skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Erasmus Alvey Darwin   [May 1844 – 1 October 1846]1

diag 1412 miles base with 200ft

gives 0o 7′ 48’

35 miles with 674 feet

gives 0o 10′ 53’ramme Dear Charles.

Swale2 sent here Lady Willogby’s Diary3 which I have transferred to Gower St4 to take down to you. I hope Emma was none the worse for her journey & Granny5 had a beautiful day for hers—

Yours. E D Saturday


The date range is set by the publication of the first volume of Lady Willoughby’s diary in May 1844 (Literary Advertiser) and the completion of South America. This letter is associated with two covers addressed to CD by E. A. Darwin, both with further calculations by E. A. Darwin: 1412 miles 188 feet, rise gives 7′ 20’ 486 feet rise in 35miles (2025yards to mile) gives an angle 0o 7′ 52’ 100 feet in 1412 miles gives 0o 3′ 5’ CD has annotated these covers: 7′ 20’] ‘p 182, p. 185’ added pencil 486 feet … 35miles] ‘((842 is the rise of the bottom of the lava in the 35 miles))’ added ink 0o 3’ 5’] ‘1’ [’’‘ overo‘]. 22’ (77 & 85 fathoms)’ added ink The calculations relate to the inclination of lava flows in the valley of the Santa Cruz River described by CD in South America, pp. 116–17. According to CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 3, Appendix II) he worked on the book from 27 July 1844 to 1 October 1846.
Ralph and William H. Swale, Booksellers, 21 Great Russell Street, London.
[Rathbone] 1844–8, a fictitious diary.
The Hensleigh Wedgwoods lived at 16 Gower Street.
Susan Darwin, CD’s sister.


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

[Rathbone, Hannah Mary]. 1844–8. So much of the diary of Lady Willoughby as relates to her domestic history, and to the eventful period of the reign of Charles the First. 2 vols. London.

South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.


Sends calculations of angles of elevation [of sea-bottom, for South America?].

Swale has sent Lady Willoughby’s diary, which EAD will forward to CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 39: 28–30
Physical description
ALS 2pp †, Amem †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 727,” accessed on 7 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3