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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Ernst Haeckel   12 August 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Aug 12. 76

My dear Haeckel

I am glad to hear that you are coming to England, & shall be delighted to see you here.1 But I am sorry to say it is in some degree doubtful whether I shall be then at home.

My eldest son who lives at Southampton has had severe concussion of the brain & is now in Scotland for health’s sake2   He returns to his home early in September, & shortly afterwards we are going to visit him.3 How long we shall stay at Southampton is quite doubtful, as it will depend on how far we are a comfort to him. Therefore as soon as you know within a few days at what time you could come to Down, be so kind as to write to me & I will then tell you whether we shall be at home. You will see that we could not possibly put off our visit to my son, under these circumstances—

my dear Häckel | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


No letter from Haeckel announcing plans to visit England has been found, but he attended the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Glasgow in September and visited CD on 26 September 1876 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242); Krauße 1987, p. 133).
William Erasmus Darwin was recovering from a concussion suffered when he had a riding accident in May (see letter to Andrew Clark, [late June 1876] and n. 1). William and his sister Elizabeth Darwin travelled to Scotland, returning to Down on 31 August 1876 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
The Darwins delayed their visit to Southampton until October because of the death of their daughter-in-law, Amy Darwin, on 11 September 1876, following the birth of her son (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).


Krauße, Erika. 1987. Ernst Haeckel. 2d edition. Leipzig: B. G. Teubner.


Glad EH is coming to England.

Will be visiting eldest son in Southampton in September [but visit apparently delayed until 7 Oct, see "Journal"].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
Sent from
Source of text
Ernst-Haeckel-Haus (Bestand A-Abt. 1:1-52/ 39 [9892])
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10577,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24