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To Charles Lyell   24 November [1860]


Comments on CL’s advice not to reply directly to reviews.

Describes work on his Drosera manuscript.

Work delayed on his "larger book" [Variation].

Comments at length on the evolutionary significance of Robert McDonnell’s investigations ["On an organ in the skate", Nat. Hist. Rev. (1861): 57–60].

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Date:  24 Nov [1860]
Classmark:  American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.234)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2996

From Charles Lyell   24 November 1860


CL has calculated that elevation and subsidence of certain formations in Sweden and Norway take place at the rate of 2 1/2 feet per century. He now proposes to estimate the age of a bed by including a conjecture that pauses occur in the oscillations in the ratio of 4 periods of stasis to one of movement. Applying this formula to Scotland, the last subsidence and re-elevation would be 590,000 years and the age of the beds with human implements would be 20,000 years.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Nov 1860
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal VII, pp. 40–8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2996A
Document type
letter (2)