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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. A. Darwin   20 June [1862]1

Dear Charles.

I dont know if it will be in your power to give Carlyle a helping hand about a book. On some former occasion he borrowed a book from the Jermyn St Museum   he does not remember thro’ whom or the exact title. It was an 8vo with a cold geological map on the ‘Saxon Switzerland’.2

Do you know the Librarian well enough to give him the trouble of ascertaining the tittle of the Book & if such things are done to lend the book for a few days to Carlyle.3

E D—

June 20


Dated by the reference to material cited in the fourth volume of Carlyle 1858–65, published in February 1864 (see n. 2, below).
CD’s brother, Erasmus, was a close friend of Thomas Carlyle (see Collected letters of the Carlyles and Fielding 1978). In June 1862, Carlyle was attempting to complete volume 4 of his life of Frederick II of Prussia (Carlyle 1858–65; see Dyer 1928, pp. 12–13, and Wilson 1929, pp. 464, 470). In his account of Frederick’s military campaign in Saxony at the commencement of the Seven Years’ War, Carlyle quoted a description of the picturesque highlands of Saxony (known as ‘Saxon Switzerland’) from Wilhelm Lebrecht Götzinger’s Schandau und seine Umgebungen, oder Beschreibung der Sächsischen Schweiz (Götzinger 1812; Carlyle 1858–65, 4: 595–6). This book meets the physical description given by Carlyle, being in octavo format and containing a coloured geological map with the title ‘Topo- und petrographische Reisekarte durch die Sæchsische Schweiz und umliegende Gegend’. However, it was not in the library of the Museum of Practical Geology, Jermyn Street, London, when the first printed catalogue was made in 1878 (White and Newton 1878). Carlyle later reported to Erasmus that the book he was seeking was not in the library of that museum, and that, therefore, he must on a previous occasion have borrowed it from the Geological Society of London (see letter from E. A. Darwin, 1 July [1862]); the Geological Society possessed Götzinger 1812 (Dallas 1881).
Trenham Reeks was the curator and librarian at the Museum of Practical Geology.


Asks CD to help Thomas Carlyle find and borrow a book.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 105 (ser. 2): 4–5
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3614,” accessed on 24 June 2017,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10