Item 110 - Letter from Charles Lyell

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Letter from Charles Lyell


  • 20 Feb. 1831 (Creation)

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4 pp.

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2 Raymond Buildings, Gray's Inn - CL has nearly overcome his difficulties in nomenclature: 'Your arguments for curtailing the superfluous vowels satisfy me, and the threat of the future reviewer is most agreeable'. CL thinks 'Paracene and Procene tho' pretty words ought not to be used as comprehensive grouping names, for there would then be confusion between the greater and the subordinate Cenes. Your Cenogenous is infinitely better than my Cenophorous, especially for a reason which must always be kept in view in chronological names in geology, that it may with propriety be affixed to each of the separate tertiary beds, rocks etc and their contents - now I should not wonder if the terminology which we are now constructing should ultimately prevail over every other hitherto invented'. CL proceeds to talk about the terminology coined by the French geologist, Alexandre Brongniart. CL gives his definitions of the geological divisions - Hypogene, Paleogene, Cenogene and Contemporary.

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