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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Lonsdale   [15 May 1838]

My dear Lonsdale

I return my paper.—1 I have put a few pencil notes on the margin, which will explain to the referee, how much I intend modifying certain portions.— The whole I find requires a good deal of clarifying & polishing.

I returned from Cambridge last night.— I found Sedgwick very well & in high spirits, & therefore the sooner my paper goes to him the better.—

I have been looking over parts of Hopkin’s paper.2 I find in the latter part he refers to the diagram (No. 1. of mine)3 as a really possible section of a mountain chain, which, after what you pointed out to me, appears to me, clearly to be an inaccuracy on his part, although not of essential consequence. I shall get myself into a dilemma, with these sections, if I do not take good care.

I wish it was not too late to modify the title 〈of〉 the paper, as I have put it in pencil but that, I suppose, is altogether impossible.—4

Yours most truly | Chas. Darwin Tuesday Morning

36 Grt. Marlbro’ Stt.—


‘On the connexion of certain volcanic phænomena’, read 7 March 1838 (Proceedings of the Geological Society 2 (1833–8): 654–60). The revised version, as published in the Transactions 5 (1840): 601–31, is reprinted in Collected papers 1: 53–86.
Ibid., p. 41; reproduced in ‘On the connexion of certain volcanic phenomena’, Collected papers 1: 77. CD cites both Hopkins 1835 and Hopkins 1836 in support of his own thesis that ‘mountain-chains are formed by a long succession of small movements’ (Collected papers 1: 73–8).
The title was changed. In the Proceedings of the Geological Society it reads ‘On the connexion of certain volcanic phænomena, and on the formation of mountain-chains and volcanos, as the effects of continental elevations’. In the Transactions the paper is entitled ‘On the connexion of certain volcanic phenomena in South America; and on the formation of mountain chains and volcanos, as the effect of the same power by which continents are elevated’.


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

Hopkins, William. 1835. Researches in physical geology. [Read 4 May 1835.] Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 6 (1836–8): 1–84.

Hopkins, William. 1836. An abstract of a memoir on physical geology; with a further exposition of certain points connected with the subject. London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science 8: 227–36, 272–81, 357–66.


Returns his paper for publication ["Volcanic phenomena in South America" (1840), Collected papers 1: 53–86].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Lonsdale
Sent from
London, Gt Marlborough St, 36
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 412,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2