RECORD: Darwin, C. R. [Notebook of observations on the Darwin children]. (1839-1856) CUL-DAR210.11.37 Transcribed by Kees Rookmaaker. (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed from the manuscript by Kees Rookmaaker, editorial corrections by John van Wyhe 1-2.2008, 8.2008, 1.2010. RN5

NOTE: Some of Darwin's observations in this notebook were later used in his book Expression of the emotions (1872) and his article 'A biographical sketch of an infant' (1877). He began recording observations of his first-born child, William Erasmus, from his birth on 27 December 1839 until September 1844. Emma Darwin added entries from January 1852 recording amusing statements by the children and their activities. Darwin continued adding observations from 20 May 1854 until July 1856. The latter entries record the childrens' logic and evidence of their self-perception.

This vellum covered notebook has fifty-three numbered pages (numbered only on the front) followed by fourteen blank sheets, followed by one blank sheet half excised vertically. Then there are ten sheets with entries written from the back cover proceeding inwards, on Darwin's 1831 geological map of Shrewsbury. (See Sandra Herbert. 2002. Charles Darwin's notes on his 1831 geological map of Shrewsbury. Archives of natural history 29 (1): 27-30.)
On the inside back cover there is a signature: 'Albert Way, April 29, 1822 &c.' (One of Darwin's student friends at Cambridge.) In the transcription, deleted words are not recorded. Superscript inserts are placed in the text without comment. Different media of writing (ink, pencil) are generally not recorded.

This notebook was first published in Correspondence vol. 4, appendix III along with a helpful introduction.

Editorial symbols used in the transcription:
[some text] 'some text' is an editorial insertion
[some text] 'some text' is the conjectured reading of an ambiguous word or passage
[some text] 'some text' is a description of a word or passage that cannot be transcribed
< > word(s) destroyed
<some text> 'some text' is a description of a destroyed word or passage
Text in small red font is a hyperlink or notes added by the editors.

Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

[front cover]

[See introductory note above by scrolling or paging upwards.]

AV. Trin. Coll.1

1 The Latinized initials of Albert Way, a student at Trinity College, Cambridge and friend of Darwin's. JvW

[1 recto]

W. Erasmus. Darwin born. Dec. 27th. 1839. — During first week, yawned, streatched himself just like old person — chiefly upper extremities — hiccupped — sneezes sucked, Surface of warm hand placed to face, seemed immediately to give wish of sucking, either instinctive or associated knowledge of warm smooth surface of bosom. — cried & squalled, but no tears — touching sole of foot with spill of paper, (when exactly one week old), it jerked it away very suddenly & curled its toes, like person tickled, evidently subject to tickling — I think also body under arms. — more sensitive than other parts of surface — What can be origin of movement from tickling; neck, & armpit between the toes are places seldom touched but are easily tickled — the whole surface of the sole of foot is toouched constantly. — so is the resting place of body but the latter is by no means sensitive to tickling — nor are ends of fingers, or surface of limbs — but back bone is. —

[1 verso]

Hiccoughing is convulsive movement, caused by irritation, of same muscles, which depress diaphragm, so as to allow gas to escape from stomach. — A person trying to liberate air from stomach inspires voluntarily in same manner, as that stronger stronger instinctive movement which causes hiccough. —

[2 recto]

At his 8th day he frowned much. & I believe earlier — now his eyebrows are very little prominent, & with scarcely a vestige of down, — therefore if frowning has any relation to vision, it must now be quite instinctive: moreover vision at this age is exceedingly imperfect. — At his 9th day however he appeared to follow a candle with his eyes. —

In crying, frowns & contracts whole forehead. & wrinkles skin about eyes, just like older child — opens its mouth wide, & utters crys in reiterating or sobbing manner. NB. I find bad crying, chiefly connected with resperative function. — convulsive movements of chest ?is sobbing abortive crying & shouting?. — It is very singular movement of muscle of face which accompany real crying, coming before formation of tears. —

[2 verso]

The Baby started certainly during first fortnight at sudden sounds. & at Emma's moving

[3 recto]

When one month & one day old. perceived bosom, when three or four inches from it, as we show by protrusion of lips — & eyes becoming fixed — was it by smell or sight? — it was not, certainly, by touch

When little under five weeks old, smiled, but certainly not from pleasure, but merely a chance movement of muscles, without a corresponding sensation.

Dr Holland informs me children do not learn to blow their noses, or clear their throats, till several years old: curious; since so many analogous actions are performed instinctively, (good contrast) from earliest days. —

such as

When...touch] written in pencil by Darwin, then overwritten in ink by Emma Darwin.

[3 verso]

I have no doubt this rolling of the eyes is connected with a tendency for them to turn upwards & inwards as in sleep.

Annie smiled about the same time

Henrietta smiled at 3 weeks & Mrs Locke says a fortnight

Annie...time] in Emma Darwin's handwriting.

[3B recto]

Long before 5 weeks old. it was curious to observe expression of eye during sucking change, into vacancy & then into a swimming expression, with half closed eyelid, like drunken person. It is curious when the eye being so imperfect an organ of vision. — being used as means of expression.

45 days old

Six weeks old & 3 days, Emma saw him smile — not only with his lips, but eyes. — Thinks he directed his eyes towards her face & after looking at her attentively, smiled —

I have never yet seen him fix his eyes at anything, except light: — does not know my face or knuckle from bosom. —

Little frowns continually cross his face, when feeling uncomfortable, before whole face is wrinkled in act of crying without tears.

[3B verso]

In dry crying — wrinkles & depresses eyebrows, wrinkles skin on nose, & draws up under eyelids into strongly marked line — opens mouth., — closes eyes —

Emma argues that his smiles were from seeing her face, because a tassel dangling did not make him smile — it is afterwards remarked that his smiles generally, or at least very frequently are merely from an inward pleasure, with no relation to anything external.

[4 recto]

Six weeks & four days, smiled repeatedly, & I think chiefly when suddenly seeing face, of mother. & mine; I think was once attracted by noise towards a certain point. — Has no definite power in using its hands. — Made for first time little noises to itself. —

Henrietta also just at the same period or a few days earlier — Nov. 8

When seven weeks old, his eyes were attracted by a dangling tassel & a bright colour. This was shewn by his eyes becoming fixed & the movements of his arms ceasing.

The day after this he was not quite well & did not smile the whole day, which shews I think that the smiles on the previous days did express pleasure. The movement of his arms I have before said appeared to be without any object, but this exception must be made that from his earliest days he could easily find his way to his mouth with his hand, when

[4 verso]

he wanted to suck.

Annie at 2 months & four days had a very broad sweet smile & a little noise of pleasure very like a laugh.

[5 recto]

Nine weeks old — During the last week & more it is remarkable how his eyes have brightened when smiling. — often accompanied by a little noise, approaching to a laugh. —

During the last few days he has sometimes winked & started at objects suddenly seen, at other times he takes no notice of an object moved close before his eyes. Two days ago it appeared to me from a change made in the little noises he was uttering that he recognized Emma by sight when she came close to him to nurse him.

His smiles as yet are not directed to any particular object, but express merely a feeling of pleasure. Three days ago when he was being washed & was naked I took him gently in my arms which made him scream violently, which

[5 verso][blank]

[6 recto]

could only have been caused by the novelty of the situation producing fear. Emma thinks that when he was vaccinated today the crying of the other child set him crying again He does not easily catch a person's eye & is not easily attracted by noise. In crying I think the under lip is more turned down than it used to be giving an expression of misery. A frown gives the first notice that he is going to cry. Feb 27. 1840

When nine weeks & three days old — whilst lying on his back cooing & kicking very happily. — I happened to sneezed — which made it start, frown, look frightened & cry rather badly — For an hour afterwards, every noise made him start, — he was nervous. — I think he certainly has an undefined instinctive

[6 verso]

(a) After the above violent crying fit, his eyes were suffused, with tears, — but I have not subsequently during the last two weeks noticed it — & I had one good opportunity, when he was hurt by my coat rubbing his eye, which made it water

he cried violently, but no tears came in other eye — This was when he was eleven weeks old.

[7 recto]

fears (a)— for instance when stripped naked — I think also when passing under dark doorway. — When hurt, & when first waking & streching the blood rushes into his face. —

Now eleven weeks old take hold of his sucking bottle with right hand, — when nursed either on right arm or left — He has no notion of clasping it with left hand, even when it is placed on body — this baby has had no sort of practice in using its arms. —

His crys are become various, the hunger cry is different from that of pain. — Hardly any sobbing, — but the quick taking breath after each scream approaches it. —

[7 verso] [blank]

[8 recto]

Between 11 & 12 weeks old in smiling. I observe he wrinkles his nose considerably — I suspect he has done this for some time. —

I observe he uses his left hand a little — The turning down of corners of lower lip, expressing misery, now very strongly marked — it could be distinguished long since — it seems like a struggle between closing his mouth & opening it for cry of pain. — it generally expresses, annoyment at being kept from suckling. — is not present when screaming from pain

When one day under 12 weeks took hold of Catherines finger with his right hand & drew it into his mouth. —

[8 verso]

[small calculation]

[9 recto]

Now exactly 12 weeks & on following day old clasped his bottle with left hand, just like he did formerly with right hand — Therefore his right hand is at least one week in advance of left. — I say at least for I am not quite sure, the first time he used his right hand, was observed

12 weeks & one day whilst violently crying from pain eyes became charged with moisture, but not enough to run over

April 11th It appeared to me that the Baby decidedly looked at my finger, which it took in its Hand.

April 16. The Baby can now put any object into its mouth with some skill. — I observe when taken out of

[9 verso]

A person abstracted, & insane person in vacant stare, lifts up & wrinkles lower eyelids. —

[10 recto]

doors, & being annoyed by light frowned very much & almost closed its eyelids Some weeks ago, when sucking some coldish milk, which it disliked, kept little frown on forehead, just like old person, when doing something disagreeable, say 50-60 days old 7 or 8 weeks old

Continues occasionally to roll his eyes in drunken manner, whilst sucking. —

April 16th Was exceedingly amused by his pinnafore being put over his face & then withdrawn. — I think for some weeks pinching his nose & cheeks was a joke — How can he find bo-peep amusing?

[10 verso]

[small calculation]

So smiles before laughing

[11 recto]

April 19th Knew Anne, most plainly, even when seen at the distance of two or three yards; was exceedingly amused at Bo-Peep, and as often as my face approached his, gave a broad smile, and made a noise somewhat different from any that I have hitherto heard, resembling in a small degree, a laugh; the noise resembled that kind of O, or bleating which he has very long made, when comfortable, but apparently modified by the form of his open and smiling mouth, and likewise by a kind or sob, or interruption, almost the same as that which makes the bleating noise. — The pleasurable sounds appear always to be those of expiration; can noises, expressing pain, be modifications of the O, of pain and surprise, which, it is easy to see, are those of inspiration. —

page not in the handwriting of Darwin or Emma Darwin.

[11 verso]


[12 recto]

April 20th — Took my finger to his mouth, & as usual could not get it in, on account of his own hand being in the way; then slipped his own back & so got my finger in. — This was not chance, & therefore a kind of reasoning. — It has, perhaps, a little instinct in it, in the same way as very long he has had tendency to move his legs, as if walking & not both together, when held up. —

A pasteboard box, with comfits, being rattled near his face, invariably blinked his eyes violently, & started a little. It was the sound did this, for he quite disregarded anything moved before

[12 verso] [blank]

[13 recto]

his eyes, even at much shorter distances. — In ordinary start, although I believe he blincks his eyes, the movement of body & of arms, as if catching hold, is the prominent movement. He never could have learnt from experience to close his eyes very suddenly from sudden noise near his head. — . If it had been experience he would have done it, from visible object — This blinking of eyes, I dont doubt instinct to protect eyes. — I think he has acquired habit

[13 verso]


[14 recto]

of closing eyes gently, from being washed, whenever the hand is passed slowly over naked head from crown over forehead.????

May. 1st — During the last week has shown decided pleasure in music. — his whole expression appearing pleased. — Recognizes Emma Anne & myself perfectly does not find object with his eyes, from hearing it with much facility. — Seems often to look at its own hands or other object, when quite close. Seems very happy, chief

[14 verso] [blank]

[15 recto]

employment, looking about & playing at games such as bo-peep. — Has during last few days, made new noise of pleasure. — a gentle expiration, with mouth & glottis almost closed, so as to cause an intermittent hissing & bubbling noise. — I fancy he trys to imitate, or rather answers any noise, by its own. —

When getting in a passion, which he often does — the blood gushing into whole skin scalp of head, is almost the very first symptom — I cannot well distinguish, crys of

[15 verso]

[text follows that opposite 16 recto]

At this period he had ceased trying to catch of hold of distant objects, but when one was so near, that his two eyes were turned towards it with the same inclination, as when looking at his own hands, then he was led to endeavour to catch hold of it —

[16 recto]

of real pain & passion. — The former seems invariably to induce passion. — After crying fit yesterday I observed his eyes were just suffused with tears & became red.

May 9th A watch held close to face, he extended his hand to it — Had made feeble trials for two or three days before. — He connects sight with a tendency to move his arms. The object must be as close to his eyes as his own arms are to them, when moved, otherwise he has no idea of moving arms towards it. He moves his arms when the muscles of the eyes act in turning them to near focus. —

[16 verso] [blank]

[17 recto]

May 10. 4 1/2 months old. I made loud snoring noise, near his face, which made him look grave & afraid & then suddenly burst out crying. This is curious, considering the wondrous number of strange noises, & stranger grimaces I have made at him, & which he has always taken as good joke. I repeated the experiment.

May 13th Unexpectedly I came to him, with my back to him, & then stood motionless, — he looked very grave & surprised, & would almost have cried had I not turned round, when his face relaxed into smile. These vague fears, curious. —

Squints at any object placed within foot of face & makes efforts with hand, which are sometimes & but rarely successful. —

[17 verso]

Jan 20 the baby 3 weeks & 3 days old 6 lb 13 oz    
      Anne's weight  
Feb 3rd 5 weeks & 3 days 7 lb 10 4 wks 7 lb 9 1/2 oz
Feb. 17 7 wks & 3 days 8 - 5 6 wks 8 - 4
March 3 9 wks & 4 days 9 - 7 8 & 4 days 9 - 6 1/2
March 20 12 wks old 10 - 14 1/2    
April 4 14 wks & 1 day 11 - 12    
May 16 20 wks 14 - 15    
June 30 25 1/2 - 15 - 14 W 19 Jan 19 Bernard
July 9   17 - 6    
Oct 28   1 st 6 - 8    
  Henrietta 17 days - 7 lb 3 oz    
  Wed. Oct 11      
  Mon. Oct 23. a month old 9 lb 11 oz    
    1 - 10 1/2 weight of clothes 1 lb 12 oz 1/2
    lb 8 - " 1/2 oz clothes 1 lb 10 oz 1/2

page in Emma Darwin's handwriting.

[18 recto]

May 13th Three or four days ago smiled at himself in glass — how does he know his reflection is that of human being? That He smiles with this idea, I feel pretty sure — Smiled at my image, & seemed surprised at my voice coming from behind him, my image being in front.

May 15th. — After violent crying fit, tears enough to flow over eyelids. Sobbed, convulsive effort in drawing breath between screams. —

The baby's weight Jan 20.

May 17 The baby shewed a decided wish to go to Anne when she was looking at him lying on the bed.


31 Mar
30 Apr
12 May

The baby's...on the bed.] in Emma Darwin's handwriting.

[18 verso] [blank]

[19 recto]

May 30th — During last ten days he has sobbed very much after bad crying fits. — The sobbing came on rather suddenly & now every bad crying fit is followed by it. — During last week has shown considerable association of ideas. —

He understands, when his cloak is on, he is to go out & is cross, if not taken immediately. — He can now generally catch hold of any near object & draw it to his mouth. —

During last week, when cold water put in mouth & more especially some rhubarb, he made expression of disgust very plainly, accompanied (& made very comical,) by look of surprise & consideration in his eyes, not knowing what to make of it. — The expression is accompanied by form of mouth — allowing what is in the mouth to run out. —

[19 verso] [blank]

[20 recto]

When he receives any little hurt, it is curious to see the way instantly the corners of his mouth are deeply depressed — eyes suffused, very slight frown & face a little reddish, no cry shows offended feeling. — When he is in passion from not getting his milk sufficiently soon, there is no tendency to turn down corners of the mouth. — I believe however in bitter crying & screamit fit, lower lip is turned down nearly in same manner, but from mouth being open, the corners do not then appear so much depressed or lip arched. — I think he understands compassionate

expression. —

Cannot balance himself when seated hardly at all yet. — just over 5 months

[20 verso]








June 5th -10th — Showed a decided preference for certain faces, before others, — for instance Carolines & Aunt Bessys, rather than Uncle Jo's. —

[21 recto]

June 15th Doddy said "da"

— 16th Smiled at large half-size oil painting of his great-grandmother. — Mistook, I think, for living person

17th Played with his own feet

19th tried to have a watch to play with. — Patted me with his hand

June 27th — Six months old. —

July 1stShuddered with disgust, at piece of cherry being placed in his mouth. He did this some little time before. —

8th Made a melancholy face, by depressing corners of mouth, when Anne pretended to cry

10th — When looking at mirror, was aware that the image of person behind, was not

[21 verso]

[text follows that of 22 recto]

Towards the end of July, seemed puzzled at seeing me first through one window & then through another. — did not appear to know, whether it was reflection in mirror or reality.

August 19th — Playing with hair-brush, soon learnt, that the hairs pricked, but could hardly resist touching it, & pawed at it, like dog at a hot coal. —

[22 recto]

real, & therefore, when any odd motion or face was made, turned round to look at the person behind.

20th On this day, when into a passion with a Lemon, because when wet, he could not grasp, it. —

July 26th Knew the paper in which the Naples biscuits were kept.

Turned round to look for Anne, when she was called. —

29th Cried at the sight of Allen Wedgwood Is able to catch hold of a finger. —

August 13th (7 1/2 mt old) Caught hold of my hand, when I placed it on his stomach. He is not able to follow a swinging object with his eye. — Can sit on floor. —

[22 verso] [blank]

[23 recto]

Septemb. 23. When one says to him, "where is Doddy?". turns & looks for

himself in looking-glass. —

October 2d He was aware that the shadow of a hand, made by a candle, was to be looked for behind, in same manner as in looking glass. —

Octob. 5th Knows the word "fire" & looks toward it, as often as word is repeated

Octob. 29th Pulled something, he did not like, out of his mouth with his forefinger

— During last fortnight tried to imitate me, when I made noise, by patting my mouth, during emission of sound

November 2d In imitation, made sound closely resembling "poor"

[23 verso] [blank]

[24 recto]

November 15th Stared much at uncoloured engravings at Gower St. & even at small miniature, of Aunt Bessy; & always looked in that direction, afterwards, when words "pretty Lady" were repeated. —

26th Cried, when Emma left off playing the pianoforte. — Did this so often & showed such decided pleasure, as soon as she turned round to go back to Pianoforte, that, I am certain, there was no mistake. —

Decemb. 8th — Doddy has learnt to put out his lips & keep his head quiet, when he is told to give a kiss. —

During last week has got several times in passion with his playthings, especially when the right one has not been given him — When in a passion he beats & pushes away

[24 verso] [blank]

[25 recto]

the offending object — He continues to enjoy music exceedingly, & even when very cross is brought into ectascies by it — He learned in very few, not more than three or four times to know the word music, & I think he sometimes showed he wished for it, before we anyway suggest the idea to him. — He now understands a good many things, & will associate almost any sentence with some object if repeated two or three times at intervals. He tries to imitate simple sounds, as "ball". — He learned to smack his hand & then very carefully to prick the palm of one with his little blunt finger, when the rhyme of Batter-cake — was repeated to him.

[25 verso]

[text follows that of 26 recto]

(a) Feb. 20th 1842. Anny (, same age) has learned to shake her hand at coal box but not to scold at it —

page in pencil in Darwin's handwriting, partly overwritten in ink by Emma Darwin.

[26 recto]

He looks very much pleased, after the performance any of these accomplishments. He evidently studies expression of those around him, especially if anything new is done before him. — He is able only just to totter a yard from the wall to a person's open arms.

Dec. 14th During last week has learnt to shake one hand (a) & cry "ah" at the Coal Box, or any water, — He will remember from one day to another the object he has been told to say "Ah to". — During last month will try to spit anything out of mouth, when told to do so. —

Dec 27th One year old.

Dec 30th kissed himself in the glass & pressed his face against his image very like Ouran Outang When could not take up drops he protruded his mouth to do so. —

Dec so.] in Emma Darwin's handwriting.

[26 verso]

[text follows that of 27 recto]

Jan 8th  — Doddy kissed Anne, on seeing her  often kissed self in glass

Jan 12th — observed image in eye. —

19th — found paper — held it out for me to burn

21st — seemed uncomfortable when I said Doddy naughty — wont kiss — put out lips after I had gone to my chair —

26th Specimen of passion   cake in mouth — Anne take it by mouth —

31st Did not like my saying wont kiss Doddy

Feb 16th Walked half across room

[27 recto]

January. 1841. When eight months old, & for some time previously — whenever excited, more especially when pleased he wrings his hands & arms, something like the theatrical representation of grief, in the same manner as I have been assured I did, when very young. —

Nothing has struck me more in his intellectual developement, compared with puppy, that the great quickness of associating any two things together, after they have happened even only twice or thrice together

Jan. 8th After Anne had been away for half the day, he kissed her on first going into her arms, two or three times, without any hint having been given her. — He is very fond of kissing himself in the looking-glass, — a habit he continued for some months

Jan i2th He observed, & gave cry of recognition at seeing the image of himself in the pupil of my eye. — I feel sure there was no error in this —

page in pencil in Darwin's handwriting, partly overwritten in ink by Emma Darwin.

[27 verso]

In January or earlier, he ceased crying for food, but instead cries "mum" — his word for food & to this word he gives the most strongly marked interrogoratory sound at end —

xx (ie. by inspiration at close of sound)

stronger sound than that which one ordinarily gives to 'what?' — It is very the curious interrogatory note thus coming, as it appears, instinctively. — He gives the tone of exclamation to the cry of 'ah', which he chiefly uses, & at first, I think, exclusively used, when recognizing any person or his own image in glass. —

xx analogous to cry for food of nestling-birds, which certainly is instinctive & peculiar to that time of life. —

page numbered 'p. 28 A'.

[28 recto]

Jan 19th 1841 Born Dec 27 1839

He is very fond of seeing pieces of paper burnt, this day he found one & held it out to me & pointed towards fire, clearly suggesting what he wanted.

Jan 21st — I repeated several times in reproving voice. "Doddy wont give poor Papa a kiss, — naughty Doddy". He unquestionably was made slightly uncomfortable by this, & at last, when I had returned to my chair, protruded lips, & shook his hands in rather angry manner, & made me come & receive a kiss — A week afterwards appeared certainly annoyed, when I said "I wont give Doddy a kiss." — The first case showed something like first shade of moral sense. —

About this time was fond of pretending to be angry & giving me a slap, with a scold, & then insisting upon giving me a kiss as reconciliation.

[28 verso]

[text follows that of 29 recto]

(a) Annie was to day March 1st 1842 rather amused, at a wafer sticking first to one hand & then to the other as she tried to disengage it & I remember Doddy about the same age, grew frantic with passion at a bit of wet paper thus sticking to his fingers — Annie has infinitely less observation & animation — She now hardly understands a person coming up behind her when she is standing in front of the Glass, & looking at her image — She perceived her image in the polished case of my watch. —

[29 recto]

Jan 26th (a) Has for some time often gone into passions for smallest offences, — for instance with Anne the nurse for trying to take piece of cake from his lips with her fingers, when he wished her to take it with her mouth out of his mouth.. — He tried to slap her face, went scarlet, screamed & shook his head. — How has he learnt that slapping tends to give pain, — like the just-born crocodile from egg, learns to snap with its weak jaws, — ie instinctively —

Feb. 16th — Walked by himself from one sofa to other on opposite sides of drawing room — Enjoys walkings — A chief amusement is making a bubbling noise, by pulling his lips clumsily with his fingers —

[29 verso]

March 1st 1842 — Annie says Papa pretty clearly — A few days ago Emma gave her doll, but she sensibly shuddered, when it was brought near her & would not for some days touch it. March 18th Annie walked loose about four feet, walked well & says goat.

M. 23rd Has been accustomed to see the keys taken out to go to cupboard & tea chest for good things, & the keys being given her today to play with in farther part of room, she immediately led Emma by the hand towards the tea-chest. I never saw anything like her passion for some time past to see pictures & to look at living dogs & cats. Her taste for pictures has been stronger than Doddys, but her taste for Music decidedly less. — Doddy, however, has now long quite lost taste for Music,

[text continues on 31 verso]

[30 recto]

Feb. 20th [1841] — Was amused & laughed out, at my protruding my cheeks & making grimaces, without any accompanying sound. —

March 17th — Got on his legs on a open floor —

April 15th Jealous of — a doll — for last fortnight jealous of Annie few days ago jealous of my weighing Baby

May 6th — he said pretty & Papa for a week past perfectly clear —

Feb 1842 I have long observed that the horse-shoe lip of misery is the endeavour to keep mouth closed just before it opens wide for a roar. — Doddy frowned in looking intently at a new toy across the room. —

April 15th ...across the room. —] written by Darwin in pencil, partly overwritten in ink by Emma Darwin.

[30 verso]

(a) People, I think, do not frown when looking at distant object ever so intently. — I have observed during last two months, how curiously Doddy expresses by a modulation of humph of assent "Yes to be sure": As he formerly used to express by a negative whine "No that I won't" or rather a sort of defiance as much as to say "if you do so, — I will do so" — I suspect many expressive modulations of tone, come to children before appropriate expressions for their feelings —

page written by Darwin in pencil, partly overwritten in ink by Emma Darwin.

[31 recto]

In Janry 1842 it was first perceived that Willy began to stammer — the words that appeared to be most difficult were "Doddy and Papa", he had previously been able to talk with fluency & it came on quite suddenly. —

On the 13th of March Emma positively ascertained that what the Nurses had asserted for several weeks was the case, viz. that Willy perfectly recognized the Street Door, the only difference between our door N° 12 and N° 11 is in the slit for the Letter box. — he decidedly ran past N° 11 and turned to go up the step at N° 12 saying "this our door" without having been able to see the slit. —

March 18th On my return from Shrewsbury after 10 days absence, Doddy appeared slightly shy, — I can hardly describe how this was shewn, except by his eyes being slightly averted from mine. He almost immediately came & sat on my knee, kissed me, & was then

page not in the handwriting of Darwin or Emma Darwin.

[31 verso]

[text follows that of 32 recto]

March 29th 1842. — I have some months remarked how much Anny wrinkles up her nose in smiling or half laughing — this she did very early, more so than Doddy, & certainly with her is a more essential part of a smile, than the play of the muscles round the corners of her mouth.

March 29th She has just taken to gabble nonsense words, —

[32 recto]

much excited. Younger children, such as Annie now a year old, look at people with a degree of fixedness which always strikes me as odd — it is like the manner older people only look at inanimate objects — I believe it is, because there is no trace of consciousness in very young children — they do not think, whether the person, they are looking at, is thinking of them.

March. 20th Doddy amuses himself by gabbling nonsense words — he has learned them from my sometimes changing the first letter in any word he is using — thus I say after him instead of "rub my lumps" "bub my crumps" &

[32 verso] [blank]

[33 recto]

March 20th 1842 Doddy is a great adept at throwing things & when choleric he will hurl books or sticks at Emma. About a month since; he was running to give Annie a punch with a little wooden candlestick, when I called sharply to him & he wheeled round & instantly sent the candlestick whirling over my head. — He then stood resolute in the middle of the room as if ready to oppose the whole world. — peremptorily refused to kiss Anny, but in short time, when I said "Doddy wont throw a candlestick at Papas head" & he said "no wont — kiss Papa" — I

[33 verso] [blank]

[34 recto]

shall be curious to observe whether our little girls take so kindly to throwing things when so very young. If they do not, I shall believe it is hereditary in male sex, in the same manner as the S. American colts naturally amble from their parents having been trained. —

Doddy's observant nature is shewn by his daily telling, more than six weeks ago, everyone without omission to have pudding, when their meat was finished,

[34 verso] [blank]

[35 recto]

& to take a crust, when their pudding was finished. — Elizabeth remarked him careful politeness at meals towards his guests, was like his granpapa the Doctor. —

March 23rd Doddy looking at full-face likeness of Isaac Walton in frontispiece of the Angler, — said "like papa looking at Doddy" & then changed it into "like papa laughing at Doddy". — The plate is not at all like me, but it has the faintest smile about the eyes & is a full face. —

[35 verso]

March. 26th — D gave Anny last bit of gingerbread — & today 27th — put last crumb on sofa & said "kind Doddy" —

Anny sniggers nose for long time past, levator nasi — do Mar 29th gabbles dabber babber.

April 2d Doddy used bit of stick as lever to break doll —

[36 recto]

March 26th 1842 2 years & 3 mth — Doddy was generous enough to give Anny the last mouthful of his gingerbread & today (27) he again put his last crumb on the sofa for Anny to run to & then cried in rather a vain-glorious tone "oh kind Doddy" "kind Doddy" —

April 2d Emma had left her handkerchief on the other side of room, & asked Doddy to bring it, to which he pithily answered "wont" — I then said, "poor papa must" — upon which he cried "no no" & ran very eagerly to bring it. —

[36 verso]

End of March 1842. 2 years & 3 months.

[37 recto]

Doddy having this kind of instinctive feeling of fear, that most quadrupeds, except those somewhat like animals to which he is accustomed, as strange varieties of Sheep, the Nyl-gau, & a burmese pony; whilst he had no fear of any bird, though large, like the ostriches & noisy like the gulls. — This fear has certainly come without any experience of danger or hurt, & may be compared to young mice trembling at a cat the first time, they see one. — During the succeeded, he was constantly talking of the Z. Gardens & wished very much to go again & see the birds, but not the "beast in house". —

[37 verso]

May 1. 1842. 14 months old It is curious to see how neatly Annie takes hold in proper way of pens pencils & keys. — Willy to present time with equal or greater practice cannot handle anything so neatly as Annie does, often in exact manner of grown up person. —

March 1st 1843. Annie shows no signs of skill in throwing things either as an amusement, or as an offensive act, in same ready way as Willy did: nor does she so readily gives slaps. —

[38 recto]

April 4th = 42. Willy's observation on dress very curious: Emma put on a pair of boots, which she had not worn for some time & he instantly observed them; as he likewise did the first day she had her hair in curls.

May 5th When Willy was at Maer, & I had not yet come there; he several times repeated "poor Papa at home" & turned down the corners of his mouth

June 1st 1842 Observed the first day I put on a new dull-coloured trowsers. Emma one morning put on an unconspicuous bonnet of C. Langton, W. instantly observed it knew whose it was. I took some artificial flowers & dressing them with fresh leaves, stuck them in the ground to observe if the Bees, wd look at them. Willy across whole length of Maer flower garden perceived them, said they were not Dziver's (Elizabeth's) flowers, ie were not natural, but that Papa had made them. On looking

[38 verso]

[text follows that of 39 recto]

which he had once or twice he had been told he ought not to do — Now these singular grimaces & expressions not to overlooked, certainly was not fear, for he was not afraid, but a kind of conscience. This day I met him coming out of dining room, with his pianofore folded up carefully & he eying it — I asked him what he had got there: he said "nothing" looking all the while to see that his pianofor was well folded & as I came nearer he cried "go" "away" "Doddy going to send" "go away" — from his odd manner I determined to see what was concealed, when I found he had stained with yellow pickle his pianofore, when taking pickle, like he had done sugar. — Here was natural acting & deceit.

[39 recto]

closer he said "from Mammas cap," which was true. He immediately also spied a drop of honey, as large as pin's head, which I had put at bottom of each flower. —

During last fortnight has shewn much suspicion (his characteristic) & could not endure anyone laughing, thinking it directed at him. He has lately been very contradictory; by mistake he one day graciously gave Elizabeth a kiss, but repenting said "Doddy did not kiss Dziver" & when Elizabeth remonstrated by saying "you may be sorry for it, but you did kiss me". He stuck to it, "no Doddy did not".

Aug 26th 1842 About a fortnight ago, I met Willy coming out of Dining Room, with an unnatural brigtness of eye & an odd affected manner, "so odd that I turned back to see if any one was hiding behind the door" — I then found out by marks that he had been taking the powdered sugar

[39 verso]

Jan. 20 1843 Willy 3 years & a month. Charles looking at a print of the Dr Willy instantly recognized it & said good old Grandpapa what did he give Willy? Sugar?" alluding to the sugar candy. It is 6 months since he saw him, remembered having carraway seeds in biscuit at Shrewsbury. Finding birds nest at Maer, throwing spoon in the water & speaking of the railroad he said "Sometimes it do be dark" & then mentioned the bell ringing. None of these circumstances have been mentioned to him since I believe. Threw some cards at my head for alluding to something he used to say when a baby.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[40 recto]

Feb 1843. Willy says "No" in the fiercest way possible unlike any other child I ever saw

Sep. 1844. Annie 3 years & 1/2 was looking at a print of a girl weeping at her mother's grave I heard Willy say. "you are crying". She burst out laughing & said No I aren't it is only the water coming out of my eyes. Her face was red & eyes full of tears. She seemed to wish to excite the emotion again & went on saying Poor Mamma Poor Mammy. Willy then seemed to find it rather melancholy & said. Is her Mamma really dead? Has she got no nurse?

About a year ago after Bessy had been gone a month Willy lying in bed said suddenly Mamma Willy is so sorry

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[40 verso]

for poor Bessy. — the water is coming out of my eyes." But he seemed puzzled at it & did not know why he was crying. About 3 months ago at Maer when he went with me to Etruria as soon as his things were putting on to go, he began the most bitter cry for fear Annie should be unhappy without him, & when we were set out he began crying again anxiously enquiring whether she would be unhappy. It was the more kind hearted of him as she had been out to Betley without him a few days before. He continues to have the same peevishness that he has always had at

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[41 recto]

intervals & now keeps on saying "Don't you like Willy to cry one bit? Nor speak cross? & today he said about his coat which he had been scolding about. Do you think I had better not speak any more about it?

Annie shews much more feeling for imaginary sorrows than for real ones. She can't stand Little Robert & the Owl but says "He must have somebody to take care of him." on the point of crying, however I was glad to see the other day when Willy was in some trouble that she came to me anxiously to help him & was very angry with me for not understanding her quickly.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[41 verso]

Obstinacy is her chief fault at present. Whenever she hurts herself when we are present Willy appears not to mind, & sometimes makes a great noise as if to distract our attention but when they were alone the other day it was quite different. He first attempted to comfort her very nicely & then said he would call Bessy & she not being in sight his fortitude gave way & he began to cry also.

Henrietta just a year old has only 3 teeth & cannot walk alone though she is very near it. She does not understand very much of what is said to her though she looks very wise.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[42 recto]

Willy sometimes tries a little ruse to prevent Annie wishing to have his apple or asking him to change "Yours is larger than mine Annie."

Jan. 1852 Lizzy 4 1/2 years old. She has always had the oddest pronunciation possible. When first she began to speak she added an s to the end of every word "Ettis & Bettis &c afterwards all the ws were turned into b's. Bettys going to bosh Betty's hands." Betty's going to the kitchen bindow to botch Margaret come in from the bosh. "Will you go Betty?" Betty bill. Now her phraseology is quite peculiar. "There was no more till two huntsmen today, but one day I saw a flock of those.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[42 verso]

"I put those in my pocket". I can do it myselt." Looking at herself in the glass "What a pretty ded pace". "Us goed dawn to the willage". Fish for Smith. Kaw for cow. &c. Lenny 2 years old speaks perfectly correct except that he lisps. He says Thiff for fish. When telling her a story or if she is observing any thing she has the most curious way of playing with any dangling thing she can get hold of sometimes twiddling her fingers as Charles used to do. Aug. This has grown into a great habit of abstraction going by herself & talking to herself for an hour. She does not like to be interrupted

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[43 recto]

5 yrs old "Oh Franky you had better put down that great stick. I hurt myself

once, but that was when I was crite a little girl 'member.

"What are all those gella things sprouting out of the sun?

Lenny 2 1/2 On hearing Sarah was unwell. "Is Sally too sick? She must have a bit of praster — she must. Eating a gooseberry. That goobery does make me so good. Charles takes him upstairs to tea every evening. & he says you mutht go down to the dawing you mutht. One day Charles wd not go so he said I am going — I are —

Lenny telling a story. Once there was a little boy — what was he called. & once there was another little boy — what was he called

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[43 verso]

Papa — Lizzy come & stay here. — Shant stay here. People say I'm man's — stay in man's room.

Papa. You have'nt got wrinkles because you are not old. Lizzy No I'm not a drop old

Aug. 52 Franky 4 years old. with some nuts. F. (to Papa) I'll give you lots of nuts — I'll give you one — I'll give you half the inside — It was so little I eat it all up.

Lenny 2 1/2 Aug. 52. To Papa "Kiss my face (which was done pretty handsomely) "Oh By Jo 5 — 6 — ten kisses!!

Lenny After a bit of mischief (insinuatingly) Are I a good boy — are I good boy? (no answer) (indignantly) I are

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[44 recto]

Lenny. I'm a good boy you mustn't thmack me now —

Lenny — You mustnt kiss all my kisses —

I came down stairs with nobody, with my body. — Many bones. You a big body.

I've got a little body — Don't you like my little body? —

The children were discussing at dinner which of the cousins they liked & Franky said as if it was a discovery, I like Georgy. All the party agreed they liked Georgy which made him grin & look very modest. Another day Franky said all in a glow "I do so like you Georgy do you like me?

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[44 verso]

Lenny, nearly 3. May I have it for my own? No — I may have it for my little own. (its my great big own (a ladder.) When asking to stay in the room — "I'll let you alone" —

Lizzy 5 1/2 I -get what the -ginning is -splain it to me — How -licious that orange is -gin at the -ginning, that story about -una & -phia or else -ladin.

At dinner Parslow. Shall I cut up your potatoe. Lizzy after a pause "Yes Parslow. I'm 'sidering."

Lenny in an indignant tone when reproved for being cross "I was only talking.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[45 recto]

Lenny 3 1/2 Eastbourne.

Papa — Well Lenny how do you like Eastbourne

L. (nodding towards the sea) I like that pond best where will they put it to when we dig in the sand? When rhodomontading. It's only my nonsense."

I felt something hard in my bed Certainly it was not my

When particularly cocker he leaves out the last syllable. "May I have a turn(ip). Come into break (fast).

May I have a teeny weeny little bit of sugar, may I

Is this tomorrow?

Georgy very little. I've killed my father & mother & don't know where to find them.

About 6 lying on the rug. I said, my boys are not fond of reading. G. I hate reading — I like drawing & money.

Lenny .. The donkey did not snap me one single bit when I stroked him. — That cow will bite.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[45 verso]

Aug 22 6 yrs old Lizzy coming out of the drawing room rather indignantly "I'm so dull. There is only horrid beastly boys in the drawing room".

Lenny's idea of great age. He was 23 & he never goed to bed at all."

Lenny talking in a melancholy way when I was washing his face after being naughty. I shall have my tea without any milk in it. I think I shall never go out at all.

He scraped 2 little bits of skin off his wrist he thought Papa did not pity him enough & nodded emphatically at him. "The skin's come off — & its lost — & the bleed's coming out."

He asked Jane for some milk. "I will presently." He came close up to her "Janey you ought to do what a child says to a maid.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[46 recto]

Horace 2 1/2 G. When shall you wean baby. H. I am weaned for there's no more milk.

Lenny comparing his paint brushes "Did you think it was the quite awfully big one" Yes. "No it is the awfully big one

Papa. When any body thinks every body cross it is a sign he is cross himself. You remember that Lenny. L. after thinking sometime: Papa I shan't remember that. One day he came in the study very quietly. "Papa Janey has given me a dreadful hurt — a most dreadful hurt. Once he asked me Is it awfully best to do something.

Papa Oh Bony I shd never forgive you if you break that. Lenny. But Papa you ought to forgive me if I do.

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[46 verso]

Horace seeing one of the huntsman not in a red coat. That one is not painted

Lenny "Is the sky a sort of nowhere?

Papa. Give me a kiss. Lenny. Are you clean P. Yes. L. Are you really clean. P. Yes. Well I will then.

Lenny trying to amuse Horace (crying Baby I said I'd got a bit of horizontal bread & butter.

Lenny cross & crying "Papa I think I've got a stomach ache. P. Poor Bony. Turning to him indignantly "I only said I thought I'd got a stomach ache

Miss Th. asking Lizzy won't you have a bit of bread with your egg?

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[47 recto]

"I've told you 100 times that I don't want any thing with my egg.

Miss Th. Shall I cut up yr meat? L. I don't care whether you do or not.

Lenny 4 1/2 coming in all over mud up to the eyes. Papa "Oh Lenny what have you been doing? L. I'd rather not tell you." P. Do tell me what you have been doing? L. Must I? Then I shan't. —

P. Why Lenny you must be washed in a tub of cold water. L. Awfully? — Papa, — yes — Then I shall cry.

L. I've opened the window the atomest bit.

looking thro' that red thing unbetters me. (looking thro' a bit of red glass at the garden)

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[47 verso]

May 1854. Before tea Ch. asked Lenny P. Have you had your tea? L. Yes I have. P. Are you sure you have? L. I don't know — a pause — Yes very awfully I think I have.

Lizzy, "Georgy is such a soldiery boy he never goes a riding — & he never speaks to a single girl

Georgy to Franky. Are you glad there is such a boy as me in the world — F. Yes I am tremendously glad. I shall never do any thing without you.

Lenny in bed when Papa looked at him without speaking. "You may give me a kiss if you like".

page in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[48 recto]

May 20, 1854. — I saw a pile of sand lying on the lawn, & said "Oh Bony who put that there, I suppose you & Baby did." I don't forget that we did do it, — very much I think we did not, — at least I know we did not".

"If it rains for 4 days, all the tanks will upset", (ie overflow)

"I am a beautiful boy for opening the door, every day, every day in my life"

Papa — "Bony, Bony I am afraid you are a little coward" He rebutted the charge with indignation, saying — "But I was really, really frightened". —

[48 verso]

Lenny lying in bed — "You may have a sweet kiss — Oh so sweet — (as he continued kissing) Don't they come sweeter & sweeter?

Lenny hammering the gravel-walk, — I said "Don't knock up the walk" — "I am not (going steadily on) I am knocking it down".

I said "Lenny you have been cutting the pencil with my scissors". "But I could not help it" — I said "Lenny you cd help it, don't say that". "I could not help it a little bit. — really — really, I could not help it awfully". —

[49 recto]

June 1854 — About 9 months ago, Lenny defined being in good spirits as

"laughing, talking & kissing".

June 6 — 1854. Lenny after quarrelling with Horace, "I feel that I shall never play with Baby again, — never, in all my life" — (In half-a-minute in full romps.)

June 27th Lenny. "Papa I have coughed awfully, — many times awfully — five awfullys — and more too, — so may'nt I have some black stuff?" (ie liquorice)

[49 verso]

July .25th '54 Horace struck Lenny with a rake & Lenny after a bad cry, said "I shall never love you again in all my life". But when Baby said "oh do". — Lenny answered "I meant I should" & then gave him a kiss. —

Nov. '54 Whenever Emma or I came home from a journey, Lenny has come up, in a very pretty manner, & has said "I want to tell you something" & then in lowest whisper asked us whether we had bought him anything as a present. We had rather laughed at his always begging; so when I came home yesterday, he did not ask for anything, but only remarked in a very sweet & sympathetic manner. "Do not you wish, that you had bought me a drum."? — Dec. 55. This time the hint was more gentle "Did you buy anything for yourself'"? with marked emphasis on yourself. — May 56. Again more gently. "Did you go into many shops?"

[50 recto]

One day, whilst walking round Sand-walk, Lenny came & said to me he had seen, Huntsmen in red coat & white breeches jumping over the Hedges &c &c. I said "Oh Lenny you can have seen nothing of the sort", when he answered with utmost coolness "Well then I heard them". Afterwards on again remonstrating with him on telling such a Burster (as he wd call it), he answered, "Well then I will tell you what I once did see really," "Once I saw a steam Engine &c &c" — so that he thought one true story would exactly counterbalance one fib. —

One day I heard a great shout on the stairs from Lenny; & Franky run to know whether he had had a bad fall; when Lenny gravely reproved him, saying, "I only thought I had hurt myself.".

[50 verso]

Lenny about 3. "My hunions (ankles) are so unclean, (looking at his muddy legs.

Lenny, — "It sometimes happens that I am happy"

— "I bets that is a rum thing", the bet being offered to Horace

Lenny. When ill with Fever & recovering (Dec 1854) used constantly to ask in the prettiest voice, "what we advised him to have to eat." One day I advised him to have tea, instead of an orange; so immediately after having had the latter, he said to Bessy "now for the orange, for Papa advised me

Lenny about...muddy legs.] in the handwriting of Emma Darwin.

[50A recto]

strongly, very strongly, to have an orange".

It was the prettiest thing in the world to see the first smile coming so excessively slowly, after about 16 days illness, when I purposely mistook a picture of a girl for that of a Boy.

When very ill, when the Doctors wanted to hear the action of the Lungs, whilst speaking, I asked him how he felt, & he answered so pathetically "I cannot explain".

Feb 1. 1855. Lenny asked me "Will you play at beggar-my-neighbour with me, because if you won't, you must." —

[50A verso]

Horace 3 yrs old walking with Bessy in London saw a very little boy smoking a cigar "Look at that fellow how well he does it."

Lizzy 7 yrs old. Settling how many boys she would have only one "I hate boys they are so plaguy tricky & bothersome." Do you think that physic does make me any gooder

April 10th: In the morning whilst I was shaving, Lenny kept on talking to me so I said, "Lenny I cannot talk whilst I am shaving" — "But you can talk, when you are unshaving".

Lenny kept on bothering me by asking

[51 recto]

me over & over again, "where his Picture was", & at last I scolded him & told him to be quiet, when he immediately asked "but where do you think it is". And when I said "why Lenny you have asked me again" — he answered in a very injured tone "no I have not, for I have only asked where you thought it was. — "

Ap. 20. 1855 — Lenny having a cut glittering glass in his hand, proposed with a very sharp pleased look to put it on the Sun-Dial, "for perhaps it will make it go quicker" — & when I laughed, he asked "why what then does make the Dial go?"

[51 verso]

Lenny was tumbling over the sofa & breaking all rules & when I said he must not do that, He answered "well then I advise you to go out of the room". —

Lenny came to me, very discontented about his luncheon, & when I suggested Bread & butter, with one shoulder up, he answered, "but I am so awfully used to bread & butter" — in fact he was fishing for ginger-bread. —

Baby asked him to do something "I can't I have my own business to do". —

Lenny going to do something to a flower said. "I've a fact to do"

[52 recto]

June 11 ./55/ Lenny came with a piece of rag & said quite gravely. "Now, papa, the Devil is how shall we divide this? — that is the job." —

I gave Lenny a shilling yesterday, & he thinks himself extremely rich, so he came to me this morning, at my working time, when he knew there was very little chance of my coming out, & said "Well then, if you will come & stop with me on the lawn, whilst I burn the touchwood, I will give you sixpence". —

Lenny told me he had only one frock, & I asked how that was. "Why I went to the sand-walk, & of course I went down into the hole to play, &, (was it not foolish of Jany?) I spoilt my Frock." —

[52 verso]

June 19th /55/ Lenny found for me before Dinner a new Grass, so he said. "I are an extraordinary grass-finder, & I must keep it particularly by my side all dinner-time".

July 5th "Here Papa there is something above everything", viz his old & hurt nail had come off, with the new nail below. —

July 24th "Papa I will tell you the nature of these sort of persons (meaning himself & Horace who were making a horrid mess) they like going into the mud."

1856. May 21. Lenny lying on my lap, coolly said "Well you old ass" & being very slightly shocked, remarked "Really, I did not mean to spurt that out". —

[53 recto]

July. Lenny's Logic. — "Papa I saw an immense great Hawk flying. I am almost certain that there were two". — 'Why' — "Because one may have gone first". —

[53 verso][blank]

[page a]


A Large gravel pit. worked for mending the roads: the lower beds chiefly sand: under which is a red marl. — The gravel like that of the rest of Shropshire, consists of various sorts of rocks. — Limestone. Trap. Clay Slate. Grey Wacke Quartz. Granite. In the gravel there are numerous balls of sandstone, dark red and almost spherical. — I have not observed them in other pits. —

[page b]


An escarpements of sandstone, which follows the course of Meole Brook. — Within a few yards on the other side of the stream are old coal pits. — Its direction is W.N.W. & E S.E. — dipping at an D of 20° to N.N E. The sandstone is much stratified & of a very hard consistence: — is covered on parts of its face by a stalactite: —

[page c]


On the Southern bank of brook, strata of Slate clay appear; they are irregularly stratified & full of bits of shining coal. —

[page d]


The Nessclif hills consisting of red Sandstone beginning about 1/4 of mile south of Great Ness & running in a N E by N direction towards Boreatton Park. In this range I include the hills called Clive & Hopton. — Their escarpement generally bears W.S.W. facing the plain, which lies between the Breddin & LLanemyncch.1 The escarpement in different portions of the range appears to vary. sometimes it is even N E. — The direction of the Strata very difficult to be ascertained. The best observation I made was on the top of hill

1 Llanymynech

[page e]


called Hopton. where the sandstone is more distinctly stratified, of a darker colour, much harder but carious. — here the D was N by W & S by E dipping at 8° to E by N. — Nearer to Nessclif. the D is more Western being W.N.W — Again in other places WSW & ENE & SW & NE Generally speaking the Strata are nearly horizontal; but both the inclination & direction is difficult to be ascertained owing to the number of fissures or seams which run through the whole bed of rock. These are generally horizontal but occasionally

[page f]


vertical. & divide the rock into beds of various thickness generally about 6 feet. — The stone is soft, but used for inferior buildings, it is generally red. dappled with white; but occasionally altogether white. — The surface is in many places is honeycombed. & or rather corroded into holes of various sizes; when a piece is broken off. there may be observed patches of a darker hue: it is apparently from the easier decomposition of the blacker spots, that the surface takes the

[page g]


described appearance. — The stone is very little covered with Lichens. The general red colour, abrupt escarpement & wooded top of these hills gives much picturesque beauty to that part of Shropshire. — The most curious thing I observed in this rock were numerous veins of a harder sandstone running in straight lines often quite through the main bed of rock. From their resisting decomposition longer than the surrounding stone they project outwards & are very visible. — These veins are about a line in thickness, are generally vertical, but sometimes oblique &

[page h]


occasionally curved. — They are more numerous in the upper beds. & these frequently cut each other: But what is most important the cut pass through the seams or stratifications in the rock. This indeed first led me to suppose that most of the regular lines of apparent stratifications were not really such, but merely fissures caused by some force afterwards their deposition. These veins of harder sandstone I do not think could be formed by cracks afterwards filled up by infiltration their remarkable uniformity in thickness

[page i]


& consti appearance, together with the manner in which mey cut each appear to me to preclude this idea. — It is on this supposition that I think the continuity of the veins through the seams in the rock, prove that were caused by some force & not by a succession of depositions. —

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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 2 July, 2012