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Darwin Correspondence Project

To W. D. Fox   6 July [1858]1

Down Bromley Kent

July 6th

My dear Fox

I write one line to thank you for your second most kind letter. All is going on well. The nurse has had it pretty severely, but the crisis is over. No one else has taken it & I hope now will not, but we had a fear about our Governess, but she is out of House,2 & we are getting less frightened & in every way, more composed, I have been much knocked up & so has my poor dear wife but we are now much better.

Etty is too weak to move yet: she has not even put on her clothes, but our strong for her moving as soon as ever she can.— We go first to Elizabeth Wedgwoods & thence to the sea;3 but where is our puzzle. We should much like S. side of the Isle of Wight; but it is indispensable on account of Etty that the House shd be very near the sea, & I fear such does not occur on account of cliffs.— Shd. you know anything on this head, will you let me have a line; but do not otherwise trouble yourself to write.4

My dear Fox, with cordial thanks for all your affection. Ever yours | C. Darwin


Dated by the reference to illness in the house (see letter to W. D. Fox, 2 July [1858]) and by the broad mourning border on the letter. Charles Waring Darwin had died on 28 June 1858.
Emma Darwin’s diary records that on 4 July 1858 ‘Miss Pugh went’. Miss Pugh had been engaged as governess to the Darwin children in April 1857.
CD and Emma Darwin took Henrietta Emma Darwin to Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood’s house in Hartfield on 9 July 1858 and left for the Isle of Wight on 16 July (‘Journal’; Appendix II).
Fox had spent several recuperative holidays on the Isle of Wight (Correspondence vols. 1 and 2).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


The crisis is abating – no further scarlet fever in the family.

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2304,” accessed on 17 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7