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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   11 August [1857]1


Augt. 11th

My dear Lubbock

I am going to do a most ungracious thing, viz to ask you not to call here on Thursday, for I heard yesterday that a very old friend is coming to spend the day here,2 & childish as it must seem to you, this is a very great exertion to me, & the last straw breaks the camel’s back,—especially such a miserable worthless camel as I am.— I am sure I need not say how much pleasure a talk with you gives me whenever you have time & inclination to call.—

Forgive me | Dear Lubbock| Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

I did not write in answer about the Chinese fowls, as I thought I shd see you before very long. When I do see you & hear about them, I will settle whether the long journey to Bromley is worth while.

I went yesterday to Crystal Palace for Poultry show, & returned rather soured in temper, as I saw nothing worth seeing in my line.—3


The dates of this and the letter to Lubbock on 12 [August 1857] are based on John Stevens Henslow’s proposed trip to Down (see letter to Henslow, 10 August [1857], n. 1).
Henslow was the expected visitor (see letter to Henslow, 10 August [1857], and letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 August [1857]).
Beginning in 1857, the Crystal Palace was the site of a twice yearly poultry show, the largest in the London area (Secord 1981, p. 171).


Asks JL not to call as he has a "very old friend" [J. S. Henslow] coming to visit him.

Yesterday visited poultry show at Crystal Palace.

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, C. R.
Lubbock, John
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 21 (EH 88206470)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2481,” accessed on 23 April 2017,