RECORD: Papé, Charlotte. 1882.04.21. Letter to [Francis] Darwin. CUL-DAR215.7k. 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.

Charlotte Papé wrote to Darwin on 16 July 1875. See her letter in Correspondence vol. 23, p. 299. She is mentioned in Darwin and Women (2017), edited by Samantha Evans.


14 Ungerstr. Hannover

Linden April 21st 1882

Dear Sir,

On opening the paper to-day I saw the announcement that the master-mind of our age has ceased of its work. There is no dying for the immortals and no lamentation at the consummation of a perfect career. I well know that. And yet the sense of the glory departed from amongst us, of the loss to mankind


irretrievable, probably, for centuries to come, the sorrow at the removal of one whose genius and character made one worship and love him, though I never saw him, and of whose matchless condescension and kindness I have had personal experience, completely overwhelms me, and will have some vent.

So I trust you, who once, years ago, when I was living in England, were kind enough to give a detailed reply to a question daringly addressed to your great father, will not now despise, among the mourning


voices of the civilised world, the sorrowful utterance of an insignificant and unknown woman, but let it be like a little flower laid on the grave of him for whom nothing was too great and nothing too small.

Charlotte Papé.



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

File last updated 25 September, 2022