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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. D. Fox   [16–22 May 1863]1

My dear Darwin

About two months since you wrote me you were suffering much—2 I hope you are now quite yourself again. Do you ever see “the illustrated Times Newspaper”. I was much amused by that of May 2–9–16 containing a quizz upon you, which I yesterday met with at my Neighbours.3 If you have not seen this additional proof of Natural developement, I will send the papers to you. They will give you ten minutes amusement.

I hear Dr Gullys brain has quite broken down and disabled him from work.4 He told me when I last saw him that it must do so soon.

He will be a great loss to a vast number of people. There is no one at Malvern fit to take up his place I fear. Do you ever see Dr Lane now? I think I saw an advertisement that he was practising near Kew— am I right.5

With kindest regards to Mrs Darwin6 | Ever your aff Cousin | W D Fox


The date range is established by the reference to the issues of the Illustrated Times for 2, 9, and 16 May 1863 (see n. 3, below), and by the relationship between this letter and the letter to W. D. Fox, 23 May [1863].
Fox refers to three humorous cartoons and a poem, ‘dedicated by natural selection to Dr. Charles Darwin’ (Illustrated Times, 2 May 1863, p. 317, 9 May 1863, p. 333, and 16 May 1863, p. 348). These cartoons were the first instalments in a twenty-part series (see letter from Roland Trimen, 16, 17, and 19 July 1863 and n. 22).
James Manby Gully ran a hydropathic establishment at Great Malvern, Worcestershire, which both CD and Fox had attended (see Correspondence vols. 4–7 and Browne 1990). In 1863, Gully suffered from ‘a severe (unspecified) illness’, from which he recovered in June (Colp 1977, p. 217 n. 37). CD had been planning to visit Great Malvern again for hydropathic treatment (see letters to W. D. Fox, 9 March [1863] and 16 [March 1863]).
Edward Wickstead Lane had been proprietor of the Moor Park hydropathic establishment near Farnham, Surrey; CD had undergone hydropathic treatment there in 1857 (see Correspondence vol. 6). In 1860, CD attended Lane’s new hydropathic establishment at Sudbrook Park, near Richmond, Surrey (see Correspondence vol. 8); Kew is about two miles north-east of Richmond.
Emma Darwin.


Browne, Janet. 1990. Spas and sensibilities: Darwin at Malvern. In The medical history of waters and spas, edited by Roy S. Porter. Medical History, supp. 10. London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

Colp, Ralph, Jr. 1977. To be an invalid: the illness of Charles Darwin. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

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


A "quiz" on CD has appeared in the Illustrated Times [2 May 1863, p. 317].

Letter details

Letter no.
William Darwin Fox
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 164: 175
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4178,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

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