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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. 28 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 17 May 2022,

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