Working “Too Hard” on <i>Natural Selection</i> and Treatments at Moor Park

Ralph Colp Jr. M.D.

in Darwin's Illness

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032313
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039237 | DOI:
Working “Too Hard” on Natural Selection and Treatments at Moor Park

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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

Chapter.  3680 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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