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Darwin Correspondence Project

To James Paget   29 April [1869]1

Down. | Beckenham| Kent. S.E.

Ap. 29th

My dear Paget

I have made a wonderful recovery. Mr Engleheart says all the fluid is gone, only some thickening left.—2 I have no pain, & very slight tenderness, & can walk & do walk several times a day.— I shall soon take to gentle rides again.

As far as sensations serve, I am inclined to think the fomentations acted admirably.

My general health is also improving.— Do not waste your precious time in answering this, but accept my cordial thanks for your kind advice & believe me

My dear Paget | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

P.S. If ever you come across an extra blushing damsel do not forget the downward extent of the blush. I am assured that some half naked natives of Eastern races blush over arms & legs!

Also any case in which when screaming or breathing laboriously if platysma myoides contracts skin of neck into transverse folds?—3


The year is established by the reference to CD’s horse-riding accident (see letter to A. R. Wallace, 14 April 1869 and n. 12). Paget had visited CD on 21 April 1869 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Stephen Paul Engleheart was the surgeon in Down.
Paget had offered to make observations of blushing, and of the platysma muscle in persons screaming, in 1867 (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter from James Paget, 9 July 1867). On blushing on the arms and legs, see Correspondence vol. 16, letter from F. F. Geach, April 1868 and n. 5.


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


Has made a wonderful recovery [from riding accident].

Asks for information on blushing and screaming [for Expression].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
James Paget, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
Bodleian Libraries, Oxford (MS. Autogr. b. 4, fol. 119a)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6716,” accessed on 4 August 2021,

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