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Darwin Correspondence Project

To George Cupples   7 June [1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. [Leith Hill Place, Dorking.]

June 7th

My dear Mr Cupples

I thank you for your pleasant & interesting letter,2 & indeed I ought to have thanked you before for a former good letter, & report of Victor Carus’ lecture,3 (which I was glad to see) & for something else, but I forget what, as I am writing away from home, having gone away for rest, of which I am much in need.4

I am very glad to hear that my suspicion about Dr Stirling was quite groundless:5 I was a little mortified at so able a man writing with such loathing contempt of me; not but what I am pretty well used to this.

I have not seen Emerson,6 but from all that I have heard he must be a charming man. I doubt, however, whether we should have enough in common to interest each other; & indeed I have hardly strength to talk to anyone with any spirit. During the last 2 or 3 years we have seen several yankees, & as a rule they seem a most pleasant set. We saw a good deal of the Nortons, friends of Emerson, & were charmed with them.7

I am extra stupid & tired & with my best thanks, believe me yours sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Yesterday at dinner I was talking to my hosts, as chance had it, about you, & was telling them to be sure & read “Tappys’ chickens”.8


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from George Cupples, 4 June 1873.
The previous extant letter from Cupples is that of 1 May 1873. He evidently enclosed a report of a lecture given in Edinburgh by Julius Victor Carus; however, it has not been found in the Darwin Archive–CUL.
CD stayed at Leith Hill Place in Surrey, the home of Josiah Wedgwood III and Caroline Sarah Wedgwood, from 4 to 12 June (‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Charles Eliot Norton and Susan Ridley Sedgwick Norton had visited in 1868 and 1869 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). Other visitors from the US included Asa and Jane Loring Gray (October 1868 and August 1869), Chauncey Wright (September 1872), and Jane Norton (January 1873).
Tappy’s chicks: and other links between nature and human nature was written by Cupples’s wife, Ann Jane Cupples (A. Cupples 1872).


Thanks for report on J. V. Carus’ lecture.

Glad to hear suspicion about J. H. Stirling groundless.

CD has not seen R. W. Emerson. In last two or three years has seen several Yankees. Saw a good deal of the Nortons [Charles Eliot and Susan Ridley Sedgwick].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Cupples
Sent from
Leith Hill Place Down letterhead
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.428)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8936,” accessed on 20 April 2024,

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