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Darwin Correspondence Project

To S. P. Woodward   29 [September 1843]

Down, near Bromley | Kent

Friday, 29th.

Dear Sir

I shall call at the Geological Society tomorrow (Saturday) at about 12 past one o clock, & would you be so good as to have the following specimens &c &c ready for my inspection, as my time is short— I do not know whether the books & charts are in your department; if not wd you be so good as to give this letter in time to proper person— 1st. All fossiliferous specimens from Van Diemen’s Land.1 2d. Any rock specimens (if there be any) from S. Georgia in the Antarctic seas 3d Every chart in possession of the Soc of the Newfoundland Banks 4th. Any charts of the Banks on NW coast of Scotland, between Scotland & Norway; I think they are called the “northern banks” 5th. The 10th vol of the Annales des Mines 3d. series2 6th. The 10th vol of the Annales des Sciences Naturelles, of each series, if there be more series than one, as I do not know in which the paper I wish to refer to is in—3

I do not want to take away the charts & perhaps not the books but merely to refer to them.—

Please endeavour to have them ready for me & believe me | Yours very faithfully | C. Darwin S. Woodward Esqr


CD’s Tasmanian fossils are described by George Brettingham Sowerby (shells) and William Lonsdale (corals) in Volcanic islands, p. 138 and Appendix.
This volume contains the concluding parts of an article on the structure and origin of Mt Etna by Élie de Beaumont (1836). In Volcanic islands, in the chapter on St Helena, which CD was finishing at the time, he refers to Élie de Beaumont’s researches on Etna and his theory of craters of elevation. Another article in the same volume that would have been of interest to CD was Mariano de Rivero’s ‘Notice géologique sur Santiago de Chile’. CD had met Rivero in Lima during the Beagle voyage (DAR 37.1: 690).
In his paper ‘Observations on the structure and propagation of the genus Sagitta’, which CD was writing at the time, he refers to Quoy and Gaimard (1827, p. 232), who had first established the genus (see Collected papers 1: 177, 182 n. 3).


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


Says he will call tomorrow to examine indicated specimens and books at Geological Society.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Samuel Pickworth Woodward
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library (Add MS 42579: 228–9)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 697,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

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