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English Literature, History, Science, Childrens Books and Illustrations

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Darwin, Charles
THREE LETTERS, 2 AUTOGRAPH, TO MRS KATHARINE LYELL
the first sending his extant letters from Sir Charles Lyell, explaining that "I used formerly to burn all letters excepting a few" but that he is sending all the letters received from Lyell from 1862 to 1869 in two packets; the second thanking her for a copy of Lyell's Life, Letters and Journals, continuing that he had not expected so generous a gift and had already ordered a copy, so offering his copy to a recipient of Mrs Lyell's choosing; the final letter drawing attention to a review of the work, saying that he was sorry to reach the end of the book but admitting that "I still think that a good many letters might have been omitted with advantage"; the first letter in the hand of Darwin's son Francis but with an autograph postscript, altogether 10 pages, 8vo, headed stationery of Down House, one letter on mourning stationery, 26 December [1875 or 1876] to 16 February 1882

"...I was very anxious to begin reading the memoirs of my old master, to whom I am so deeply indebted under a scientific point of view..."


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Catalogue Note

Katharine Lyell (1817-1915) was one of the six daughters of Leonard Horner, and married Charles Lyell's brother Henry (Charles, meanwhile, married Katharine's sister Mary). Katharine was an eminent botanist, specialising in ferns. Following the death of her brother-in-law she edited his Life, Letters, and Journals (2 vols, 1881), still an important biographical source for Lyell. She later followed this with editions of letters of Leonard Horner and Charles Bunbury.

English Literature, History, Science, Childrens Books and Illustrations

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London