skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To Charles Lyell   [13 January 1874]1

6. Q. A. St.

Tuesday Evening

My dear Lyell

I will call tomorrow morning a little after 9. in hopes of seeing you.—

You will understand if I do not appear that I am not very well.2

Ever yours | Ch. Darwin

I return with thanks the Saturday Rw.—3 The Coral-Reef Book has been invaluable to me.—4


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 January 1874, and by CD’s stay in London from 10 to 17 January 1874 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). During CD’s visit, Tuesday fell on 13 January 1874.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), CD fell down the stairs on Monday 12 January 1874.
Saturday Review was published weekly; it is not certain which issue CD borrowed.
CD was preparing a second edition of Coral reefs. In a letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker of 8 January 1874, he had asked to use a copy of the book for corrections. CD evidently used Lyell’s copy instead.


Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first 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. 1842.


The coral-reef book has been invaluable [J. D. Dana, Corals and coral islands (1872); used by CD in Coral reefs, 2d ed. (1874)].

Thanks for Saturday Review.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
The University of Edinburgh Centre for Research Collections (Lyell collection Coll-203/B1/ Lyell Temp Box 3.1 Folder_6)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9240,” accessed on 27 March 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22