skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Robert Main   6 October 1870

Beckenham | Kent S.C.1

Octr 6. 1870

Dear Sir

I regret much that I am unable to correct my little Manual.2 I have lately been unwell from over-work, & I am going to leave home immediately for a complete rest.3

On my return I must go on correcting the proofs of a work now on hand,4 & I really feel incapable of undertaking any other task. Could you ask Professor Phillips to give you a list of books in addition to the few mentioned by me, & perhaps you would persuade him to read over my essay & append to it his own name, some additional suggestions.5

As I have not attended much to geology lately, such suggestions would be immeasurably better than any which I could add.

Pray believe me dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Ch. Darwin


S.C.: copyist’s error for ‘S.E.’
CD refers to his essay ‘Geology’, first published in A manual of scientific enquiry; prepared for the use of Her Majesty’s Navy: and adapted for travellers in general (Herschel ed. 1849, pp. 156–95). John William Frederick Herschel published a second edition (Herschel ed. 1851), and Robert Main had superintended a third edition (Main ed. 1859; see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to Robert Main, 27 July [1859]).
CD was away from home from 13 to 20 October 1870 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
CD refers to Descent.
John Phillips, professor of geology at Oxford University, revised CD’s article in Main ed. 1871, pp. 248–75 (the fourth edition of the Manual of scientific enquiry; see Main ed. 1871, p. 248).


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


Regrets he is unable to correct his "little manual" ["Geology" in Manual of scientific enquiry (1849)]. Recommends that John Phillips revise it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Robert Main
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.384)
Physical description
C 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7335,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18