Annie D just introduced me to this treasure trove of Darwin’s letters.
She quoted a very youthful (twelve- year old) Darwin on– washing:
“Just as I was going, she said she must ask me not a very decent
question, that was whether I wash all over every morning — no — then
she said it was quite disgustin — then she asked me if I did every
other morning, and I said no — then she said how often I did, and I
said once a week, then she said of cour you wash your feet every day,
and I said no, then she begun saying how very disgusting and went on
that way a good while. so then I went and told erasmus, and he bust
out in laughing and said I had better tell he to come and wash them
her self, besides that she said she did not like sitting by me or
Erasmus for we smelt of not washing all over, there we sat arguing
away for a good while.”
As I have mentioned before, I once held a fan letter to Jean- Henri Fabre from Darwin. It is not yet available in text but is catalogued here.