In June 1871 Henrietta met Richard Buckley Litchfield, a barrister and lecturer in music at the London Working Men’s College; they were married in the parish church in her parents’ village of Downe, Kent, on 31 August. The intimate and deeply reflective journal entries from July, which hint at originally unrequited passion, cover the period of their courtship. Reading at times like teenage romantic fiction, with all the agonies of uncertainty and longing, it also dissects Henrietta’s reasons for choosing to be married in church–a decision she did not reach lightly–and her sadness at leaving her parents.
A small lockable leather diary in the archive at Cambridge University Library has led to a reassessment of one of the key relationships in Charles Darwin’s life. The Darwin Correspondence Project, with the permission of Darwin’s family, is making public for the first time the short but intense—and intensely revealing—personal journal of Darwin’s daughter, Henrietta.
A newly discovered egg from Darwin’s Beagle voyage is probably the only one left. Plus, according to Darwin, the bird itself was very tasty.
Darwin on the exchange of letters: “It is seldom that one individual has the power giving to another such a sum of pleasure, as you this day have granted me.— I know not whether the conviction of being loved, be more delightful or the corresponding one of loving in return.— I ought for I have experienced them both in excess.”
According to recent Cambridge University documents, Darwin loved his vegetables. So much so, that he paid more to his college dining hall to have them at meals. Luckily, fresh vegetables today are inexpensive–a true luxury. Read about it at BBC News >>