07-Aug-1838: Darwin takes the train

We’re all familiar with the trials of modern travel: the hustle and bustle, the lost luggage, the unseemly scramble at baggage reclaim. Things weren’t so different in Darwin’s day. On 7th August 1838, he described his first ever railway journey to his future wife, Emma Wedgwood:

My journey up was dull enough— I was altogether disappointed with the railroad— it was so rough & so much plague with the many changes.— At Birmingham, I heard a head-man scolding furiously a guard for something he had done— he ended with the remark—not particularly consolotary to me, who had no very clear idea, where they had hurried my luggage,—“& that is the reason, we lose so many things every day.”— It was raining hard, when we reached London, & the scramble for the luggage was glorious;—two or three poor old ladies, I suspect, died broken hearted that same night.— poor old souls they appeared greatly agitated.

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
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