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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Emily Catherine Darwin   [27 April 1851]


My dearest Charles—

I wished very much to have thanked you yesterday, for your great kindness in writing to me; I was so anxious to hear of you and poor poor Emma;—her sweet note is come this morning to Susan; the loss of your poor darling is the most heart-rending grief, that has ever happened to this family.— I did not like to tell you in my last, (but may now) how often Susan and I have been thankful that my Father was spared this great grief;—it would have been such agitation & distress to him, besides such sorrow. I think it must be some comfort to you both, to think that as long as her little life was granted you, you both did every thing in the world to make her happy;—no little dear could have had a happier life except her health till her little innocent spirit was called above.— Caroline used to say long ago (when alarmed about Sophy)1 that her great consolation would be, if she lost her, to think that her life had been as happy as she could make it.—

You give a beautiful account of dear Annie’s bright, engaging, qualities, so open and confiding & loveable;—exactly what Susan and I both thought her.— Poor little dear Etty;—Emma gives a pathetic account of her quiet grief;—and I remember before, your telling us of the remarkable way, in which she showed so much feeling.—

How glad I shall be to hear of your being able to go out of doors, or take to any of your usual occupations;—I know you will, when you can, for the sake of dear Emma and all your other children. We shall be most anxious to hear of Emma again; the way she has borne this trial is beautiful indeed.

I will write no more— this was only to thank you for your’s.

Yrs dearest Charles. | E C. Darwin.

I am better, though still very good for nothing—

Susan meant to write to Emma—but has a violent headache and cannot today— She is most grateful to dear Emma for her dear note.


Thoughts on the death of Anne.

Letter details

Letter no.
Emily Catherine (Catherine) Darwin/Emily Catherine (Catherine) Langton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 210.13: 36
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1423,” accessed on 16 September 2023,

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