, I may have the pleasure of a few minutes chat with you— —if not I will just walk over to High Elms and so home.6

I am sorry I have caused you to write such a long letter—because I know all about your health and you ought not to be made to write unnecessary letters.

Please leave it so and think nothing more about it and Believe me | Yours very truly | M. Foster


See letter to Michael Foster, 6 June [1871]. Foster may refer to the New Oxford and Cambridge University Club in London.
Foster was one of three demonstrators assisting Thomas Henry Huxley with his six-week training programme for science teachers held at the South Kensington Museum (A. Desmond 1994–7, 2: 13–14).
Six Queen Anne street was the address of CD’s brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin. CD was in London from 24 to 30 June 1871 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Bickley is about four miles north of Down. High Elms was the home of CD’s neighbour, John Lubbock.


Desmond, Adrian. 1994–7. Huxley. 2 vols. London: Michael Joseph.


Regrets he cannot get to Queen Anne Street, but intends to come to Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Michael Foster
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 163
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7831,” accessed on 21 June 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19