“THE STATE OF MY HEALTH SELDOM ALLOWS ME TO CONVERSE WITH ANYONE…”
DARWIN, CHARLES (1809-82). British naturalist who advanced the idea of evolution. Manuscript Letter Signed “Ch. Darwin”, [written in the hand of his wife, Emma] on his imprinted Down Beckenham, Kent / Railway Station / Orpington S.E.R stationery with a playful drawing of a hand pointing to the address, to emphasize the correct train station for visiting Darwin’s home. February 13, 1875. Two pages, octavo. Very fine condition. To Dr. Gustavus Fritsche, with embossed postage envelope, bearing a ‘Beckenham / Feb 13’ cancellation. The infirm luminary discusses a proposed visit and his health. Darwin writes:
“I shall be happy to see you here, but I am sorry to say that the state of my health seldom allows me to converse with anyone for more than half an hour. If next Tuesday (the 16th) will suit you, I would suggest your coming by the train which leaves Charring Cross at 10:35, & I will send my carriage to Orpington to meet you. We will lunch at one o’clock & you can return by the train leaving Orpington at 2:47. Dear Sir, yours faithfully Ch. Darwin.
P.S. If you cannot come on Tuesday Wednesday would suit me equally well – but in that case be so kind as to let me know.”
It appears that Fritsche was responsible for translating some of Darwin’s writings in Eastern Europe, and did visit Darwin at this time. A very attractive letter, especially with the charming ‘finger point’ drawn by Emma.