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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood   [25 April 1851]



My dearest Fanny

I cannot resist writing one line to thank you for having so tenderly advised me to return to home,1 I am sure I have acted best for Emma’s sake. It is some sort of consolation to weep bitterly together. The more I think of it, the greater the comfort is to me, that one who wept as tenderly as the tenderest parent over our poor child should follow her to the grave. I know of no other human being whom I could have asked to have undertaken so painful a task. God bless you dearest Fanny for it: sometime think with satisfaction how kindly you have acted towards us in our misery. Poor Emma is very firm, but is of course repeatedly overwhelmed with grief. I owe it to you that I am here.

Dear Fanny I cannot thank you. Sometime I shd wish to know on which side & part of the Church-Yard, as far as you can describe it, the body of our once joyous child rests.2

Yours most affectionately | C. Darwin

mention how you are yourself my dearest F. Ch. says you looked quite ill.3


CD left Malvern before Anne was buried and arrived at Down on 25 April. Fanny Mackintosh Wedgwood made the arrangements for Anne’s funeral.
There is a sketch showing the location of Anne’s grave in Malvern churchyard in DAR 210.13.
The postscript is in Emma Darwin’s hand.


Is glad he returned home to be with Emma, and is grateful to Fanny for following Anne to the grave.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Frances Emma Elizabeth (Fanny) Wedgwood
Sent from
Source of text
V&A / Wedgwood Collection (MS W/M 310)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1417,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

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