skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. M. Reade   9 May 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

May 9 1874

My dear Sir

I much wish that I could give any aid in your investigation on that most interesting subject the Drift; but I cannot tell you whether any list of the shells of South America.1

Since writing these words I have remembered that at the end of Vol 1 of the Narrative of the Survey. Voy. of H.M.S Adventure & Beagle, 1839 Colborn & Co there is a catalogue of the shells collected in the southern parts.2

I was much struck with the luxuriant appearance of all the marine productions in T. del Fuego,—in the large size of the Patellæ & Fissurellæ, & by the presence of large volutes.3

I shall probably receive your pamphlet tomorrow.4

The interesting case of the tree does not particularly concern me.

Dear Sir | yours faithfully | Ch. Darwin


See Narrative 1: 545–56.
CD described the large size of the marine gastropod molluscs in the genus Patella (true limpet) and the families Fissurellidae (keyhole limpets), and Volutidae (predatory sea snails) in the southern hemisphere in Narrative 3: 611–12, and Journal of researches 2d ed., p. 243.


Journal of researches 2d ed.: Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN. 2d edition, corrected, with additions. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1845.

Narrative: Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836. [Edited by Robert FitzRoy.] 3 vols. and appendix. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

Reade, Thomas Mellard. 1874–82. The drift-beds of the north-west of England.— Part I. Shells of the Lancashire and Cheshire low-level boulder-clay and sands. [Read 19 November 1873.] Part II. Their nature, stratigraphy and distribution. [Read 15 November 1882.] Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 30 (1874): 27–37, 39 (1883): 83–132.


Interested in TMR’s investigation of drift. Narrative 1: 545–6 contains catalogue of shells collected. Much struck by marine productions of Tierra del Fuego.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Mellard Reade
Sent from
Source of text
University of Liverpool Library (TMR1.D.7.1)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9450,” accessed on 20 February 2020,

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