RECORD: Anon. 1882. Darwin's Selbstbiographie. Prager Tageblatt (25 April), p. 8.

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by John van Wyhe 12.2019. RN1

NOTE: This anecdote was said to be reported widely in the European newspapers. It was noted in the Shields Daily Gazette, (22 May 1882), p. 4, which concluded with the remark "It is scarcely necessary to say that this story is a complete fabrication."

English translation by John van Wyhe:

Darwin's Autobiography. The "Deutsche Mittagsblatt" tells the following anecdote of Darwin: "A publisher troubled the famous naturalist with an appeal for an autobiography. Darwin replied: "You can take it with you directly." He then gave him a paper, which he had just written as the publisher watched. The recipient exhaustively thanked him and hurried away. When he was outside the door, he opened the sheet with great curiosity. He found written there the following: "My name is Charles Darwin. I was born in 1809. I studied. I made a voyage around the world. And I continue to study."


[page] 8

Darwin's Selbstbiographie. Das "Deustche Mtgbl." erzählt von Darwin folgende Anekdote: "Ein Buchhändler belästigte den Berühmten Naturforscher mit einem Gesuch um eine Autobiographie. Darwin erwiderte: "Sie können sie sogleich mitnehmen." Dabei übergab er ihm ein Papier, welches er soeben vor den Augen des Buchhändlers beschrieben hatte. Der also Beschenkte erschöpfte sich in Danksagungen und eilte davon. Als er, vor der Thür angekommen, in begreislicher Neugier das Blatt öffnete, fand er Folgendes darauf verzeichnet: "Ich heiße Charles Darwin, bin geboren 1809, studirte, machte eine Reise um die Welt, und studire weiter."


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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

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