skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   24 [October 1873]1

Down,| Beckenham, Kent.


My dear George

Thanks for your very nice letter.2 I fully agree to what you say about occupying yourself with small articles when you can do nothing else. It is in every way an advantage. I am far from surprised that you cannot work much at mathematicks—my wonder is that you can any day in your present state.— What an evil it is about the cold Lecture room. Oh my eye there is such a paper by Maxwell Clerk in yesterday’s Nature!3 It has been horribly cold; yesterday I could not anyhow keep warm.

It is a fearfully difficult moral problem about the speaking out on religion, & I have never been able to make up my mind.— I asked Dicey & Litchfield, when they were talking about J. S. Mill’s reticence, but got no answer from them.—4 As I am sure Hen.5 would like to read your nice letter, I will send it her by this post.— We were delighted to get a good account of Horace6 from himself this morning,—give the dear old fellow my love.—

Yours affecty | Ch Darwin

We have had an Irishman a grand Breeder of Short-Horns here to Luncheon—he declares that my Books have been of great use to him in breeding!7


The month and year are established by the relationship between this letter, the letter to G. H. Darwin, 21 October [1873], and the letter from John Downing, 13 November 1873.
The letter has not been found.
James Clerk Maxwell’s paper ‘On the final state of a system of molecules in motion subject to forces of any kind’ (Maxwell 1873) was full of equations.
CD refers to Albert Venn Dicey, Richard Buckley Litchfield, and John Stuart Mill. See letter to G. H. Darwin, 21 October [1873] and n. 4.
Henrietta Emma Litchfield.
Horace Darwin.


"It is a fearfully difficult moral problem about speaking out on religion, & I have never been able to make up my mind."

An Irishman, a "grand breeder" of short-horns, declared at lunch that CD’s books had been "a great help to [him] in breeding!"

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.1: 15
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9111,” accessed on 18 July 2019,

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