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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   [1847 or 1848]1

Down. Bromley.


My dear Lyell.

I happen to be in a great bustle—but just send one line in answer to your note2 to say that in Fitz Roys volume Vol II p 359 there is a very good (i.e. very faithful) representation of a glacier entering the sea, viewed from a distance.3 I am sure I have somewhere seen a nearer view.— There is a distant one, but very poor in Scoresby.4

I think Gaimards Great Expedition to the North is published (perhaps in the Athenaeum Club)5 & that would be sure to have drawings, taken for very geological object, as the naturalist Martens has written, as you know, on subject.—6

I am not well acquainted with Parry Franklin, or Ross’7 works.

Farewell for present. | C. Darwin.


The year is conjectured from the estimated publication date of the volumes of Gaimard ed. [1843–8] to which Charles Frédéric Martins contributed (see n. 6, below).
The letter from Lyell has not been found.
CD refers to Narrative vol. 2, written by Robert FitzRoy. The plate facing page 359 is captioned, ‘Mount Sarmiento (from Warp Bay)’. Mount Sarmiento is in Tierra del Fuego.
Scoresby 1820. There is a lightly annotated copy in the Darwin Library–Down (see Marginalia 1: 747). CD probably refers to plate 5 in the second volume, ‘View of the east coast of the island of Jan Meyen’.
CD refers to Gaimard ed. [1843–8]. The Athenaeum was a London club of which Lyell and CD were members. A principal object of its library was to buy works on the fine arts, natural history, and antiquities that were too expensive for most private persons ([Cowell] 1975, p. 66).
Gaimard ed. [1843–8] is divided into several multi-volume parts. Martins contributed a paper on glaciers to each of the two volumes in the part titled ‘Géographie physique, géographie botanique, botanique et physiologie’: to the first he contributed ‘Observations sur les glaciers du Spitzberg comparés à ceux de la Suisse et de la Norvège’ (pp. 138–92), and to the second ‘Mémoire sur les températures de la Mer Glaciale, à la surface, à de grandes profondeurs, et dans le voisinage des glaciers du Spitzberg’ (pp. 279–352). The second volume may have been published in 1847 (NUC). The first two sections of the ‘Mémoire’ were also printed in the Annales de Chimie et de Physique 3d ser. 24 (1848): 220–56, and an abstract appeared in Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des Science 26 (1848): 333–5.
CD refers to William Edward Parry, John Franklin, and either James Clark Ross or John Ross. The works to which he alludes are probably Parry 1824 and 1826, Franklin 1823 and 1828, and J. Ross 1835 or J. C. Ross 1847. CD recorded having read Franklin 1823 on 20 September 1845, and Robert Brown’s appendix to Parry 1824 on 28 December 1847 (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 119: 16b and 20a).


Replies to note from CL asking about views of glaciers.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 146: 329
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 13825F,” accessed on 2 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13 (Supplement)