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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   22 May [1872]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

May 22

My dear Lyell

Very many thanks for your letter. You will find at p. 332 & again at p. 348 of new Edit. of Origin some remarks on forms not changing when migrating in a body.—2 Some naturalists have been struck with probable truth of this view.— By the way if you care to read anything new on general subject, a pamphet by one of best zoologists in Europe, Prof. Weismann, viz “Ueber den Einfluss der Isolirung: Leipzig 1872”, is well worth in some respects, reading.—3

What a grand tour you have had & how young you are: I wish I was as youthful.—4

Ever yours | C. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to the sixth edition of Origin, which was published in February 1872 (Freeman 1977); see n. 2, below.
Lyell’s letter has not been found. In Origin 6th ed., p. 332, CD wrote that Arctic species moving south in a body as the climate changed would not have been liable to much modification; on p. 348, he applied the same argument to species arriving on an island in body, or receiving regular reinforcements from the same species on the mainland.
There is a heavily annotated copy of Weismann 1872 in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 857–60). See also letter to August Weismann, 5 April 1872.
In April 1872, Lyell and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Lyell, visited the Aurignac caves in the south of France (K. M. Lyell ed. 1881, 2: 438.


Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

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.

Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

Weismann, August. 1872. Ueber den Einfluss der Isolirung auf die Artbildung. Leipzig: Wilhelm Engelmann.


Comments on migration as a factor in evolution. Suggests pamphlet by August Weismann on the subject [Über den Einfluss der Isolierung (1872)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
Source of text
American Philosophical Society (Mss.B.D25.416)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8345,” accessed on 3 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20