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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Albert Gaudry   17 November 1868

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Nov 17. 1868

Dear Sir

On my return home after a short absence I found your note of Nov. 9 & your magnificent work on the fossil animals of Attica.1 I assure you that I feel very grateful for your generosity & for the honour which you have thus conferred on me. I know well, from what I have already read of extracts,2 that I shall find your work a perfect mine of wealth.

One long passage which Sir C. Lyell quotes from you in the 10th & last edition of the Principles of Geology, is one of the most striking which I have ever read, on the affiliation of species.3

With the most sincere respect & gratitude pray believe me | dear Sir | your truly obliged | Charles Darwin


CD was in London from 7 to 16 November 1868 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix II)). CD refers to Gaudry 1862–7. See letter from Albert Gaudry, 9 November 1868 and n. 3.
Gaudry had already sent CD an offprint of part of the work (Gaudry 1866; see letter from Albert Gaudry, 9 November 1868 and n. 3).
CD refers to Charles Lyell and to Lyell 1867–8, 2: 481–4; the section is annotated in CD’s copy (see Marginalia 1: 543–4).


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

Gaudry, Albert. 1862–7. Animaux fossiles et géologie de l’Attique, d’après les recherches faites en 1855–56 et en 1860 sous les auspices de l’Académie des Sciences. 1 vol. and atlas. Paris: Libraire de la Société Géologique de France.

Gaudry, Albert. 1866. Considérations générales sur les animaux fossiles de Pikermi. Extract from Animaux fossiles et géologie de l’Attique. Paris: F. Savy.

Lyell, Charles. 1867–8. Principles of geology or the modern changes of the earth and its inhabitants considered as illustrative of geology. 10th edition. 2 vols. London: John Murray.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.


Thanks AG for Animaux fossiles et géologie de l’Attique [1862–7]. Refers to Lyell’s quotation from AG as "one of the most striking I have ever read on the affiliation of Species".

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Albert-Jean (Albert) Gaudry
Sent from
Source of text
Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Milan (Library: Fondo Gaudry b. 7, fasc. 28, doc. 4)
Physical description
LS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6464,” accessed on 7 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16