Letter icon
Letter 9621

Darwin, C. R. to Lyell, Charles

3 Sept [1874]

    Summary Add

  • +

    Discusses belief in immortality and a personal God.

  • +

    Describes his holiday in Southampton.

  • +

    Comments on papers of John Wesley Judd.


Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sept. 3d

My dear Lyell

Many thanks for your very kind & interesting letter. I was glad to hear at Southampton from Miss Heathcote a good account of your health & strength.

With respect to the great subject to which you refer in your P.S. I always try to banish it from my mind as insoluble; but if I were circumstanced as you are, no doubt it would recur in the dead of the night with painful force. Many persons seem to make themselves quite easy about immortality & the existence of a personal God by intuition; & I suppose that I must differ from such persons, for I do not feel any innate conviction on any such points.

We returned home about 10 days ago from Southampton; & I enjoyed my holidays which did me much good. But already I am much fatigued by microscope & experimental work with insect-eating plants.

When at Southampton I was greatly interested by looking at the odd gravel deposits near at hand & speculating about their formation. You once told me something about them, but I forget what; & I think that Pretwich has written on the superficial deposits on the S. coasts & I must find out his pages & read it.—

From what I have seen of Mr. Judd's papers, I have thought that he would rank amongst the few leading British geologists.

Believe me, my dear Lyell | Your affectionate friend. | Ch. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

Maximized view Print letter