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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   6 February 1871

Bank, Southampton,

Feb 6 1871

My Dear Father,

I certainly do shut my eyes when I scratch myself, but I can find no trace of tears. I fancy that the Drepressor Anguli oris acts most absurdly in Sanders when he is trying to resist gaping but I will watch him.1

I will see about the Babies photographs.2

I will remind Langstaff about your Q as to the muscles brought into playing in flute playing.3 I am getting on very well and am at the shop for the 1st. time today.4 I have to hobble about as if I was made of glass, so as not to jerk myself, & strain the ligaments in healing.

I hope you are right again | Your affect son | W E Darwin


CD described the action of the depressores anguli oris muscles in Expression, pp. 193–7. Sanders has not been identified.
CD asked William to try to obtain a photograph of a child smiling or laughing (see this volume, Supplement, letter to W. E. Darwin, 20 [January or February 1871?]).
Charles Langstaff was a surgeon and friend of William’s who had provided CD with observations on expression (see Expression and Correspondence vols. 16 and 19).
William was a partner in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank.


Does shut eyes when scratching himself. Will ask Langstaff about muscles used when playing flute. Is back at work but hobbling around.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 43)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7476F,” accessed on 28 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)