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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Wallis Nash   29 May 1878

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

May 29th 1878

My dear Mr Nash

I thank you sincerely for your most kind Dedication, & I heartily wish that I deserved it more fully than is the case.1 Emma began reading aloud your volume to us yesterday evening, & we liked it much, though not as yet arrived at new ground, yet it told us several new things. There is not a word in it superfluous, & this as far as my experience goes with books of travels is an extremely rare virtue.

Pray thank Mrs. Nash for her note.2 We often & often regret your & Mrs. Nash’s absence, & say if you were here we would talk about this or that point.—

But we ought not to regret your move, for Beckenham is a larger field for the unbounded goodness of both of you.3

Believe me | Yours ever very sincerely | Charles Darwin

Frank has gone to Cambridge for some electrical work with plants, otherwise he wd have sent a message to Mrs Nash.—4


Nash had dedicated his book, Oregon: there and back in 1877 (Nash 1878), to CD. The dedication reads: ‘To Charles Darwin, in token of a friendship wherein his gentle courtesy has almost induced forgetfulness of his greatness, this book is, by his permission, dedicated.’
The note from Louisa A’hmuty Nash has not been found.
The Nashes had lived at The Rookery, north of Down, Kent, from 1873 to 1877. At this time, their address was Downs House, The Avenue, Beckenham, Kent (Post Office directory of the six home counties 1878).


Nash, Wallis. 1878. Oregon: there and back in 1877. London: Macmillan and Co.

Post Office directory of the six home counties: Post Office directory of the six home counties, viz., Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. London: W. Kelly & Co. 1845–78.


Comments on WN’s Oregon: there and back (1878).

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Wallis Nash
Sent from
Source of text
F. Louise Nash Barton (private collection)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11533,” accessed on 27 October 2021,