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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   23 September [1856]1


Sept. 23d.

Dear Lubbock

As I know you are interested in Owen’s Parthenogenesis2 et id genus omne, I send you the enclosed Review by Quatrefages:3 the 1st half seems to me very dull, but the second half very good. & very true.

I, also, enclose some of Huxley’s Lectures.—4

I hope Mrs. Lubbock is pretty well again; some time ago I heard but an indifferent account of her.—5

What wonderfully grand doings you had at the marriage;—I shd. think you can hardly be all rested yet. We made Etty give us a very full account of all she saw.—6

Your very sincerely | C. Darwin

P.S. I had almost forgotten what made me think chiefly of writing, viz a letter from Dana,7 whom I had told of your marriage, in which he says “I was, also pleased to hear of Mr Lubbocks happiness. A long life to them full of joys. Please thank him from me for the pamphlets, which he has sent me. He is doing excellent work among the Entomostraca, & dear little things they are”.—8

Please respeak for me to have any Bantam which shd. chance to die.9


Dated by the reference to the marriage of Lubbock’s sister (see n. 6, below) and to the letter from J. D. Dana, 8 September 1856.
Owen 1849. Lubbock was at this time working on the two kinds of reproduction—one being parthenogenic—of Daphnia (see letter to John Lubbock, 27 October [1856]). CD’s annotated copy of Owen 1849 is in the Darwin Library–CUL.
Quatrefages de Bréau 1855–6, in which Jean Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau reviewed current work on sexual and asexual generation. Owen 1849 was discussed in the fifth part ((1856), pp. 60–4). When Lubbock came to write up his researches, he cited Quatrefages’s paper (Lubbock 1857, p. 80).
Huxley’s lectures on general natural history given at the School of Mines in 1856 and published in the Medical Times & Gazette (T. H. Huxley 1856–7).
Ellen Frances Lubbock was pregnant. The Lubbocks’ first child, a daughter, was born on 15 March 1857 (Burke’s peerage 1970).
Lubbock’s sister, Diana Hotham Lubbock, was married to William Powell Rodney on 11 September 1856 (The Times, 12 September 1856). The wedding took place in Down church. CD’s daughter, Henrietta Emma, aged 13, apparently attended.
Letter from J. D. Dana, 8 September 1856. The passage quoted was probably in the section of the letter that is now missing.
Lubbock had published his researches on Entomostraca in Lubbock 1855.


Burke’s peerage: A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the United Kingdom. Burke’s peerage and baronetage. 1st– edition. London: Henry Colburn [and others]. 1826–.

Huxley, Thomas Henry. 1856–7. Lectures on general natural history. Medical Times & Gazette n.s. 12: 429–32, 481–4, 507–11, 563–7, 618–23; 13: 27–30, 131–4, 157–60, 278–81, 383–6, 462–3, 537–8, 586–8, 635–9; 14: 133–5, 181–3, 255-7, 353–5, 505–8, 638–40; 15: 159–62, 186–9, 238–41, 467-71.

Lubbock, John. 1855. On the freshwater Entomostraca of South America. [Read 7 May 1855.] Transactions of the Entomological Society of London n.s. 3: 232–40.

Quatrefages de Bréau, Jean Louis Armand de. 1855–6. Physiologie comparée. Les métamorphoses. Revue des deux Mondes 10 (1855): 90–116, 275–314; 3 (1856): 496– 519, 859-83; 4 (1856): 55–82.


Sends review by Quatrefages [de Bréau] of Owen’s Parthenogenesis [1849].

J. D. Dana’s congratulations on JL’s marriage.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 283: 12 (EH 88206461)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1960,” accessed on 15 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6