Edward Daniel Clarke (1769–1822)
Clarke was Professor of Mineralogy at Cambridge between 1808 and 1822. During the summer months he acted as a chaperone and tutor for wealthy students on their Grand Tour, extending the itinerary to include places such as Russia and Greece. We aren’t sure of this letter’s intended recipient, but it is likely to be a keen geologist. The section on display discusses the current state of geological theory in Britain and continental Europe, and the merits of the Neptunist (watery origins) and Plutonic (fiery origins) theories.