Charles Darwin


Charles Robert Darwin was an English naturalist, geologist and biologist, best known for his theory of evolution by natural selection first formulated in Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species". 1 2 3


Darwin’s day started at 7 am and was followed by a short walk. At 07:45 am, he would take a solitary breakfast and then work in his study from 8 am to 10:30 am which he considered his best hours. In the drawing room between 9:30 am and 10:30 am, Darwin would read his own letters as well as read aloud family letters. Later, Darwin would return to his study to work until noon.


At midday, typically alone or sometimes accompanied by a dog, Darwin would visit the greenhouse before taking a walk around a gravel track near his home called the ‘sandwalk’– he called this his thinking path. Lunchtime was usually at 12:45 pm and spent it with the whole family. After lunch, he would read The Times newspaper and respond to his correspondence. From 3 pm to 4 pm, he would rest in his bedroom sofa and smoke tobacco while listening to his wife, Emma Darwin, read light literature. The remainder of the afternoon, 4 pm to 5:30 pm, was spent walking, working and clearing up the day’s business.


From 6 pm, Darwin rested again in his bedroom and listened to his wife reading aloud. The family dined around 7:45 pm while Darwin had high tea. His after-dinner routine varied, if he wasn’t hosting any guests, he played a couple games of backgammon with Emma, followed by readings, listening to her play the piano and then more readings aloud. In his latter years, Darwin retired to the drawing room to join the women and never stayed with the dining room with the men.


Darwin normally left the drawing room by around 10:30 pm and headed to bed, but usually suffered for a poor night's sleep.