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Letter 1585

Darwin, C. R. to Lubbock, John

[Sept 1854]

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    Sends beetle he cannot identify.

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    Reading J. O. Westwood [Introduction to the modern classification of insects (1839–40)] has reawakened his passion for entomology.




Dear Lubbock

I do not know whether you care about Beetles, but for the chance I send this in a Bottle, which, I never remember having seen, though it is excessively rash to speak from a 26 year old remembrance. Whenever we meet you can tell me whether you know it.—

I have been so much interested by Westwood, that I have ordered a copy. I feel like an old war-horse at the sound of the trumpet, when I read about the capturing of rare beetles— is not this a magnanimous simile for a decayed entomologist. It really almost makes me long to begin collecting again.

Adios.— “Floreat Entomologia”, to which toast at Cambridge, I have drunk many a glass of wine, so again “Floreat Entomologia”. N.B. I have not now been drinking any glasses full of wine.

Your's | C. D.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1585.f1
    Dated on the basis of CD's reference to Westwood 1839–40 (see n. 2, below).
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    f2 1585.f2
    Westwood 1839–40. CD's annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL. He recorded having read it on 25 September 1854 (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 128: 10).
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    f3 1585.f3
    See CD's correspondence with his cousin William Darwin Fox during their time as undergraduates in Cambridge (Correspondence vol. 1).
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