Charles spent his early years at a house called The Mount in Shrewsbury, which Robert had had built in the early years of his marriage to Susannah. He seems to have been a quiet, solitary child; he had no great difficulty making friends, but his best times were spent on exploratory walks, on which he would collect whatever he could find.Charles's mother died when he was only 8. In 1817 she started growing ill, with gastrointestinal symptoms that were probably a sign of either a severe ulcer or stomach cancer. She died on Thursday, July 15, 1817. Robert dedicated himself even more into his medical practice even more than he had before, leaving the household to be run mostly by his elder daughters Marianne and Caroline. Robert had always been an enormous presence in the house when he returned from work at the end of the day, but it had been tolerable as long as his mood was good. Now, however, he was almost
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