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Darwin Correspondence Project

From E. F. Lubbock   [after 24 February 1871]1

Now that his new book has come out,

I find that dreadful man

Is trying to heap on us

Every insult that he can.

He said we rose from monkeys,

That wasn’t what he meant:

Because he called it “Origin”, And now he says “Descent”.

I do hope the whole Human Race

Will prosecute him for libel.

And as he won’t believe the Duke,2

How can he believe the Bible?


The date is established by the reference to Descent, which was published on 24 February 1871 (Freeman 1977).
For CD’s views on George Douglas Campbell, the duke of Argyll, see, for example, Correspondence vol. 15, letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 February [1867], and letter to Charles Kingsley, 10 June [1867].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 26 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.


Verses on the Origin and Descent.

Letter details

Letter no.
Ellen Frances Hordern/Ellen Frances Lubbock
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 170: 7
Physical description
AL 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7419,” accessed on 14 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19