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Darwin's Illness$
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Ralph Colp Jr.

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813032313

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813032313.001.0001

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Working “Too Hard” on Natural Selection and Treatments at Moor Park

Working “Too Hard” on Natural Selection and Treatments at Moor Park

(p.61) 8 Working “Too Hard” on Natural Selection and Treatments at Moor Park
Darwin's Illness

Ralph Colp Jr. M.D.

University Press of Florida

Charles Darwin began to write what he hoped would become a comprehensive and very big book entitled Natural Selection. Despite anxieties over work and children, he did not experience a serious increase in illness, and his main complaints about his health were of working “too hard” on Natural Selection and of sometimes being “overdone” because of his work. By “overdone”, he meant mental fatigue and increases in flatulence. He tried hydropathy at Moor Park, in Surrey, due to his poor health. At Moor Park—after a week of daily shallow baths, douches, and sitz baths—he felt benefits to his health. The physician based at Moor Park, Dr. Edward Wickstead Lane, lacked the national prominence of Dr. Gully. After a sojourn at Moor Park, Darwin returned to Down and, feeling better, resumed work on his species book, only to fall ill yet again. During his sojourn in Moor Park, while he relaxed from writing Natural Selection, he was able to advance his work.

Keywords:   Charles Darwin, Natural Selection, hydropathy, Moor Park, mental fatigue, flatulence, Dr. Edward Wickstead Lane

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