To Charles Lyell 7 June 
Down Farnborough Kent
My dear Lyell
I was in London for the last Geological,1 & found at my Brother’s two pamphlets from you, one most useful to me, & a packet of Maple Sugar for Lizzie, which pleased her much; & by a great effort she agreed to send you her many thanks;—poor little dear, graciosity, as yet, is not her forte.2 I make the above facts an excuse for writing to you, for I have very little to say. I was extremely sorry to hear of the delay in the opening of the Exhibition;3 but I hope it will not interfere with the Canary Islands.—4
I went up for a Paper by the Arctic Dr Sutherland on ice-action, read only in abstract, but I shd think with much good matter.5 It was very pleasant to hear, that it was written owing to the admiralty manual.6 There was also a paper by Trimmer partly on the superficial deposits of Kent,7 Murchison urged his catastrophe view to account for the flints,8 so I gave your view of sub-glacial action & urged where on earth the flood, which divided France & England, could have found so vast a pile of almost clean flints. I stated that one of the arctic navigators, had informed you that the stones on the beach were angular in those countries: & on this head I asked Dr . Sutherland, & he most strongly confirmed this statement; & I thought you would like to hear this.9 Hopkins10 spoke, he admitted to a considerable extent, the force of my notion of (plastic) icebergs being driven by their momentum over considerable inequalities in an almost straight course.11 Chambers also spoke at length: Have you seen his long & I must say interesting Paper on glaciation in Eding. New. Phil Journal: he actually reproduces Agassiz’s notion of one continuous sheet of ice over the whole northern world, & treats all Icebergians with the most supercilious contempt.—12
I do not know whether you will care to hear the above Report of our meeting; but I do not at all expect you to answer this.—
I did not stay for the battle royal at the Royal Socy but I see Murchison & Beaufort gained the day, & Capt Inglefield was elected making one more than the proper number of admissions.13
We are all well: I am alone at present; Emma having gone for a few days to her sisters.14 On July 1st we go for a month, the whole posse comitatus of us, to the Isle of Wight:15 & on our return I hope to go to press with my weariful cirripedes.
My kindest remembrances to Lady Lyell. Ever most truly Your’s | Charles Darwin
Describes meeting of Geological Society [1 June 1853].
Mentions his criticism of Murchison’s lecture on flints.
Describes Robert Chambers’ "On the glacial phenomena in Scotland" [Edinburgh New Philos. J. 54 (1853): 229–82].
Mentions controversial election of members to the Royal Society.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1518,” accessed on 23 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1518