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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Samuel Pickworth Woodward   [12 November 1842]1

Down near Bromley | Kent


Dear Sir

Would you oblige me by getting the following specimens, ready for my inspection on Wednesday Morning about 12 oclock—viz. a set of obsidian & other allied rocks, presented to the Soc: in 1838 by Mr Edmonds, from Mexico—2 Would you also have ready for me ‘Dolimieu Voyage aux isles de Lipari’3

Perhaps, I may not be able to come till 2 oclock, but will you have them ready by 12 & I shall be much obliged.—

Your’s very faithfully | C. Darwin


Woodward was sub-curator of the Geological Society 1839–45. CD was then writing Volcanic islands (14 October 1842 – 5 January 1844). CD visited London on Wednesday 16 November, as recorded in his Account Book (Down House MS).
In Volcanic islands CD was concerned to explain the laminated structure of volcanic rocks such as obsidian. The specimens in question were collected by Frederick Edmonds in Mexico and sent to John Taylor, Treasurer of the Geological Society, who presented them to the Society (Proceedings of the Geological Society 2 (1833–8): 686). In Volcanic islands (p. 66 n.), CD referred to the collector as ‘Edwards’.
Dolomieu 1783. CD cited Dolomieu’s descriptions of laminated volcanic rocks in Volcanic islands (pp. 63–8).


Asks SPW to have obsidian specimens and book [Dieudonné de Gratet de Dolomieu, Voyage aux îles de Lipari (1783)] ready when he comes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Samuel Pickworth Woodward; Geological Society of London
Sent from
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 652,” accessed on 19 September 2019,

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