To Charles Lyell [8 February 1845]
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Lyell
I find that d’orbigny (Voyage dans l’Amer. Merid. Partie Gèolo. p. 226)1 describes ten Silurian fossils from the eastern line of the Bolivian (or Upper Peru) Cordillera; he states that they are all distinct, names them, but says they present the strongest general resemblances to those of Europe.— p. 230 describes seven Devonian fossils with same remarks.— p 239 describes 23 Carboniferous fossils with same remarks;2 two, however of these 23 perhaps are not new, for I see that they are not described by him, viz. Natica antisinensis & Spirifer Roissyi— Amongst his Cretaceous fossils he states that 5 are common to the Paris Basin.— There is a copy in the Athenæum, if you wish further to refer to it.
I forgot, when with you on Thursday, to ask you, if you have any opportunity, to have another talk with Murray about my Journal.—3
After being with you, I went & had a long talk with Mr Cuming4 about S. American shells, & especially their range with respect to my Tertiary species; & I find the only series, which he has not examined & which he wishes to examine, are the shells from Patagonia & T. del. Fuego. For several reasons, I am exceedingly anxious to get this done, & hear his report; but which way can this be done with least trouble to yourselves? I fear it must be very troublesome, & I send my most humble apologies to Mrs Lyell.— I see there are from the list, about 90 specimens, which I shd like Cuming to look at. I could send the list marked; I at first thought it wd be perhaps least trouble to you to get them out, & let me take them away to Cuming’s, & bring them back; but as there are so many, perhaps it wd be least to get Cuming to meet me at Hart St.5 some morning: he is an awful proser & very difficult to make to stick to his work. About half a dozen from Bahia Blanca, I must beg leave to get out, for Sowerby to compare with those embedded with the extinct mammifers—6 I fear you will think this so much trouble, that you will wish I had never given you my collection. Would Mrs Lyell be so kind, as to send me a line to tell me, what she thinks wd be the least troublesome plan?
Believe me | my dear Lyell, | C. Darwin
Remarks on fossils described in A. D. d’Orbigny’s Voyage dans l’Amérique méridionale.
Asks CL whether he has talked with John Murray concerning 2d ed. [of Journal of researches].
Mentions conversation with Hugh Cuming about South American shells. Has had G. B. Sowerby (elder) look at some specimens.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 824,” accessed on 6 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-824