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Darwin Correspondence Project

To M. D. Conway   11 January [1873]1

Down Beckenham

Jan 11—

My dear Sir

I am very much obliged for your letter, dated Dec 24, but recd only a few days ago, with its very interesting details bearing on the subject of expression.2 I have long wished to have the pleasure of making your acquaintance. Would it be convenient to you to pay us a visit on Friday the 24th. & stay with us till the next day?3

In case we have the pleasure of seeing you I will mention that your best plan will be to leave Charing Cross Station by the 4.12 train for Orpington Station, where I will send to meet you.

We have asked Mr & Miss Norton with whom you are probably acquainted to come on the same day—4

I feel bound to add that owing to my state of health I am never able to talk long with any one; & I hope that you will excuse my occasionally leaving my guests.

Trusting that we may see you I remain | my dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from M. D. Conway, 24 December 1872 (Correspondence vol. 20).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), Conway did arrive at Down on 24 January 1872.
Charles Eliot Norton is not mentioned in Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) as visiting on 24 January; however, Henrietta Emma and Richard Buckley Litchfield, Frances Emma Elizabeth Wedgwood, and ‘Alice’ (possibly Alice Bonham-Carter) are mentioned. Jane Norton was at Down on 27 January 1873 (letter to J. D. Hooker, 27 January [1873] and n. 10).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Thanks MDC for letter on expression [see 8694].

Invites him to Down on 24th. CD warns that his health does not permit him to talk long with anyone.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Moncure Daniel Conway
Sent from
Source of text
Columbia University in the City of New York, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8730,” accessed on 23 June 2021,

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