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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Felix Choice   [1873?]1

130 Newington | Causeway

To Mr Darwin

Dear Sir,

allow me to call your attention to the following remark in your new work.2 in page 175 upon weeping, occur the following remark, “Tears are actually recognised as a sign of happiness; but we should require better evidence on this head than that of a passing voyager.

Now I can state from positive observation that weeping is as much a sign of happiness as laughing with some nervously sensitive people: my wife, and, Daughters3 all cry if I make them a present or take them to any place of amusement and I have known and seen.—numbers of other persons do the same. I could convince you of it, if you would give me five minutes audience. I am a bad correspondent, and have very little time to spare or I would write you a more detailed account of my observations in this matter

Yours Respectfully | Felix Choice


The year is conjectured from the fact that this letter is a response to Expression, which was published in November 1872 (Freeman 1977).
Choice’s wife was Jane Choice; their daughters were Jane Emily and Jessie Choice.


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Has read Expression, and assures CD some people cry when happy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Felix Choice
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Newington Causeway, 130
Source of text
DAR 161: 145
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8710,” accessed on 16 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21