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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. Shillinglaw, Secretary, Royal Geographical Society   [1839 – May 1842]1

12. U. G. St.


My dear Sir

Will you please give the Bearer the 1st. vol of Beechey2 & 2d of Naut. Mag.—3 Also an order on Arrowsmith4 for the Atlas of Dumont Durville’s voyage in the Astrolabe.—5 My servant did call at Arrowsmith, but brought only the Atlas of the voyage of Duperrey6 in the Coquille.— I want both.—

Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


The date range is based on CD’s residence in Gower Street and the publication of Coral reefs.
Beechey 1831. CD later acquired his own copy, which is preserved in Darwin Library–CUL. His notes and markings indicate that they were made while he was at work on Coral reefs.
The second volume of The Nautical Magazine (1833) contains much information that would have been of interest to CD: FitzRoy on the Abrolhos, notice of new charts of the east coast of South America, a paper on Falkland Island birds, etc.


Beechey, Frederick William. 1831. Narrative of a voyage to the Pacific and Beering’s Strait, to co-operate with the Polar expeditions: performed in HMS Blossom … in the years 1825, 26, 27, 28. 2 vols. London.

Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

Dumont d’Urville, Jules Sébastien César, ed. 1830–5. Voyage de la corvette l’Astrolabe. Histoire 5 vols. 1830-5; Zoologie 4 vols. 1830–4; Botanique 1 vol. 1832; Entomologie 2 pts in 1 vol. 1832–5; Philologie 1 vol. 1833. Paris: J. Tastu, éditeur-imprimeur.

Duperrey, Louis Isidore. 1825–30. Voyage autour du monde, exécuté par ordre du Roi, sur la corvette de Sa Majesté, La Coquille, pendant les années 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825. 7 vols. Paris: Arthus Bertrand.


Asks for volumes of F. W. Beechey’s work [Narrative of a voyage to the Pacific and Bering Strait (1831)] and Nautical magazine and an order on [John] Arrowsmith for atlas of Dumont d’Urville’s Voyage in the "Astrolabe".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
J. Shillinglaw; Royal Geographical Society
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (GEN/D/DARWIN (C)/4)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 477,” accessed on 3 July 2022,

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