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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   [September 1854]1



Dear Lubbock

I do not know whether you care about Beetles, but for the chance I send this in a Bottle, which, I never remember having seen, though it is excessively rash to speak from a 26 year old remembrance. Whenever we meet you can tell me whether you know it.—

I have been so much interested by Westwood, that I have ordered a copy.2 I feel like an old war-horse at the sound of the trumpet, when I read about the capturing of rare beetles— is not this a magnanimous simile for a decayed entomologist. It really almost makes me long to begin collecting again.

Adios.— “Floreat Entomologia”, to which toast at Cambridge, I have drunk many a glass of wine,3 so again “Floreat Entomologia”. N.B. I have not now been drinking any glasses full of wine.

Your’s | C. D.—


Dated on the basis of CD’s reference to Westwood 1839–40 (see n. 2, below).
Westwood 1839–40. CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL. He recorded having read it on 25 September 1854 (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 128: 10).
See CD’s correspondence with his cousin William Darwin Fox during their time as undergraduates in Cambridge (Correspondence vol. 1).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Westwood, John Obadiah. 1839–40. An introduction to the modern classification of insects; founded on the natural habits and corresponding organisation of the different families. 2 vols. London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman.


Sends beetle he cannot identify.

Reading J. O. Westwood [Introduction to the modern classification of insects (1839–40)] has reawakened his passion for entomology.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 8 (EH 88206457)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1585,” accessed on 9 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5