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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. R. Waterhouse   18 January [1853]

Down Farnborough Kent

Jan. 18th.

My dear Waterhouse

I thank you very sincerely for thinking of me & my ailments. Pray give my most respectful compliments & best thanks to M. Deshayes, for his kind interest & advice.1 I will not forget it, but it would require a powerful purchase to drag me from my home to a foreign land. I have just lately had a very bad fortnight, otherwise you wd. have seen me at the Museum this week,2 but till this fortnight I have been much better than for the last 3 years.3 I return you all your Christmas good wishes, & many jolly returns to you. Whenever I see you, I shall make myself disagreeable by asking you what original work you have begun, that your fair name may grow better & better known & honoured.—4

My dear Waterhouse | Ever yours | C. Darwin


Gérard Paul Deshayes, a French palaeontologist and conchologist, was working at the British Museum cataloguing the collection of bivalve molluscs.
Waterhouse was on the staff of the mineralogical and geological department in the British Museum.
CD’s Health diary (Down House MS) from 4 to 16 January 1853 records his condition as ‘poorly’ or ‘not quite well’. Specific afflictions mentioned during the period are boils, flatulence, and vomiting. For CD’s spell of good health, see letter to W. D. Fox, 24 [October 1852], n. 3.
Because of the French revolution of 1848, Hippolyte Baillière had ceased publication of Waterhouse’s A natural history of the Mammalia with the last part of the second volume (Rodentia) (see Correspondence vol. 4, letter to G. R. Waterhouse, [January–June 1850]). Waterhouse did not recommence this work and was publishing entomological papers at this time.


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


Thanks GRW for his sympathy on his ill health. Feels better lately.

Sends thanks to G. P. Deshayes for his advice.

Asks what "original work" GRW has begun so his name will become better known.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Robert Waterhouse
Sent from
Source of text
McGill University Library, Department of Rare Books
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 944,” accessed on 26 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5