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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Susan Darwin   [22 February 1842]


My dear Susan

What a load you must all feel removed. there certainly could not anything have happened better.— they are, however, horrid affairs at the best.—1 Give my kindest love to Caroline; tell me when next you write in which room she is.

Marianne will I suppose be gone before this arrives. I had hoped she was going to have paid a long visit, in which case I thought I should have probably seen her. For I am thinking of taking a rush to Shrewsbury by myself before our regular summer visit—but my unwellness of late has put all my schemes to the rout as I wished to have got my coral-volume printed off.— Tell me how soon the house would be ready to have me for a week.— Emma wants me to go pretty soon to see if a change would shake me right again, but I shall try & finish my volume first.2 I am a widower at present, as Emma & Dziver (Doddys name for Elizabeth) are gone to Mrs Marsh3 for a couple of nights.— I am very curious to hear some particulars about what kind of place it is.— Poor Doddy lamented a good deal over Emmas going: he has got such a wise way of comforting himself on all occasions. if anything is refused him, as going with Emma he says in a cheerful tone, “go in a geegee tomorrow” & if that is refused he says “go some day” & if that is refused, he says “go when Doddy big man”. This last comfort is of infinate use & application.— Elizabeth pays him many proper compliments on his sensible looks & merriness.—

I saw Erasmus yesterday, who was going to dine with Hensleighs, who have stupid party of the Malthus’; & Fanny moreover far from being well.— Erasmus tells me poor T. Carlyle has lost all his little capital 200 or 300£ in some of the American speculations.— Dr. Holland has also lost between 4000 & 5000£, which he feels most acutely. The Erskines,4 (though this a great secret) have lost 5000£ in same way in Ohio bonds & have another 5000£ in great jeopardy at Sydney: did you ever hear such rashness in a person with large family speculating nearly his whole fortune in two lots in two distant countries: the world is gone mad with their speculations.—

Talking of money, I reaped the other day all the profit, which I shall ever get from my Journal, which consisted in paying Mr Colburn 21£ ‘ ’ 10s for the copies, which I presented to different people: 1337 copies have been sold.— This is a comfortable arrangement is it not?—

Love to all, my dear old Chuc⁠⟨⁠ky⁠⟩⁠ & tell me exactly how soon or how late you would like a fly visit from me.— Give my love to Jos. Ever yours | C.D.

(Pray let us hear before long, how Caroline is going on.)


A reference to the birth of Katherine Elizabeth Sophy Wedgwood, daughter of Caroline and Josiah Wedgwood III, on 17 February.
CD was correcting proofs of Coral reefs, which was published in May 1842.


Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1978. Charles Darwin: a companion. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Comments on birth [of Catherine Elizabeth Sophia Wedgwood].

Plans to visit Shrewsbury.

Describes behaviour of William Darwin.

Discusses speculation losses of acquaintances, including T. Carlyle’s. Mentions his own loss on Journal of researches.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Susan Elizabeth Darwin
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
DAR 185: 10
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 621,” accessed on 5 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2