RECORD: Graham, William. 1882.04.26. Letter to Emma Darwin. CUL-DAR215.10g. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 11.2021. Corrections by Anne Secord 4.2022. RN2

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.

"Graham, William, 1839-1911. Prof. Jurisprudence Queen's College Belfast. 1881 CD to G, on reading his Creed of science. LL1:315." (Paul van Helvert & John van Wyhe, Darwin: A Companion, 2021)

Darwin wrote to him on 3 July 1881 praising the book. (CUL-DAR144.345)


61 Coleshill St. Eaton Sq. S. W.

April 26th 1882

Dear Mrs Darwin

Though it may seem almost an intrusion on your grief, I cannot forbear writing a few words to express my sympathy with you & your family in the loss of your noble and glorious husband. I had indeed but the pleasure of a short acquaintance with him, on the occasion of my recent visit to your house: but it was quite sufficient to impress upon me the feeling that he was genial and kind and good as he was great; and


it will remain a lasting and pleasing memory to me that I had for even a short time the pleasure & the honor of the personal acquaintance of such a man.

I hope it may be a source of some consolation to you – if not now, when your sorrow is so great yet hereafter – to know that not only his many friends who loved him but the entire nation, and even the civilised world mourns his loss to-day. He has been taken away too soon indeed for you for his friends for Science & the Truth to which his life was consecrated, but not too soon for a great and pure & lasting fame, - if such consideration could be of any comfort to you at such a time. More might be said, as the death of a great man like your husband awakens many reflections, & not all sad – but I forbear, and will only in conclusion express the hope that God, and the memory of the noble life best known to you & now finished, may comfort you.

With respectful sympathy & hoping you will pardon my [illeg] to give expression to it

I remain

Very truly yours

William Graham

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

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