To Charles Lyell [14–28 June 1849]1
The Lodge Malvern
My dear Lyell
We were uncommonly much obliged to Lady Lyell for her most agreeable letter which told us much which we were very glad & curious to hear. Emma has deputed me to write, for she, poor soul, is in her usual wretched state, which to none of our friends requires any further explanation.—2
I have got your Book3 & have read all first & small part of 2d Volume (reading is the hardest work allowed here) & greatly I have been interested by it— It makes me long to be a Yankey.— Emma desires me to say that she quite “gloated” over the truth of your remarks on religious progress; lying sick on the sofa it has been the only Book she has much enjoyed for a long time. I delight to think how you will disgust some of the Bigots & Educational Dons.—4 As yet there has not been much geolog. or Nat. Hist. for which I hope you feel a little ashamed. Your remarks on all social subjects strike me as worthy of the Author of the Principles & yet (I know it is prejudice & pride) if I had written the Principles I would never have written any travels—but I believe I am more jealous about the honour & glory of the Principles than you are yourself.— I am delighted to hear that you are going to set to work at new Editions; I daresay it will cost you much work. I was glad to see your remarks on Extermination, & the striking instance of the tree of Bartram.—5
We return home on 30th inst. I have not been quite so well the last week; but I had a few days before that of almost perfect health: the Dr thinks he can quite cure me, but I must go on with all the processes for several more months & he urges me to keep perfectly idle for some time longer, which is a great bore, though it is wonderful how one gets accustomed to any thing: I have bought a horse & taken to ride.— If I go on very well I shall certainly be at Birmingham;6 but otherwise not, for I am determined to try my best & get decent health again.—
We were grieved to hear of Mrs Lyell’s7 illness & all Lady Lyell’s anxiety—& even you had the audacity to fall sick: it must have been dreadfully vexatious just before your Lecture.—8 I have sent a copy of my Instructions from Admiralty Book9 to Geolog. Soc for you, &, if you look at them, I hope you will approve of prominence I have given to study of active causes.— I have two pamphlets of yours on Instructions at Down, which shall sometime be returned to you.— I shd have much liked to have heard Murchison on Jura-blocks,10 about which he wrote to me; with Prince Albert, it must have been a grand night.—11 When at Rivermede12 pray remember me most kindly to Mr & Mrs Horner & all the party there.
I shall be astonished if your Book has not an immense sale, for almost everyone is interested about America, & all who are, must enjoy your Book
Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin
Mentions illness of Emma Darwin.
Comments on CL’s Second visit to the United States .
His water treatment by J. M. Gully.
CD’s contribution ["Geology"] to J. W. Herschel’s Manual of scientific enquiry [(1849), Collected papers 1: 227–50].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1242,” accessed on 1 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1242