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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Philip Gidley King   19 April 1863

Goonoo Goonoo N.S.W

Apl 19/63.

My dear Mr. Darwin

You cannot think with what pleasure I received a note from you by the last Mail enclosing a Photograph of yourself—.1 It was a Strange feeling that came over me as I identified one by one the now well remembered features of what you must permit me to call yr. dear old face. And as I ga⁠⟨⁠ze⁠⟩⁠ upon your likeness r⁠⟨⁠emini⁠⟩⁠scences of my youth appear to come back to me.2 I fancy I see you in your old corner behind the mizen-mast with neither room to bend or turn still pursuing your studies in Natural History with unwonted zeal, but I will not bore you with these reminiscences   suffice it to say that few things have given me greater pleasure lately ⁠⟨⁠th⁠⟩⁠an the opportunity you have ⁠⟨⁠given⁠⟩⁠ me of reproducing in my minds eye the very expression of your eye & mouth.

I am so sorry to think you suffer so much from ill health but you are living on to a good age at any rate, and I trust the Scientific world will not lose you yet.

Accept my dear friend the best wishes of yr. old Shipmate | Philip Gidley King


The letter to King has not been found.
King had been a midshipman on the Beagle from 1831 to 1836. In 1836 he left the Beagle to join his father, Phillip Parker King, a retired naval officer who had emigrated to New South Wales, Australia. See Correspondence vol. 1.


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


CD’s photograph evokes PGK’s reminiscence of CD in the Beagle.

Letter details

Letter no.
Philip Gidley King
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Goonoo Goonoo, New South Wales
Source of text
DAR 169: 27
Physical description
3pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4109,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11