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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Joseph Beete Jukes   8 October [1847]

Down Farnborough | Kent

Oct 8th

My dear Sir

Pray accept my thanks for your coloured map of N.E. Australia:1 it is the very thing I was wishing to have the other day, when I was reading your chapters on the Coral Reefs.—2 I have not yet been able to get a copy of your work to go through with it, but I have read carefully all you say on Coral Reefs & been very greatly flattered & pleased.3 I admire your boldness about this being a reef-building age & Lyell & myself agreed there was much probability in it. I have always felt that my coral-reef book was too bold & speculative & therefore you will not easily imagine how gratified I am when anyone, who has had opportunities of observation, does not give his verdict against it. The Barrier is certainly a grand feature; but you must have found the coast geology with its everlasting granite very dull: I remember that I used to hate granitic districts. How I wish that fate & your Captain had led you to examine the scattered reefs between the Barrier & N. Caledonia; I have always felt much curiosity about them. I daresay you know Mr Crawfurd:4 he was speaking to me the other day with much pleasure & interest about the ethnographical part of your book & on this he must be a good judge—

Pray believe me, my dear Sir, Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


Jukes had been the naturalist aboard H.M.S. Fly during the survey of the north-east coast of Australia, 1842–6, under the command of Francis Price Blackwood.
Jukes 1847, pp. 347–8.
John Crawfurd, who travelled widely in India and China and published many ethnological and philological works after his return to England in 1827.


Jukes, Joseph Beete. 1847. Narrative of the surveying voyage of HMS Fly, commanded by Captain F. P. Blackwood, R.N. in Torres Strait, New Guinea, and other islands of the Eastern Archipelago, during the years 1842–1846: together with an excursion into the interior of the eastern part of Java. 2 vols. London.


Flattered by JBJ’s discussion of coral reefs [in Voyage of H.M.S. "Fly" 1 (1847): 347–8]. CD has always thought his Coral reefs "too bold and speculative", so he is gratified "when anyone who has had opportunities of observation does not give his verdict against it".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Beete Jukes
Sent from
Source of text
University of Oklahoma Libraries History of Science Collections
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1125,” accessed on 31 July 2021,

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