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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Samuel Pickworth Woodward   [14 January 1843]

Down near Bromley | Kent


Dear Sir

Would you oblige me by getting the following specimens, ready for my inspection on Wednesday Morning1 about 12 oclock—viz. a set of obsidian & other allied rocks, presented to the Soc: in 1838 by Mr Edmonds, from Mexico—2 Would you also have ready for me ‘Dolimieu Voyage aux isles de Lipari’3

Perhaps, I may not be able to come till 2 oclock, but will you have them ready by 12 & I shall be much obliged.—

Your’s very faithfully | C. Darwin


CD was in London from 17 to 19 January 1843 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
In Volcanic islands CD was concerned to explain the laminated structure of volcanic rocks such as obsidian. The specimens in question were collected by Frederick Edmonds in Mexico and sent to John Taylor, Treasurer of the Geological Society, who presented them to the Society (Proceedings of the Geological Society 2 (1833–8): 686). In Volcanic islands (p. 66 n.), CD referred to the collector as ‘Edwards’.
Dolomieu 1783. CD cited Dolomieu’s descriptions of laminated volcanic rocks in Volcanic islands (pp. 63–8).


Dolomieu, Dieudonné Sylvain Guy Tancrède (Déodat) de Gratet de. 1783. Voyage aux iles de Lipari, fait en 1781; ou, notices sur les Iles Æoliennes, pour servir à l’histoire des volcans; suivi d’un mémoire sur une espèce de volcan d’air, & d’un autre sur la température du climat de Malthe, & sur la différence de la chaleur réelle & de la chaleur sensible. Paris.

Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second 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. 1844.


Asks SPW to have obsidian specimens and book [Dieudonné de Gratet de Dolomieu, Voyage aux îles de Lipari (1783)] ready when he comes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Samuel Pickworth Woodward; Geological Society of London
Sent from
JA15 1843
Source of text
Archives of the New York Botanical Garden
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 652,” accessed on 29 January 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 2