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Darwin Correspondence Project

From M. C. Stanley   [16 November 1871]1

Holwood | Beckenham

Thursday Evg

Dear Mr. Darwin

I could not lose a moment on my return home2—& read the article most eagerly. You will be obliged to believe that Mr Crookes has “a craze”.3 It staggers me a good deal.—but I know that my imagination is apt to overpower my judgment!—

I wish I had seen you after you had read the article. I shd. have liked so much to hear what effect it produced on you!—

Yrs very sincerely | M C Derby


The date is established by the date of Stanley’s visit to Down and by the reference to Crookes’s article (see nn. 2 and 3, below).
Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) records that Stanley visited Down on 15 November 1871.
In the Quarterly Journal of Science for October 1871, the chemist William Crookes described his most recent experiments on the phenomena of spiritualism, which he claimed demonstrated the existence of a new ‘psychic force’ (Crookes 1871).


W. Crookes’s article ["Enquiry into phenomena called spiritual", Q. J. Sci. n.s. 4 (1874): 77–97] "staggers" her. Would like to know CD’s opinion.

Letter details

Letter no.
Mary Catherine Stanley, countess of Derby
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Holwood, Beckenham
Source of text
DAR 162: 163
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9208,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

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