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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Georgina Tollet   17 May [1862]1

30 Q. A. St

May 17

My dear Charles

Accept my best thanks for the Orchid book.2

My head is in too weak a state to read more than 2 or 3 pages at a time, but I enjoy these glimpses of the wonders you have discovered, exceedingly.

I much fear that I have no chance of talking it over with you this summer. Even if I were to get better before June 5, that awful day will certainly make me bad again.3

I wonder if you ever saw a bird’s nest built on the top of another.

In Ld Bradford’s shrubbery there is a hedgesparrow’s on the roof of a wren’s.4

I have not seen Mackintosh yet; all I hear of him alarms me much.5

With best love to Emma & thanks for her letter | Believe me | Yrs. affectly | G Tollet


The year is established by reference to the publication of Orchids (see n. 2, below).
Tollet’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for Orchids (see Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix IV). Orchids was published on 15 May 1862 (Freeman 1977, p. 112).
Tollet refers to the marriage, on 5 June 1862, of her niece, Marianne Caroline Clive, to John Robert Orlando Bridgeman, son of the second earl of Bradford (see n. 4, below).
The reference is to George Augustus Frederick Henry Bridgeman, second earl of Bradford.
The reference is probably to Emma Darwin’s nephew, James Mackintosh Wedgwood, who was suffering from an incurable cancer (Wedgwood and Wedgwood 1980, pp. 274 and 279).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Wedgwood, Barbara and Wedgwood, Hensleigh. 1980. The Wedgwood circle, 1730–1897: four generations of a family and their friends. London: Studio Vista.


Thanks for Orchids.

Letter details

Letter no.
Georgina Tollet
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 30
Source of text
DAR 178: 128
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3556,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10