skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Lubbock   [after 28 April 1860?]1

My dear Mr. Darwin

I send you Murray’s Paper which you are quite welcome to keep.2

Haeckel on the eyes of Starfishes3 & Claparede on those of Insects4 are both in Siebold & Kollikers Arch.5 for 1859. Zweites Heft.

I can lend it to you whenever you like to have it.

Yours most faithfully | John Lubbock

CD annotations

End of letter: ‘Star-fish eye with crystalline lenses’; ‘Claparede disputes Mullers view on origin of eyes—’6 pencil


The date is suggested by CD’s interest in the structure and origin of eyes in connection with Origin. In the letter to Andrew Murray, 28 April [1860], CD responds to criticisms of his views on blind cave insects made in Murray’s review of Origin (Murray 1860a). In the same section of his review, Murray cited his paper on the disguises of nature (Murray 1860b); this may be the paper that Lubbock enclosed with the letter (see n. 2, below).
The paper referred to may be Murray 1857, in which Andrew Murray described the anatomy of insect eyes and specifically discussed the subject of blind insects (see letter to Andrew Murray, 28 April [1860]). It could also be Murray 1860b, an annotated copy of which is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. In the latter paper, read at the 1859 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Murray discussed the generic identity of the blind insects found in caves in Europe and in the United States.
Haeckel 1860.
Claparède 1860.
The Archiv für wissenschaftliche Zoologie was co-edited by Karl Theodor Ernst von Siebold and Rudolf Albert von Kölliker. The second number of the tenth volume containing the papers by Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel and Èdouard Claparède was issued on 12 December 1859, but the volume itself is dated 1860.
Claparède’s study of arthropod eyes had led him to disagree with the commonly accepted theory of vision, particularly as it related to the compound eyes of insects and Crustacea, first suggested by Johannes Peter Müller in J. P. Müller 1826 and refined in J. P. Müller 1834–7. CD owned a copy of the English translation of this work (J. P. Müller 1838–42), which is in the Darwin Library–CUL. All three volumes contain annotations; the second chapter in volume 2, which discusses the anatomy and physiology of the eye, is heavily annotated. CD discussed the structure of the eye in a passage added to the American edition of Origin, Supplement, pp. 426–7. See also Appendix IV.


Gives CD references to papers on eyes of lower animals.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Lubbock (4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury)
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
High Elms, Farnborough
Source of text
DAR 48: 68
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2394,” accessed on 26 April 2017,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8