skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   4 August [1858]

Norfolk House | Shanklin | Is. of Wight

Augst 4th.

My dear Henslow

Your letter of the 31st has been forwarded to me here & received only this morning.1 I grieve most sincerely to miss your visit, but we do not return home till the 13th. or 14th. & my wife, perhaps not till later; if the sea does my eldest girl good.2 We were driven from home by Scarlet Fever, which caused the death of our poor dear little youngest child & was very bad in the village. We had other & bad illness in the House. As yet the sea has not done much for us.—

I the more regret that we shall not see you at Down at the time proposed, (but I hope at some other time) as I shd. be extremely glad (& grateful) to hear your objections to my species speculations.3

The difficulties which I can see are many & grave. I am now writing a pretty full abstract of all my notions on this subject.—

My dear Henslow | Your old affectionate pupil | C. Darwin

P.S. | I want to beg a favour of you, which will cost you writing a note, viz can you advise me what I ought to allow my eldest son who goes to X Coll. in October per annum to cover all his expence whatever.—4 I can afford & shd. wish to give him a liberal allowance, but not to encourage extravagance.


Henslow’s letter has not been found.
CD returned to Down on 13 August 1858 (‘Journal’; Appendix II); Emma and Henrietta Emma Darwin remained until 19 August (Emma Darwin’s diary).
Henslow’s son George had graduated from Christ’s College, Cambridge earlier in the year. It is not known what Henslow advised, but according to CD’s Account book (Down House MS), £100 was paid into William Erasmus Darwin’s account on 1 January 1859.


CD and his family have come to the seashore, driven from home by scarlet fever at Down, death [of Charles Waring Darwin], and other family illness. Sorry to miss seeing JSH.

Would be grateful to hear his objections to CD’s species speculations.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 93: A53–4
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2320,” accessed on 6 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7