skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Gustav von Leonhard1   20 March [1847]

Down Farnborough | Kent

March 20th

Dear & much respected Sir.

I cannot resist writing to thank you for your kindness in sending me a copy of your review2 of my Volcanic Islands, & for the very great honour which you have done me in your manner of speaking of it.— It is no small satisfaction to me, to reflect that my small work has been thought worthy of careful perusal by a name, which I have for so many years known & honoured.

I have taken the liberty to direct my publishers to transmit to you a copy of my S. American volume and I trust you will accept it as a trifling acknowledgment on my part of your kindness.3

With my most sincere respect, I beg, dear Sir, to remain | Your faithful & obliged sevt. | Charles Darwin


The recipient is identified by the cover which is addressed to ‘Dr. Gustav Leonhard | der Universitat | Heidelberg | Germany’. However, it was Karl Cäsar von Leonhard, Gustav von Leonhard’s father, who was professor of mineralogy at Heidelburg University at this time. Gustav von Leonhard did not become extraordinary professor of mineralogy until 1853. The tone of CD’s letter suggests that he thought he was writing to the elder Leonhard.
Leonhard’s review has not been located.
There is a review of South America in Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie und Petrefakten-Kunde (1847): 509, which was edited by Karl Cäsar von Leonhard and Heinrich Georg Bronn.


South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.


Honoured by GL’s review of Volcanic islands.

Sends copy [of South America].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Gustav von Leonhard
Sent from
Source of text
Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremburg (Historisches Archiv Signatur V)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1072,” accessed on 29 November 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4