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Darwin, Charles
TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED, TO LEONARD HORNER
discussing Horner's paper on the geology of the Nile basin, the first letter suggesting a few cuts and politely querying his reference to "baked sandstone" ("...I have seen great areas coated with from 1 or 2 to (I think) 10 or 12 feet of dark brown, & black & angularly vesicular rock, having a most curious vitrified appearance, but which certainly was owing to a curious modification of the oxides of iron contained in it. Certainly there had been no heat from below, & certainly the whole deposit is simply superficial, & alluvial..."), the second letter further elaborating his account of ferruginous beds and their striking appearance ("...Another [naval officer] on coast of Australia said that the whole country seemed to have been fused by a flash of Lightning..."), 12 pages, 8vo, Down, Farnborough, Kent, 18 March and 27 April 1855
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Literature

DCP-LETT-1649; DCP-LETT-1676

Catalogue Note

SIGNIFICANT GEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS BY CHARLES DARWIN. Leonard Horner (1785-1864) was an eminent geologist - twice President of the Geological Society - who Darwin had known since he was an undergraduate at Edinburgh, and was also Sir Charles Lyell's father-in-law. These letters refer to Horner's 'Account of some recent Researches near Cairo, undertaken with the view of throwing light upon the Geological History of the Alluvial Land of Egypt', read at the Royal Society in February 1855 and subsequently published in the Philosophical Transactions. Darwin here elaborates on comments made in Geological Observations on the Volcanic Islands (1844), p.143, about the striking appearance of iron-rich beds of honeycombed sandstone that he had observed in Australia, and which Darwin emphatically believed were alluvial in origin.

English Literature, History, Science, Childrens Books and Illustrations

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