was presented to the Royal Society in this year (Phil. Trans. 1858, p. 703). The controversy with the supporters of Von Buch's theory of ‘craters of elevation,’ who sought to show that volcanic mountains resulted from the conical upthrusting of strata, was now destined to close in favour of Scrope and Lyell, who had so consistently maintained that the outward dip of ash and lava from the volcanic centre was due to original conditions of deposition.
In 1862 Lyell was elected a correspondent of the Institute of France. In 1863 he published his book on ‘The Antiquity of Man,’ which ran through three editions during the year, and reached a fourth in 1873. The evidence in favour of assigning an extreme antiquity to the human remains found in certain caves and gravels made a deep impression on the public mind; but Darwin was somewhat disappointed at the caution displayed in the treatment both of the origin of species (chaps. xx–xxiii.) and of man's place in nature (chap. xxiv.) (Life and Letters of C. Darwin, iii. 9, 10).
In 1864 Lyell was president of the British Association, and in 1866 received the Wollaston medal of the Geological Society. In 1867 he considerably revised the ‘Principles,’ the second volume being deferred until 1868. This constituted the tenth edition of the work. The last page of chapter xliii. (ii. 493) shows how open the author was to accept any certain proof that man forms but the highest link in the long chain of organic evolution.
In 1871 he published a virtually new work, which has seen four editions, ‘The Student's Elements of Geology.’ For several years this was the only convenient modern text-book on the subject, and it may already be regarded as a classic. The great life-work of the author is exemplified even here, by the treatment of the various systems in descending order, thus proceeding from the known towards the unknown, from existing phenomena to the endeavour to comprehend the past.
His health was much shaken by the death of Lady Lyell, which took place on 24 April 1873; but he maintained to the last his interest in geological discovery, and found, in discussing the work of Professor Judd among the volcanos of the Hebrides, much to remind him of his earliest observations on the continent. He died in his house in London, 53 Harley Street, on 22 Feb. 1875, and was buried in the nave of Westminster Abbey; thus closing a life of seventy-eight years, at least fifty of which had been devoted to the progress of geology and to the establishment of truths which reached far beyond his favourite science.
As regards the man himself, we have the testimony of his contemporaries and associates. Sedgwick, who at the outset opposed the uniformitarian school, and who complained of Lyell's acceptance of the transmutation of species, wrote in 1865 as follows:—‘Lyell … is an excellent and thoughtful writer, but not, I think, a great field observer … his mind is essentially deductive, and not inductive’ (Life of Sedgwick, ii. 42). Charles Darwin, in his autobiographical sketch, written in 1876 (Life and Letters of C. Darwin, i. 71), gives a valuable estimate of the work and character of his friend. ‘The science of geology,’ he writes, ‘is enormously indebted to Lyell—more so, as I believe, than to any other man who ever lived;’ and he goes on to speak of the thoroughly liberal character of Lyell's religious views. The testimony of Dean Stanley is worth quoting in this connection (Life and Letters of Lyell, ii. 461). ‘From early youth to extreme old age it was to him a solemn religious duty to be incessantly learning, constantly growing, fearlessly correcting his own mistakes, always ready to receive and reproduce from others that which he had not in himself. Science and religion for him not only were not divorced, but were one and indivisible.’ Lyell's toleration in religious matters was certainly conspicuous; but the attitude of many churchmen towards science led him at one time to protest strongly against ‘the exclusive privileges of Church of England ascendency’ (ib. ii. 82).
‘Above the medium height and having a well-shaped head and clear-cut intellectual features [with a forehead of surprising height and width], Lyell would have been a man of commanding presence if his extremely short sight had not obliged him to stoop and to peer into anything he wished to observe. In Lyell a keen insight into nature and human nature, a well-balanced judgment, and a strong sense of justice, were combined with a deep veneration for all that is noble and true. … It was his warm sympathy and receptivity, combined with true philosophical candour, which kept him to the very last in touch with advancing knowledge. In his work Lyell was very methodical, beginning and ending at fixed hours. Accustomed to make use of the help of others on account of his weak sight, he was singularly unconscious of outward bodily movement, though highly sensitive to pain. When dictating, he was often restless, moving from his chair to his sofa, pacing the room, or