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A lifelong friendship began in 1852 between Archibald Geikie (1835–1924) and Matthew Forster Heddle (1828–97), the most eminent Scottish mineralogist of his day. This paper follows the two men from their birth, through their education and early employment, to their first meeting in Edinburgh. It then traces the progress of their complementary, but different, careers and recounts shared events in their professional and personal lives. It describes how the astute Geikie supported the clever but unworldly Heddle through his difficulties at the University of St Andrews and helped him achieve scientific recognition. It concludes by comparing and contrasting their personalities and approach to science and defining the nature of their enduring friendship.

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