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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   22 October 1879

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

October 22 1879

My dear Lubbock

I cannot help writing, though it is so soon, to tell you how deeply I sympathise with you in your dreadful loss.1 It is a terrible calamity. She used to show in every word & her expression how devotedly she loved you.— Her image, so bright & beautiful, now rises clearly before my eyes, as I saw her first years ago in the Crystal Palace.2 My wife, as you will well believe, joins me in her deep sympathy for you & all your family.— Do not, of course, pain yourself by answering this note.

Yours affectionately | Charles Darwin


Ellen Frances Lubbock died in the night on 19 or 20 October 1879, at High Elms, Down, aged about 45 (The Times, 22 October 1879, p. 1; Hutchinson 1914, 1: 165).
John Lubbock married Ellen in 1856. The Crystal Palace, built in Hyde Park to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, was moved to Sydenham in Kent in 1854.


Hutchinson, Horace Gordon. 1914. Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. 2 vols. London: Macmillan.


Condolences on the death of JL’s wife.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 68 (EH 88206512)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12267,” accessed on 23 July 2024,