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Darwin Correspondence Project

To F. C. Donders   19 May 1870

Down. Beckenham. Kent. | S.E.

May 19th. 1870.

My dear Sir

You have my heartfelt sympathy. If I had lived in London, I should no doubt have heard of your great calamity.1 I once lost a dear & good girl, & know what a dreadful grief it is; but then I had other children left to love.—2 Your loss is irreparable, & I feel deeply for you.

It is most kind in you to take at present trouble for me in scientific matters. I shall be very grateful for the translation of your paper & your letter whenever they may arrive: for I feel an exaggerated degree of interest in the subject of expression.—

With the kindest sympathy & respect, believe me | my dear Sir | yours sincerely | Charles Darwin.


See letter from F. C. Donders, 17 May 1870. Donders’s daughter, Marie Engelmann, had died in March 1870.
CD refers to the death of his daughter Annie (Anne Elizabeth Darwin) in 1851 (see Correspondence vol. 5).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Expresses sympathy [on death of FCD’s daughter].

Will be grateful for his paper and letter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Frans Cornelis (Franciscus Cornelius) Donders
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
C 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7194,” accessed on 15 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18