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From Charles Lyell to T. H. Huxley   17 June 1859

Summary

Extended discussion of their respective difficulties with the definition and status of species and with the extent to which the theory of transmutation may be applied.

Has rediscovered S. S. Haldeman’s 1844 paper defending the transmutation theory with great skill.

Asks for reference to Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire’s first enunciation of the progressive development and transmutation theory.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Thomas Henry Huxley
Date:  17 June 1859
Classmark:  Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 6: 20)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2469A

From Charles Lyell   3 October 1859

Summary

Praises the Origin: a "splendid case of close reasoning".

Objects to CD’s having ignored Lamarck and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire.

Thinks CD should omit mentioning problem of explaining the eye at the beginning of chapter 14. Suggests rewording several passages.

Thinks want of peculiar birds in Madeira a difficulty, considering presence of them in Galapagos.

Has always felt that the case of man and his races is one and the same with animals and plants.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  3 Oct 1859
Classmark:  DAR 98: B1–6
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2501

DCP-LETT-2501F

Summary

Cancelled: Known only from reference in letter to Charles Lyell, 11 October [1859]

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [4 October 1859]
Classmark:  
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2501F

From Charles Lyell   22 October 1859

Summary

Wishes CD would enlarge on the doctrines of [Pyotr Simon] Pallas about the various races of dogs having come from several distinct wild species or sub-species.

Suggests organisms have a latent principle of improvement which is brought out by selection or breeding.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  22 Oct 1859
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s notebook 242, pp. 15–24
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2508F

From Charles Lyell   28 October 1859

Summary

Since dogs have same gestation period as the wolf it is likely that the wolf is the ancestral wild species, if it is just one species.

CD’s belief that domestic dogs are descended from several distinct aboriginal species seems to contradict views on sterility of hybrids and variation in Origin. If domestic varieties came from hybrids of wild species it will be impossible to trace ancestry. Opponents will exploit these problems.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Oct 1859
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal IV, pp170–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2512A

From Charles Lyell   21 November 1859

Summary

Questions CD’s view in Origin that domestic dogs are not descended from a single stock. Occasional crossings of domestic stock with wild species could explain cases of reversion towards wild specific forms. CD’s views on hybridity do not then have to be contradicted in constructing an ancestral stock.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  21 Nov 1859
Classmark:  Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s journal IV, pp. 195–7
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2540A

From Charles Lyell   [22 November 1859]

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Summary

Comments on pp. 201, 211, and 218 [of Origin].

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  [22 Nov 1859]
Classmark:  DAR 205.11: 139
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-2551

From Charles Lyell   4 October 1859

Summary

Response to Origin. Praise for summary of chapter 10 and chapter 11.

The dissimilarity of African and American species is ‘necessary result of “Creation” adapting new species to the pre-existing ones. Granting this unknown & if you please miraculous power acting’.

C. T. Gaudin writes of Oswald Heer’s finding many species common between Miocene floras of Iceland and Switzerland. Interesting for CD’s migration theory.

Author:  Charles Lyell, 1st baronet
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  4 Oct 1859
Classmark:  DAR 170: 81; Kinnordy MS, Charles Lyell’s notebooks 241, pp. 75–90
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-3132
Document type
letter (8)
Author
Lyell, Charles[X]
Addressee
Correspondent
Date
1859
06 (1)
10 (5)
11 (2)
letter