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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Edward Wilson   12 February 1869

Hayes | Bromley, Kent.

12 Feby 1869

My dear Mr Darwin

For long past I have been promising myself a leisure day in which I could drive over & return you the wonderful book of the beavers, which you were so kind as to lend me.1 But one day it is “fund Committee of Society of Arts”, another “Council for Colonial Society” another “Emigration Association” & so on till one really never gets a day to oneself.2 “No rest but the grave” &c as the song says!3 I trust that I have not inconvenienced you or hindered the great work by retaining it? It is very interesting & the man himself quite an enthusiast in the cause of his most intelligent friends. The particulars of their dam-building are certainly most astonishing.

With kindest regards to Mrs Darwin & the young ladies4 I am Dear Sir | Yours very truly | Edw Wilson


Wilson refers to The American beaver and his works (Morgan 1868). CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL.
Wilson was known for his philanthropic activities. He was a founder of the Colonial Society in 1868 and served as a member of the council (ODNB).
The final line of the song ‘Pilgrim of love’ by Henry Rowley Bishop was ‘No rest but the grave for the pilgrim of love’ (Bishop [1864]).
Wilson refers to Emma, Henrietta Emma, and Elizabeth Darwin.


Bishop, Henry Rowley. [1864]. The pilgrim of love: recitative and romance. London: Robert Cocks & Co.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Returns a book on beavers borrowed from CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Edward Wilson
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Hayes, Kent
Source of text
DAR 181: 126
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6611,” accessed on 19 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17