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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henrietta Emma Darwin   [2 August 1857]1


My own dear Papa

I look forward with such pleasure to coming home & seeing you all again.2 Thank you for your very nice letter. It seems a long time since I was at home, it was 9 weeks on Friday. I am very sorry to hear of Mama’s headache.

I don’t know whether I told you that Mr. Crawford is gone & Mr. Butterworth come back. There is a Mr. Beh come with a very red face but he is not a patient. I believe the Combes go on Monday. This ought to be the full season but it is very empty, only 8

I have very nearly done the “War Trail”3 & I’ve done one of the vols of Miss Strickland4 so I hope Mama has got plenty of books.

I must go out now so Goodbye My dear Papa | Yours | H E D

I feel very well today, but I can’t do much walking.


Dated by Henrietta Darwin’s reference to having been away from home ‘9 weeks on Friday’. Emma Darwin had taken her to Edward Wickstead Lane’s hydropathic establishment at Moor Park on Friday, 29 May 1857, where she remained until 7 August (Emma Darwin’s diary). Friday, 31 July, would have been nine weeks exactly.
Henrietta, aged 14, had been without either of her parents during much of her time at Moor Park: she had last seen Emma Darwin on 21 July (Emma Darwin’s diary) and CD had been with her from 16 to 30 June (see ‘Journal’; see Correspondence vol. 6, Appendix II).
An adventure story by Mayne Reid (Reid 1857).
This is perhaps a reference to one of Agnes Strickland’s twelve volumes of Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman conquest (London, 1840–8). Some years previously, CD had also read one volume (see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 119: 21b).


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

Reid, Mayne. 1857. The war-trail; or, the hunt of the wild horse. London.


Is looking forward to returning home [from Moor Park hydropathic establishment]. News of other patients and the books she is reading. Although feeling well, cannot walk much.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henrietta Emma Darwin/Henrietta Emma Litchfield
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Moor Park
Source of text
DAR 245: 1
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2131A,” accessed on 18 August 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6