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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   4 [January 1860]



My dear L.

Gardener Ch. returned safe.—1 Thanks for note. I am beyond measure glad that you get more & more roused on subject of species; for, as I have always said, I am well convinced that your opinion & writing will do far more to convince the world than mine.— You will make grand discussion on Man.2 You are very bold in this & I honour you.—

You saw I suppose Saturday Review: argument confined to Geology, but has given me some perfectly just & severe raps on knuckles.—3 I have been like you quite surprised at want of originality in opposed arguments & in favour too. G. Jeffrey attacks me justly in letter about strictly littoral shells not being often embedded at least in Tertiary deposits.4 I was in muddle for I was thinking of Secondary, yet Chthamalus applied to Tertiary.— Jeffrey write me, I think nonsense, about non-migration of sea-shells.—

Possibly you might like to see enclosed note from Whewell, merely as showing that he is not horrified with us.—5 You can return it, whenever you have occasion to write, so as not to waste your time.

C.D. I think it likely I shall have to send long letter from H. C. Watson, not yet read by me.6


The Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette published a review of Origin in the issue of 31 December 1859. CD lent Lyell his copy. CD believed that John Lindley had written the review, but he later learned from Lyell that Joseph Dalton Hooker was the author (see letters to Charles Lyell, 10 January [1860], and to J. D. Hooker, 14 [January 1860]).
Lyell was investigating the antiquity of man with the intention of incorporating his results in a new edition of the Elements of geology. He subsequently decided that the material demanded a separate work, which he published in 1863 (C. Lyell 1863).
Saturday Review, 24 December 1859, pp. 775–6. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1860].
The letter from John Gwyn Jeffreys has not been found; for CD’s reply, see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to J. G. Jeffreys, 29 December [1859].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Praises CL’s work on human species.

A critical review of Origin in Saturday Review [24 Dec 1859].

A letter from J. G. Jeffreys criticises CD’s geological statements.

A note from William Whewell concerning Origin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.190)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2637,” accessed on 4 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8