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Darwin Correspondence Project

To C. E. Norton   25 October 1877

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | (Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.)

Oct 25th. 1877

My dear Mr. Norton

We both thank you very sincerely for your most kind letter.1 This marriage delights us, but we feared that it would cause much pain & disappointment to Sara’s friends in your country.2 Sara is a most charming woman, & we felt, even before she accepted my son, as if we were somehow near relations. My son is a most fortunate man, & as he thinks so himself in the most vehement manner, I believe he will make her a good husband.

I can answer for his having a most sweet temper. They have also many tastes in common. Sara seems to have a wonderful number of nice friends, as I judge from parts of some of the letters of congratulation which I have heard,—especially one from Mr Lowell in Madrid & from Mr. Simon.—3

I beg you to give my kindest remembrances to all your party, whom I know, & if I may be permitted to the Miss Ashburners4 & Miss Theodora Sedgwick. It was very good of them to send us a kind message about the marriage.—

Believe me | Yours ever very sincerely | Charles Darwin


Norton’s letter has not been found.
Sara Sedgwick was engaged to be married to William Erasmus Darwin; she was Norton’s sister-in-law (see letter from J, D. Hooker, 19 October 1877 and n. 2).
James Russell Lowell and John Simon.
Anne and Grace Ashburner brought up Sara and Theodora Sedgwick and Norton’s late wife Susan; they were the Sedgwick sisters’ aunts.


CD and Emma are delighted with forthcoming marriage of W. E. Darwin to Sara [Sedgwick].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Eliot Norton
Sent from
Source of text
Houghton Library, Harvard University (Charles Eliot Norton Papers, MS Am 1088.14: 1597)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11208,” accessed on 27 October 2021,