RECORD: Anon. 1882. [Obituary of Darwin]. Guardian (26 April). CUL-DAR216.12a. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 1.2023. RN1

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


More than fifty years have passed since Mr. Darwin started in the Beagle on a long voyage as a naturalist. He brought back with him to England not only a vast accumulation of knowledge, but a weakened constitution, which, however, did not prevent him from continuing work almost to the time of his death. The close and patient observer of facts has also played a large part in the construction of a revolutionary philosophy. He has himself applied in many of his subsequent writings, and has enable other inquirers to apply, the principles which were indicated in his great work on the origin of species by natural selection. It is strange to think that this quiet man, in whom the perceptive powers might seem to predominate over the reflective, and who never denied his attention to the lowliest facts of nature, has been in his retirement the father of systems which almost aim at embracing the universe, and has turned into new channels the current of European thought. How far his speculations were sound, how far, if true, there were imperfect, and what will be the consequences of their legitimate development, are questions before which, if really faced, ordinary minds turn giddy.

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

File last updated 4 March, 2023