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Darwin Correspondence Project

From A. C. Ramsay   26 August 1862


26 Augt 1862

My dear Sir

By this post I send a paper1 which I hope you may find time to read, for you are one of the few whose opinion I specially care about on such a subject.

When I read it Falconer2 made a 40 minutes onslaught on it, & I accidentaly heard (what did not surprise) me that the Council had some difficulty about passing it at all.3

Falconer was of opinion that had I known the Himalayah I would not have propounded such a theory. Hooker, however, who was not present, writes me that “the great standing puzzle of the Himalayah, its wanting lakes, is explicable on your hypothesis & on no other that I ever heard propounded”.—4 He then shows cause on my hypothesis for their absence on the South & the immense number of them in Cashmire & Thibet where the valleys are wide & of gentle slope.

Ever sincerely | Andw C Ramsay


Ramsay 1862.
Hugh Falconer.
Ramsay, who became president of the Geological Society of London in 1862, read his controversial paper on the glacial origin of rock basins before the society on 5 March 1862. For an account of the controversy initiated by Ramsay’s paper, see Davies 1969, pp. 303–9.
For Joseph Dalton Hooker’s reaction to Ramsay’s paper, see the letter from J. D. Hooker, 20 August 1862.


Sends his paper [on glacial lakes, see 3450]. Falconer attacked it. Falconer thinks Himalayas confound the theory, but Hooker writes that it explains the absence of lakes there.

Letter details

Letter no.
Andrew Crombie Ramsay
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 176: 9
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3701,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10