“Dreadfully Up-hill Work” on the <i>Origin of Species</i> and Treatments at Moor Park and Ilkley

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:
“Dreadfully Up-hill Work” on the Origin of Species and Treatments at Moor Park and Ilkley

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Charles Darwin began to write what he called “an abstract” of his big book. His usual slow rate of writing now quickened. Although still beset by doubts and fears, he was determined to publish his theory. After a year of “hard” writing, he finished his “abstract”, which, when published, would be The Origin of Species. During this year, the mental pressures of writing up his theory often affected his stomach. He spent a very pleasant week at Moor Park and the hydropathy gave him good results. On 10 September of that year, he finished correcting his last proofs—the book was now entitled The Origin of Species. In the month that followed completion of the book, he took various remedies. He also made plans to take several weeks of hydropathy at Ilkley House, near Ilkley, in Yorkshire. Five days after arriving at Ilkley, he suffered from a sprained ankle and this made him temporarily unable to walk and interfered with the hydropathy treatments. He was able to return to hydropathy treatments when the physical symptoms of the hydropathy “crisis” abated, which he continued until 7 December when he returned home.

Keywords: Charles Darwin; The Origin of Species; Moor Park; Ilkley; hydropathy

Chapter.  3135 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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