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Darwin Correspondence Project

To William Lonsdale   [8 March 1839]1

My dear Lonsdale

I have at last finished my earth quake paper.—2 I have read it so often over, thinking more of the sense than the wording, that I cannot improve it.— each word seems by an inevitable doom to stand where it does, & wrong or right, there it must remain for all that I can do to alter it.—

The part of Wood cut no 3. is not to be drawn below the line, which I have made across it,—& the lines, like outlines of hills, are not to be introduced.

There certainly should be an outline map as you suggested, which should extend from the Cordillera on the East to Juan Fernandez on the West, & from Latitude 32o to 45o 50’S.

I hope when I have my paper in proof sheets to improve it without any great corrections, but any previous corrections whatsoever from you will be most gratefully received.—

Believe me | Most truly Yours | Chas. Darwin 12 Upper Gower St



Dated on the basis of n. 2, below.
‘On the connexion of certain volcanic phenomena’, Collected papers 1: 53–86. The paper was originally read at the Geological Society on 7 March 1838. According to his ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 2, Appendix II), CD worked on it during the first week of March 1839 and corrected it in September and early October. The references to the woodcut and map suggest the earlier date, before proof sheets were available. The final version was published in the Society’s Transactions 2d ser. 5 (1840): 601–31.


Collected papers: The collected papers of Charles Darwin. Edited by Paul H. Barrett. 2 vols. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. 1977.

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


Has finished earthquake paper ["Volcanic phenomena in South America" (1840), Collected papers 1: 53–86]. Gives instructions about a woodcut. There should be an outline map.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
William Lonsdale
Sent from
London, Upper Gower St, 12
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 497,” accessed on 20 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2