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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Darwin   [19 April 1851]



My own dearest

The conclusion of your letter does leave me with some hopes, almost as much as I had yesterday. It is a blessing that our darling does not suffer, & I hope that even the vomitting does not cause much. How kind of Dr Gully to sleep in the house. & must have been a great support to you Now dear Fanny is with you, you must let her experienced eye do some of the watching,1 tho’ I know what an effort it must be to leave her for a moment, but you will be quite exhausted. Aunt F.2 helps me through the long hours of suspense, & I feel quite unnatural sometimes in being able to talk of other things. Poor little sweet child I often think of the precious look she gave you the only one I suppose. No wonder she would brighten up at your sight you were always the tenderest of human beings to her & comforted her so on all occasions.

I am sadly afraid we shall not hear tomorrow The morning is the only chance Mr Acton3 says.

Goodbye my dearest. I shall probably send for Etty4 on Monday. God bless you I know you would suffer. Yours my beloved E.D.


Apart from wanting Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood to support CD during the nursing of Anne, Emma also depended ‘on her eye for illness’ (Emma Darwin (1915) 2: 133).
Fanny Allen was staying with Emma in Down (Emma Darwin (1915) 2: 132).
Samuel Poole Acton was postmaster at Bromley, Kent. The cover of the letter of 17 April is addressed to ‘Mrs. Darwin | care of Mr. Acton | Post Office | Bromley | Kent | (If not called for, please despatch by special messenger.)’
Henrietta Emma Darwin, Anne’s younger sister, had been taken to Malvern in March to keep Anne company (Emma Darwin (1915) 2: 132).


Emma Darwin (1915): Emma Darwin: a century of family letters, 1792–1896. Edited by Henrietta Litchfield. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1915.


Is hopeful about Anne after receiving an encouraging message.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.13: 13
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1404,” accessed on 19 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5