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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Lubbock   7 April 1863

15, Lombard Street. E.C.

7 April /63

My dear Mr. Darwin

I was very glad to hear that you were better again, & shall much like to come up & have a chat with you.1

After many alterations of plan I now propose to run down to Elgin on Saturday next to see those Scotch kjökken möddings.2 I shall probably be away a week & when I come back will write & try to fix some day to come up & dine with you as you kindly propose.

I am glad you approve of our last Number, it pleased me more than most, as there was more variety.3 It was very good of you to give us a help & without making a precedent of it, I hope you will consider us favourably another time.4 I hope you don’t think that Lyell could really be vexed by my article.5 He certainly has not quite done justice to others & particularly to Prestwich6   I don’t altogether like Carpenter’s letter in the Athenæum.7 Surely he is mistaken in saying that you would expect Foraminifera to become any thing else.8 I should have thot that you believed that once a For. always a For. Is it not so?

Yours affecly | John Lubbock

C Darwin Esq


In his letter of 5 April [1863], CD had invited Lubbock to visit ‘for a short talk’.
Kjökkenmödding is the Danish word for refuse-heap or kitchen midden; Lubbock had written about recent archaeological research on Danish kitchen middens in Lubbock 1861, and published an account of the Moray Firth shell mounds near Elgin in the July 1863 number of the Natural History Review (Lubbock 1863e).
See letter to John Lubbock, 5 April [1863]. Lubbock was one of the editors of the Natural History Review.
Lubbock refers to ‘Review of Bates on mimetic butterflies’, CD’s anonymous contribution to the April 1863 number of the Natural History Review.
Lubbock reviewed Charles Lyell’s Antiquity of man (C. Lyell 1863a) in the April 1863 number of the Natural History Review ([Lubbock] 1863c). See letter from J. D. Hooker, [24 March 1863], and letter to John Lubbock, 5 April [1863] and n. 7. See also n. 6, below.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, [24 March 1863] and n. 9. In a letter to the Athenæum, 4 April 1863, pp. 459–60, Hugh Falconer had accused Lyell of slighting the roles of Joseph Prestwich and himself in field investigations of human artefacts in France and England in C. Lyell 1863a (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [17 April 1863] and n. 4). For evaluations of this disagreement between Falconer and Lyell, see Bynum 1984 and L. G. Wilson 1996a.
William Benjamin Carpenter had disputed the review of Carpenter 1862 written anonymously by Richard Owen in the Athenæum, 28 March 1863, pp. 417–19 (see Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix VII). See also letter to J. D. Hooker, [17 April 1863], and letter to John Lubbock, 5 April [1863] and n. 10.
See Appendix VII for Carpenter’s letter to the Athenæum, 4 April 1863. Carpenter had stated in Carpenter 1862 that there had been no advance in the foraminiferous type since the palaeozoic period. In his letter to the Athenæum, 4 April 1863, p. 461, Carpenter wrote: the present state of scientific evidence, instead of sanctioning the idea that the descendants of the primitive type or types of Foraminifera can ever rise to any higher grade, justifies the anti-Darwinian inference, that however widely they diverge from each other and from their originals, they still remain Foraminifera.


JL is off to visit Scotch "kjökken möddings".

Hopes Lyell is not really vexed by his article.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Lubbock (4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury)
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Lombard St, 15
Source of text
DAR 170: 39
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4077,” accessed on 21 August 2017,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11