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Letter 537

Darwin, C. R. to Washington, John & Royal Geographical Society

[14 Oct 1839]

    Summary Add

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    Returns proofs of J. O. French's article ["Account of the province of La Rioja: S. America", J. R. Geogr. Soc. 9 (1839): 381–406].

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    Gratified by Humboldt's praise of Journal of researches [J. R. Geogr. Soc. 9 (1839): 502].


12 Upper Gower St

Monday Evening

Dear Washington

I return you the proof sheets with a very few & unimportant remarks on the margin.— Mr French, shows, evidently, I think, that he has full knowledge to describe all the rocks he saw correctly.— It strikes me as a very interesting & good paper.—

I am delighted to hear you have sent for the Annales Maritim.—

I have not any volume of D'Urville, nor indeed any property of the Geograph. (excepting Horsburgh) as I returned everything before I went into the country.

If I had any modesty I should be ashamed to notice the extract you sent me from Humboldt, but my admiration for Humboldt has been of so long standing, that I confess few things in my life have gratified me more, than hearing of his approbation, although I should have swallowed the dose quite as readily if it had been a little less strong: even a young author cannot gorge such a mouthful of flattery—

Believe me | Ever Yours | Chas. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 537.f1
    French 1839.
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    f2 537.f2
    Dumont d'Urville, ed. 1830–5, the account of a voyage to the South Atlantic, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, is frequently cited by CD in Coral reefs.
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    f3 537.f3
    Horsburgh 1809–11.
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    f4 537.f4
    Humboldt 1839, p. 505: ‘The volume of Mr. Charles Darwin is an admirable supplement to the voyage of the Beagle: it is one of the most remarkable works that, in the course of a long life, I have had the pleasure to see published. Mr. Darwin unites to sagacity for detailed observations enlarged views in general physics, I should rather say in natural philosophy,—views which embrace at once geology, the geographical distribution of plants, and the influence of temperature on the organic types of the primitive world.’
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