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Darwin Correspondence Project

To M. T. Masters   29 September [1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept. 29th

My dear Sir

It would be a real pleasure to me to see you here;2 but I am very sorry to say that I cannot at present offer to do so.

I have had an ugly head attack, (though the Doctors think the symptoms are only secondary) & they insist on my living very quietly & on strict rule.—3 I can assure you half-an-hour’s interesting conversation with anyone whom I do not habitually see, especially in the afternoon, would quite upset me, though I am able to do regular work at my regular times. Under these circumstances I feel sure that you will excuse me.—

I am sure that I wish all success to the Gard. Chronicle, though I doubt whether my advice cd. be of any service.

My dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from M. T. Masters, 27 September 1873.
Masters had asked to see CD to discuss changes to the Gardeners’ Chronicle (see letter from M. T. Masters, 27 September 1873).
On 26 August 1873, CD had become unwell with partial loss of memory for twelve hours and ‘numerous bad sinking fits’ (see Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). CD’s doctors were Andrew Clark and Henry Willey (see letter from Andrew Clark, 3 September 1873 and n. 4).


CD refuses an interview because of a severe headache, but wishes all success to the Gardeners’ Chronicle.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Maxwell Tylden Masters
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9077,” accessed on 7 April 2020,

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