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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Darwin to G. S. Ffinden   [22? November 1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.


Dear Mr Ffinden

Sir John & Lady Lubbock2 as well as Mr Darwin & myself are anxious to establish the Reading Room for the winter months as we did formerly, & I shall be much obliged to you to inform me whether I ought to apply to the School Board for permission to use the School room for that purpose.3

My application would also have much greater weight if you were inclined to join in the request.

We should of course have to pay a woman to put the schoolroom in complete order every morning before the school assembles.

With kind regards to Mrs Ffinden4 | very truly yours | Emma Darwin


The date is conjectured from a discussion of a dispute with Ffinden over the use of the schoolroom in a letter from Emma Darwin to Horace Darwin, postmarked ‘29 November 1873’ (DAR 258: 585). Emma was in London from 8 to 18 November 1873 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). In 1873, 22 November was a Saturday.
For more on this request and the resulting dispute, see the letter from E. F. Lubbock to Emma Darwin, [c. 29 November 1873] and n. 2, the letter to Down School Board, [after 29 November 1873], and J. R. Moore 1985, pp. 471 and 480.
Frances M. Ffinden.


Moore, James Richard. 1985. Darwin of Down: the evolutionist as squarson-naturalist. In The Darwinian heritage, edited by David Kohn. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press in association with Nova Pacifica (Wellington, NZ).


Darwins and Lubbocks wish to continue using the school room as a Reading Room for workers in the winter months and asks Ffinden to support them.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
George Sketchley Ffinden
Sent from
Source of text
Bromley Historic Collections, Bromley Central Library (P/123/25/3/1/1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9121F,” accessed on 9 August 2022,

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