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Darwin Correspondence Project

To M. E. Lyell  [24 October 1849]1

Down. Farnborough. Kent.

Wednesday night.

Dear Lady Lyell.

I am going to beg a very, very great favour of you— it is to translate one Page (& the title) of either Danish or Swedish or some such language.—2 I know not to whom else to apply & I am quite dreadfully interested about the Barnacles therin described.— Does Lyell know Loven, or his address & title? for I must write to him; if Lyell knows him I wd use his name as introduction; Loven I know by name as a first rate naturalist.3

Accidentally I forgot to give you the “Footsteps”4 which I now return, having ordered a copy for myself.—

I sincerely hope the “Craters of Denudation”5 prosper; I pin my faith to this view. Please tell Sir C. Lyell that outside the crater-like mountains at St. Jago, even throughout a distance of 2 or 3 miles there has been much denudation of the older Volcanic rocks contemporaneous with those of the ring of mountains.6

I hope that you will not find the page troublesome & that you will forgive me asking you.

Pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin.

We all young & old are in a very flourishing condition.


The Wednesday before the letter to Albany Hancock, [29 or 30 October 1849], in which CD refers to having received Mary Lyell’s translation.
Like her sisters, Joanna and Leonora Horner, Mary Lyell was evidently an accomplished linguist. CD had asked for a copy of Lovén’s paper (Lovén 1844) in his letter to Albany Hancock, 29 September [1849].
Hugh Miller’s Foot-prints of the creator (Miller 1849). See letter to Swale and Wilson, [on or before 24 October 1849].
Charles Lyell’s paper on this subject was read to the Geological Society on 19 December 1849 (C. Lyell 1850a).
St Jago (S\ {a}o Tiago), Cape Verde Islands. See Volcanic islands, pp. 1–22 and C. Lyell 1850a, p. 211.


Asks MEL to translate page of paper by Sven Lovén ["Ny art af Cirripedia", Ofvers. K. Vetensk. Acad. Forh. Stockholm 1 (1844): 192–4]. CD is "dreadfully interested" in the barnacles [Alepas squalicola] described.

Hopes Charles Lyell’s "craters of Denudation" prosper.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Mary Elizabeth Lyell
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 146: 332
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1266,” accessed on 18 February 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4