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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Archibald Geikie   20 December [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. [6 Queen Anne Street, London.]

Dec. 20th

My dear Sir

I hope that you will excuse me for troubling you, & for beginning my note in so familiar a manner; but your name has been so long & well known to me that I cannot help feeling as if I personally knew you.— Prof. Ramsay informs me that you have published some remarks on the denudation of flat or nearly flat surfaces, & I want much read them, as I have lately been making a few observations which I think throw some little light on this subject.2

Will you be so kind as to give me a reference; or if you could lend me a copy of your paper, I will promise to return it in under a week’s time.—3

I sincerely congratulate the students at Edinburgh at having secured your services as Professor of Geology.—4 Pray believe me, Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Archibald Geikie, 24 December 1871.
Andrew Crombie Ramsay’s letter has not been found, but he later wrote to CD about a pavement between his house and his garden that had subsided owing to the activity of worms (see letter from A. C. Ramsay, 27 December 1871).
An annotated copy of Geikie’s paper ‘On modern denudation’ (Geikie 1868b) is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
Geikie had been appointed first Murchison Professor of geology and mineralogy at Edinburgh University in 1871 (DNB).


Asks to borrow AG’s paper on denudation of flat or nearly flat surfaces ["On modern denudation", Trans. Geol. Soc. of Glasgow 3: 153-90]. CD has recently been making some observations he thinks throw a little light on the subject.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Archibald Geikie
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6 Down letterhead
Source of text
Edinburgh University Library, Centre for Research Collections (Gen.1425/71)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8112,” accessed on 21 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19