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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emma Darwin   [24 April 1851]


Thursday | before 12

My dearest

I know too well what receiving no message yesterday means. Till 4 o’clock I sometimes had a thought of hope, but when I went to bed I felt as if it had all happened long ago. Don’t think it made any difference my being so hopeful the last day. When the blow comes it wipes out all that preceded it & I don’t think it makes it any worse to bear. I hope you have not burnt your letter I shall like to see it sometime.1 My feeling of longing after our lost treasure makes me feel painfully indifferent to the other children but I shall get right in my feelings to them before long. You must remember that you are my prime treasure (& always have been) my only hope of consolation is to have you safe home to weep together. I feel so full of fears about you. They are not reasonable fears but my power of hoping seems gone. I hope you will let dearest Fanny or Catherine if she comes stay with you till the end. I can’t bear to think of you by yourself. No doubt you will have sent Miss Th. home to recover her cheerfulness. I will write to her in a few days to fix her time of return— Your letter is just come2 & I feel less miserable a good deal in the hopes of seeing you sooner than I expected, but do not be in a hurry to set off.3 I am perfectly well. You do give me the only comfort I can take in thinking of her happy innocent life. She never concealed a thought, & so affectionate so forgiving. What a blank it is. Don’t think of coming in one day. We shall be much less miserable together.

yours my dearest

Poor Willy sends his love. He takes it & cried quietly & sweetly.


See letter from Emma Darwin [23 April 1851], n. 7, for Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood’s letter explaining that CD had been unable to send an optimistic letter because of Anne’s worsening condition.
Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood wrote to Emma at 6.00 PM on Wednesday, 23 April, and told her that she was encouraging CD to leave for Down the following day (DAR 210.13).


Her reactions to Anne’s death; hopes CD may soon return.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.13: 30
Physical description
AL 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1414,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5