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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Hugh Falconer   10 September 1863

Geological Society   Somerset House, | W.C.

10th. Septr. 1863

My Dear Darwin

I sent about a week ago Suess’s Essay to my niece, in Edinburgh to translate for me,1 a most ignoble confession on the part of the Foreign Secy Geol. Society.2

I told her as soon as the translation was finished to send the original to you to Malvern Wells.3

Yours Ever | H Falconer

I start tomorrow morning for Auvergne—for a months run—on duty—old bone department.4


Suess 1863; see letter to Hugh Falconer, 4 [September 1863]. On 5 September 1863, Falconer sent CD’s letter of 4 [September 1863] to his niece, Grace Anne McCall, commenting: ‘Your note of yesterday acknowledging the pamphlet by Suess, has just come to hand. I enclose a note from Darwin which will amuse you. You will see by it, that the said pamphlet is in request’ (Falconer Museum, Forres, ZF/97). Falconer again wrote to his niece on 20 September: ‘Remember that Charles Darwin has written to me for the German pamphlet and that I told him you would forward it to him’ (Falconer Museum, Forres, ZF/110).
Falconer was elected foreign secretary of the Geological Society of London on 20 February 1863 (Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 19 (1863): xviii).
CD was undergoing treatment at James Smith Ayerst’s hydropathic establishment at Malvern Wells, Worcestershire (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)).
Falconer refers to his ongoing research on the palaeontological evidence relating to prehistoric humans, and on Pleistocene mammals (DSB). Falconer had arranged to visit the Auvergne with Edouard Lartet, who organised visits to palaeontological collections and meetings with palaeontologists (see the letter from Lartet to Falconer of 3 September 1863 in the Falconer Museum, Forres, ZF/300). Falconer travelled to Le Puy, in the Velay region, and to Clermont, the capital of the Auvergne, between 14 and 20 September, and also visited museums in Paris and Chartres, returning to London on 23 September (see the letters from Falconer to Grace McCall, 15 September 1863 and 20 September 1863, in the Falconer Museum, Forres, ZF/98 and 110, and Falconer 1868, 2: 479).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DSB: Dictionary of scientific biography. Edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie and Frederic L. Holmes. 18 vols. including index and supplements. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1970–90.

Falconer, Hugh. 1868. Palæontological memoirs and notes of the late Hugh Falconer … with a biographical sketch of the author. Compiled and edited by Charles Murchison. 2 vols. London: Robert Hardwicke.

Suess, Eduard. 1863. Über die Verschiedenheit und die Aufeinanderfolge der tertiären Landfaunen in der Niederung von Wien. Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Classe 47 (pt 1): 306–31.


Is having E. Suess’s essay [see 4284] translated; will forward it as soon as it is done.

Letter details

Letter no.
Hugh Falconer
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Geological Society
Source of text
DAR 164: 18
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4298,” accessed on 25 June 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11