Skip to content

Charles Darwin’s Cost-Benefit Analysis of Marriage

Charles Darwin's correspondence reveals how he struggled with the work-life balance and how that influenced his decision on whether or not to get married. 

Thanks to Maria Popova at Brain Pickings for pointing us to passages in The Correspondences of Charles Darwin where the father of modern biology candidly dealt with marriage. 

Among the highlights:

How should I manage all my business if I were obliged to go walking every day?

And yet, the thought of spending his life alone, “like a neuter bee, working, working, & nothing after all” seemed to Darwin too intolerable. And so, his scientific conclusion:

Marry — Mary — Marry Q.E.D.

Read all of the excerpts here.

Darwin’s marriage conundrum reminds us of another expert who appeared recently on Big Think, Henry Rollins, who confessed that while he likes to look at women, the demands of work are simply too much, and he is unable to commit.

Watch the video here:

Poor Henry! It makes us want to share with him this line from Darwin:

Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa with good fire, & books & music perhaps — 


Up Next