skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   25 December [1870]

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Dec. 25th

My dear Lyell

I am very much obliged for the new book, received yesterday.1 It seems wonderfully full of matter, & I shall soon look over all the parts likely to contain any new conclusions; but at present I can literally do nothing & think about nothing, except the sickening work of getting my last sheets corrected & recorrected for the press.—2 I have first proofs to correct of only one more short chapter, & then thank all the powers above & below, I shall be a man again & not a horrid grinding machine.— I wish you joy heartily that your labour is over.—

Ever yours. | C. Darwin


Lyell had evidently sent a presentation copy of The student’s elements of geology (Lyell 1871); CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Archive–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 545–6).
CD was working on the proof-sheets of Descent.


Lyell, Charles. 1871. The student’s elements of geology. London: J. Murray.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.


Thanks CL for his book [The student’s elements of geology (1871)].

Is correcting proofs [of Descent].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
DE 26 70
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.386)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7401,” accessed on 16 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18