Skip to main content

Lyell, Mary Horner (1808–1873)

Lyell, Mary Horner (1808–1873)

British geologist and conchologist. Born Mary Horner in 1808, probably in London, England; died in 1873; eldest of six daughters of Leonard Horner (a geolo-gist); married Charles Lyell (1797–1875, a geologist), in 1832.

Mary Lyell was born in 1808, the daughter of geologist Leonard Horner. In 1832, she married British geologist Charles Lyell, author of the well-known Principles of Geology (1830–33), a work that was used by Charles Darwin (1809–1882) in the formulation of his theory of evolution. Mary Lyell accompanied her husband on expeditions in Europe and North America, and, being fluent in German and French, she frequently translated scientific papers for him. When his eyesight failed, she read to him and handled his correspondence. Serving as an assistant to her husband over the years, Lyell became an accomplished geologist and conchologist in her own right, although, like the wives of so many prominent men, she never received the credit due that fact.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Lyell, Mary Horner (1808–1873)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . 15 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Lyell, Mary Horner (1808–1873)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . (February 15, 2019).

"Lyell, Mary Horner (1808–1873)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 15, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.