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Darwin Correspondence Project

To M. E. Lyell   [24 October 1849]1

Down. Farnborough. Kent.

Wednesday night.

Dear Lady Lyell.

I am going to beg a very, very great favour of you— it is to translate one Page (& the title) of either Danish or Swedish or some such language.—2 I know not to whom else to apply & I am quite dreadfully interested about the Barnacles therin described.— Does Lyell know Loven, or his address & title? for I must write to him; if Lyell knows him I wd use his name as introduction; Loven I know by name as a first rate naturalist.3

Accidentally I forgot to give you the “Footsteps”4 which I now return, having ordered a copy for myself.—

I sincerely hope the “Craters of Denudation”5 prosper; I pin my faith to this view. Please tell Sir C. Lyell that outside the crater-like mountains at St. Jago, even throughout a distance of 2 or 3 miles there has been much denudation of the older Volcanic rocks contemporaneous with those of the ring of mountains.6

I hope that you will not find the page troublesome & that you will forgive me asking you.

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin.

We all young & old are in a very flourishing condition.


The Wednesday before the letter to Albany Hancock, [29 or 30 October 1849], in which CD refers to having received Mary Lyell’s translation.
Like her sisters, Joanna and Leonora Horner, Mary Lyell was evidently an accomplished linguist. CD had asked for a copy of Lovén’s paper (Lovén 1844) in his letter to Albany Hancock, 29 September [1849].
Charles Lyell’s paper on this subject was read to the Geological Society on 19 December 1849 (C. Lyell 1850a).
St Jago (S\ {a}o Tiago), Cape Verde Islands. See Volcanic islands, pp. 1–22 and C. Lyell 1850a, p. 211.


Lovén, Sven. 1844. Ny art af Cirripedia [Alepas squalicola]. Öfversigt af Kongelige VetenskapsAkademiens Foärhandlingar 1: 192–4.

Miller, Hugh. 1849. Footprints of the Creator: or, the Asterolepis of Stromness. London: Johnstone and Hunter.

Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1844.


Asks MEL to translate page of paper by Sven Lovén ["Ny art af Cirripedia", Ofvers. K. Vetensk. Acad. Forh. Stockholm 1 (1844): 192–4]. CD is "dreadfully interested" in the barnacles [Alepas squalicola] described.

Hopes Charles Lyell’s "craters of Denudation" prosper.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Mary Elizabeth Horner/Mary Elizabeth Lyell
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 146: 332
Physical description
C 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1266,” accessed on 20 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4