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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. A. van Bemmelen   12 February 1877


I received yesterday the magnificent present of the album, together with your letter. I hope that you will endeavour to find some means to express to the two hundred & seventeen distinguished observers & lovers of natural science, who have sent me their photographs, my gratitude for their extreme kindness.1 I feel deeply gratified by this gift, & I do not think that any testimonial more honourable to me could have been imagined. I am well aware that my books could never have been written and would not have made any impression on the public mind, had not an immense amount of material been collected by a long series of admirable observers; & it is to them that honour is chiefly due. I suppose that every worker at science occasionally feels depressed, & doubts whether what he has published has been worth the labour which it has cost him; but for the few remaining years of my life, whenever I want cheering, I will look at the portraits of my distinguished co-workers in the field of science, & remember their generous sympathy. When I die the album will be a most precious bequest to my children. I must further express my obligation for the very interesting history contained in your letter of the progress of opinion in the Netherlands with respect to Evolution, the whole of which is quite new to me.

I must again thank all my kind friends, from my heart for their ever memorable testimonial, and I remain, | Sir | Your obliged & grateful | Servant | Charles R. Darwin

Feb. 12th 1877 | to the Donors of the Netherlands Album


See letter from A. A. van Bemmelen and H. T. Veth, 6 February 1877. The photograph album of Dutch admirers of CD is at Down House, Downe, Kent. For a list of the persons in the album, see Appendix V.


Expresses his gratitude for the gift [a birthday album from a number of Dutch scientists]; he cannot imagine a more honourable testimonial.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Adriaan Anthoni van Bemmelen
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 202: 31
Physical description
DraftS(A) 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10841,” accessed on 9 February 2023,