Comments on JDD's book [Geology (1849)]. Is sending copies of various geological papers. Their agreements and differences on coral reefs, volcanic geology, denudation, and subsidence.
Comments on Robert Chambers' book [Ancient sea-margins (1848)].
Asks to borrow cirripede specimens.
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Sir
I have not for some years been so much pleased, as I have just been by reading your most able discussion on coral-reefs.— I thank you most sincerely for the very honourable mention you make of me.— This day I heard that the Atlas has arrived & this completes your munificent present to me.— I have not yet come to the chapter on subsidence, & in that I fancy we shall disagree, but in the descriptive part, our agreement has been eminently satisfactory to me, & far more than I ever ventured to anticipate.— I consider that now the subsidence theory is established.—
I have read about half through the descriptive part of the volcanic Geology (last night
I ascended the peaks of Tahiti with you, & what I saw in my short excursion was
most vividly brought before me by your descriptions) & have been most deeply
interested by it: your observations on the Sandwich craters strike me as the most
important & original of any that I have read for a long time. Now that I have
read you, I believe I saw at the Galapagos, at a distance, instances of those most
curious fissures of eruption. There are many points of resemblance between the Galapagos
& Sandwich is
I have been endeavouring to get the papers &c, which you want. I have procured
the 4 first Parts of Thompson Researches; the
If you look over my Geolog. Instructions, you will be amused to see that I urge attention to several points, which you have elaborately discussed. I lately read a paper of your's on Chambers' book & was interested by it— I really believe that facts of the order described by Chambers, occur in S. America, which I have described in my Geolog. Volume. This leads me to ask you, (as I cannot doubt that you will have much Geolog. weight in N. America) to look to a discussion at p. 135 in that volume, on the importance of subsidence to the formation of deposits, which are to last to a distant age. This view strikes me as of some importance.
When I meet a very goodnatured man, I have that degree of badness of disposition in me,
that I always endeavour to take advantage of him: therefore I am going to mention some
desiderata, which if you can supply I shall be very grateful, but if not
no answer will be required. I want much a specimen of Coronula denticulata of
Say on the Kings Crab of U. States.— I
especially want any species of the genus Scalpellum (of course I w
Do you know any Crustacean which bores in calcareous rocks or shells? Do you know any crust, whose oviducts open at or near the antennæ? Did you discover where the ovaria are situated in Phyllosoma? Lastly can you tell me whether any list has been published of the plants found on Elevated coral islands; or could you procure me such a list.— Now can you forgive me asking you all these questions; please observe, that I beg you not to answer, without you can inform me on these points (which I well know is not likely) or help me with respect to above specimens.—
I do not know whether Sir C. Lyell has as yet seen your Report, but I wrote to him yesterday & told him how much many parts of your volume would interest him. What an unfortunately short time you were permitted to stay at many of the places, yet how much you managed to see!
With my most sincere thanks for the honour you have done me & the gratification you have afforded me | Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin
Thank you for your Conspectus Crust, but I am sorry to say I am not worthy of it; though I have always thought the Crustacea a beautiful subject.
- f1 1276.f1The Atlas to Dana 1849a.
- f2 1276.f2From Volcanic islands, p. 112, it is clear that CD intended to say that the islands were alike in the absence of scoriae and the presence of tuff craters.
- f3 1276.f3See letter to Charles Lyell, 4 December , n. 5.
- f4 1276.f4John Vaughan Thompson's Zoological researches and illustrations was published in parts between 1828 and 1834, some of which soon became difficult to procure. This is the work in which the larval stages of cirripedes was first described (J. V. Thompson 1830).
- f5 1276.f5The papers referred to are probably those Thomas Bell published on Crustacea between 1835 and 1846. Dana was at work on a two-volume monograph on Crustacea, Dana 1852–3.
- f6 1276.f6Thomas Delf, a London bookseller.
- f7 1276.f7CD's chapter on geology in Herschel ed. 1849 (Collected papers 1: 227–50).
- f8 1276.f8Either Dana 1849b or 1849c, almost identical reviews of Robert Chambers's Ancient sea margins (Chambers 1848).
- f9 1276.f9South America, p. 135.
- f10 1276.f10See letter to A. A. Gould, 3 September , for CD's interest in the Coronula dentulata described by Thomas Say, and his request for a specimen.
- f11 1276.f11Scalpellum was of particular interest to CD bacause of its peculiar sexual relations (see Living Cirripedia (1851): 281–93).
- f12 1276.f12That is, the collections made during the Antarctic voyage of the Erebus and Terror, under James Clark Ross's command.
- f13 1276.f13CD was interested in the boring mechanisms of certain genera of cirripedes and sought for comparison analogous cases in the Mollusca and Crustacea (see letter to Albany Hancock, [29 or 30 October 1849]).
- f14 1276.f14Phyllosomes are larvae of certain decapod crustaceans but at this time had been classed as a group of abberrant stomatopods. In Living Cirripedia (1854): 18–19, CD compared Cirripedia to other sub-classes of Crustacea, noting their general affinity to the Entomostraca, yet remarking that in the higher sub-class Podopthalmia there was: ‘one aberrant group of low organisation, namely, that including Phyllosoma … in which more points of resemblance to Cirripedes may be detected, than, as I believe, in any other group whatever’ (p. 18).
- f15 1276.f15Dana 1847–9. There is no copy of this work in the Darwin Library.