Reference numberMS/251/3
TitleLetter from Christian Leopold Von Buch, London, to William Buckland, Christ Church, Oxford
Date31 May 1817 [postmark]
DescriptionThanking Buckland for interesting days in his company and with the Geological Society. He appreciated their endeavour to ascertain general laws in the composition of the Earth's surface and in comparing English formations with foreign ones. Von Buch believe that this is is the only way to study nature. One country illustrates another and larger scale phenomena in one country may explain small scale ones elsewhere. The Saxon mineralogist may describe his basaltic mountains minutely, but he will understand them if he travels to Scotland. The Scottish geologist must go elsewhere to understand the Western Isles, since seeing nature will open his mind. English coalfields may be illustrated by French and German ones and the Continent will benefit from the labours of the Geological Society.

Von Buch gives the example of a large Polygala flower seen in a Teneriffe garden, which illustrated structure in a way impossible in the smaller flower equivalents of other climates, expanding upon his ideas. The classification of English strata is important and he wants to make this known in Germany. Notes Buckland's idea of subordinate strata and discusses various rocks in this context, giving British and German examples. He encloses a note to share in the expenses of their Stonesfield tour.
Physical descriptionOn paper
Access statusOpen
Fellows associated with this archive
NA5811Buch; Leopold von (1774 - 1853)1774 - 1853
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