skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   28 [June 1859]

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Lyell

It is not worth while troubling you, but my conscience is uneasy at having forgotten to thank you for your Etna,1 which seems to me a magnificent contribution to volcanic Geology & I shd. think you might now rest on your oars in this department.—2

As soon as ever I can get a copy of my Book ready in some six weeks or two months’ time, it shall be sent you; & if you approve of it, even to a moderate extent, it will be the highest satisfaction which I shall ever receive for an amount of labour which no one will ever appreciate.—

Yours most truly | C. Darwin


C. Lyell 1858. CD received a copy of the abstract of this paper in July 1858 (see letter to Charles Lyell, 18 July [1858]). The volume of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in which the full paper was printed was not published until 1859. CD’s copy of the Philosophical Transactions is in the Darwin Library–CUL, but a copy of the separate reprint of Lyell’s paper has not been found.
CD and Lyell had discussed Lyell’s theory of the origin of volcanic cones in great detail during the years 1847–57. See Correspondence vols. 4, 5, and 6.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Lyell, Charles. 1858. On the structure of lavas which have consolidated on steep slopes; with remarks on the mode of origin of Mount Etna, and on the theory of ‘craters of elevation’. [Read 10 June 1858.] Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 148: 703–86.


Thanks CL for copy of his paper ["Structure of lavas", Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 148 (1858): 703–86].

Promises him a copy of Origin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.166)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2473,” accessed on 27 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7