RECORD: Du Bois-Reymond, Emil Heinrich. 1882.05.24. [Recollection of Darwin in a letter to Francis Darwin]. CUL-DAR198.62. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 4.2021. RN1

NOTE: Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library.


May 24th, ‘82

Dear Sir,

I have great pleasure in sending you the only letter which, as far as I can remember, I have ever received from your illustrious father. He wrote it me after I had announced him privately that (on my proposer) he had been elected a Foreign associate / or promoted from a corresponding member to a foreign associate of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. The address of mine, to which the letter alludes, is the Essay: Darwin versus Galiani, which I had read at the Leibnitz meeting of the Academy, July 1876, but which I only then had ventured to send to your father. The words “I had forgotten that I had audaciously complained to you of the difficulty of reading German” relate to a phrase your father used in that respect in the only conversation I ever had the honour to hold with him, in London in 1866, when he said:

Nothing short of dire compulsion could make him read a page of German” or something to that effect. (The condensed words are literal)

Believe me, dear Sir,

Sincerely yours

E Du Bois-Reymond

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Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

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