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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   18 April [1849]

The Lodge. | Malvern

April 18th

My dear Fox

Many thanks for your most friendly note a fortnight ago. I did not write sooner, till I knew our plans more definitely. Dr. G. now says we may return home at end of May (it will be on Friday 1st of June that we shall arrive, I hope at dear old Down) but that I shall have to go on with the Aqueous treatment for many months at home under his direction.— Our remaining here all May will, I hope give us a better chance of seeing you here, but your account of yourself & gigantic family1 shows that it is but a chance; nevertheless we shall hope for it—

I am very sorry to hear that you have not been very well this winter. With respect to myself I believe I am going on very well; but I am rather weary of my present inactive life & the Water Cure has the most extraordinary effect in producing indolence & stagnation of mind; till experiencing it, I cd not have believed it possible.— I now increase in weight, have escaped sickness for 30 days, which is thrice as long an interval, as I have had for last year; & yesterday in 4 walks I managed seven miles! I am turned into a mere walking & eating machine.— Dr. G. however finds he is obliged to treat me cautiously, & during last week all my treatment has been much relaxed. There are many patients here even already: last summer I hear he had 120!— He must be making an immense fortune.—2 Lady Wilmot lives here with her son Col. Wilmot;3 I have not called, for I was frightened at this great Dandy of a son: if it had been summer I wd. have called to have seen the flower garden.— You need not send Athenæum4 or Glacier Paper5 till our return to Down.—

Yours very affectionately | C. Darwin

For auld langsyn I have looked for Beetles on the hills here, but cannot find one.—6


By this time, Fox had seven children (Darwin Pedigree).
The charges for James Manby Gully’s water cure are given in Wilson and Gully 1845, pp. 29–31. For patients who resided with Gully the fee was from four to five guineas per week, plus a weekly payment of 2s. 6d. to the bath servant; for patients who lived in lodgings the fee was reduced to two to three guineas, plus a weekly payment of 4s. to the bath servant. In either case there was an initial fee of two guineas for a consultation with Dr Gully.
Marianne Wilmot and Eardley Nicholas Wilmot of Malvern, the widow and son of Sir Robert Wilmot who had been the landlord of Osmaston, the home of Fox’s parents, Ann and Samuel Fox (see Correpondence vol. 1, letter from W. D. Fox, 1 November 1834). Lady Wilmot resided at Rosebank, Malvern.
Possibly the Athenæum, no. 1116, 17 March 1849, in which Chambers 1848 is favourably reviewed (pp. 275–6); or Athenæum, no. 1117, 24 March 1849, in which there is an account of Edward Forbes’s lecture at the Royal Institution on 2 March entitled, ‘Have new species of organized beings appeared since the creation of man?’ (p. 304).
Possibly J. D. Forbes 1849, in which James David Forbes drew an analogy between the flow of mud-slides and the movement of glaciers. The article is dated 2 December 1848 and was published in the January 1849 issue of the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal.
See Correspondence vol. 1 for CD and Fox’s mutual interest in beetle collecting.


Chambers, Robert. 1848. Ancient sea margins. Edinburgh.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Forbes, James David. 1849. Fifteenth letter on glaciers; containing observations on the analogies derived from mudslides on a large scale and from some processes in the arts; in favour of the viscous theory of glaciers. Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal 46: 139–48.


Continues to improve, but water-cure has produced "indolence and stagnation of mind".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Darwin Fox
Sent from
Source of text
Christ’s College Library, Cambridge (MS 53 Fox 73a)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1240,” accessed on 4 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4