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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   [25 April 1873]1

My dear Lyell,

I do not know how to express my feelings at the dreadful news received this morning.2 To think how perfect & charming she was. My dear old friend, you are now suffering from by far the greatest calamity, which a man can endure in the world. & (God grant that you may have strength to bear your misery in some degree.) I shd not have thought of writing to you at first did I not think I was compelled to acknowledge the safe receit of your generous additional contribution.3

God give you strength | Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin


The date is established by the reference to the death of Mary Elizabeth Lyell.
Lyell had sent an additional £50 contribution to the subscription fund for Thomas Henry Huxley (see letter to T. H. Huxley, 25 April 1873 and n. 4).


Offers condolences on the death of CL’s wife.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 96: 167
Physical description
AdraftS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8884,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21