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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [4 October 1863]1

Malvern Wells2


My dear old Friend.

Your note is most pathetic3   I understand well your words: ‘wherever I go, she is there”.— I am so deeply glad that she did not suffer so much, as I feared was inevitable. This was to us with poor Annie the one great comfort.—4 Trust to me that time will do wonders, & without causing forgetfuless of your darling.

I am very weak & can write little.— My nervous system has failed & I am kept going only by repeated doses of brandy; but I am certainly better, much, & sickness stopped.—

God Bless you my best of friends.— Yours affect | C. Darwin

P.S. | I must add that I shall be grateful for a line whenever you are inclined to write.

My head swims badly so no more.—


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 October 1863. In 1863, 4 October was a Sunday.
CD was resident in Malvern Wells, Worcestershire, while undergoing treatment at James Smith Ayerst’s hydropathic establishment (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)).
Letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 October 1863. Hooker had written concerning the death of his six-year-old daughter, Maria Elizabeth Hooker.
Anne Elizabeth Darwin, the Darwins’ eldest daughter, had died aged 10 in 1851 (see Correspondence vol. 5).


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


Condolences on death of JDH’s daughter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Malvern Wells
Source of text
DAR 115: 206
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4318,” accessed on 9 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11