Monday, September 5, 2016

Darwin: Househunting In London

via Darwin: The Life Of A Tormented Evolutionist: Adrian Desmond and James Moore

after his engagement to Emma Wedgwood in November 1838..

The couple took the Doctor's advice and opted for a London house until Charles said, 'I have wearied the geological public with my newly acquired cacoethes scribendi [itch to write].' Then they would 'decide, whether the pleasures of retirement & country... are preferable to society'. Charles scouted out houses, traipsing the misty November streets. The West End was out, the traffic noise was deafening (so much so that trials with wood block surfaces were about to start in Oxford Street). Bloomsbury, near the British Museum, was quieter and its leafy squares preferable. Emma gave Charley his marching orders: to investigate 'the back lanes about Regents Park' or nearer to Covent Garden 'if it is not too dear.'  But the astronomic rents came as a shock. The 'landlords are all gone mad. they ask such prices.' L150 a year was nothing. (And Charley remained canny, even with L15,000 in prospect). He and Eras decided that the Bloomsbury squares were the most affordable.

The great man obsessed over mundane matters too after all.

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