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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Fanny Owen   [8 April 1831]


My dear Charles—

I am quite ashamed of myself for being so troublesome to you—but goodnatur’d people you know always do get imposed upon —so I want to beg you to bring me something from Mr. Whitneys on Monday—it is a bottle of “Aspalterm1 an oil color—and also half a dozen small brushes if he has any—

I can’t go on with my Dairymaid without this color, so if you will bring it me on Monday—I can’t say how obliged I shall be to you— it is a very small bottle—it goes down to the Governor’s account there of course!— I got you an order for Halston2 to day—so dont fail to come on Monday betimes, in spite of what all the Sisterhood may say or do to prevent you— the Black Charger is expected tomorrow—

Do bring me a juicy Book of some kind—any thing you can purloin— for I sadly want one— I dont care what it is—a book is a book—truism!

It is very late & if I dont finish the bag will be lock’d for the night and this wont get admittance—so excuse scribble & all the trouble I give you—believe me | ever yrs— F. Owen— *S 2

Friday night—


Asphaltum is prepared from the bituminous substance of that name. When dissolved in oil of turpentine, it is semitransparent, and is used as a glaze.’ (Bigelow 1831, p. 437.)
Halston Hall, near Oswestry, home of Fanny’s cousin John ‘Mad Jack’ Mytton, notorious for his wild, dissipated life (see Apperley 1837).


Apperley, Charles James [Nimrod]. 1837. Memoirs of the life of the late John Mytton, esq., of Halston, Shropshire … with notices of his hunting, shooting, driving, racing, eccentric and extravagant exploits. 2d edition. London.

Bigelow, Jacob. 1831. Elements of technology. 2d edition. Boston.


Wants CD to come without fail on Monday, and to bring her a small bottle of oil colour, a half-dozen small brushes, and a "juicy" book of some kind.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frances (Fanny) Mostyn Owen/Frances (Fanny) Myddelton Biddulph
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Shrewsbury AP 9 1831
Source of text
DAR 204: 50
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 97,” accessed on 27 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 1