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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   [22 November 1857]1


Sunday Morning

Dear Lubbock

At the Philosoph. Club last Thursday I overheard Dr. Sharpey speaking to Huxley in such high & warm praise of your paper & Huxley answering in same tone that it did me good to hear it.2 And I thought I would tell you, for if you still wish to join Royal Socy., I shd. think (Sharpey being influential in Council & Secretary) there cd be no doubt of your admission. Even if you were not admitted the first year it cannot be thought the least disgraceful. I am not aware but perhaps you have been already proposed.—3

Will you be so kind as to give my cordial congratulations & most sincere good wishes to Miss Lubbock.—4 I am very much obliged for my half of the invitation to the Breakfast: it will be a really beautiful sight, but I fear it would be too fatiguing for me so will not venture to accept it.

Believe me dear Lubbock | Yours sincerely | C. Darwin


The date is established by CD’s attendance at a meeting of the Royal Society Philosophical Club minutes (see n. 2, below) and by the reference to Miss Lubbock’s engagement breakfast (see n. 4, below).
CD attended a meeting of the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society on 19 November 1857 (Royal Society Philosophical Club minutes). William Sharpey, one of the secretaries of the society and a member of the Philosophical Club, was a noted physiologist. The paper under discussion was Lubbock’s study of reproduction in Daphnia (Lubbock 1857).
Lubbock was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1858.
Mary Harriet Lubbock, John Lubbock’s older sister, was married on 8 December 1857 to Robert Birkbeck of Keswick, Norfolk (Gentleman’s Magazine n.s. 4 (1858): 98).


Huxley and William Sharpey praise JL’s paper [? on Daphnia, Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 147 (1857): 79–100] at Philosophical Club.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 22 (EH 88206471)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2149,” accessed on 5 March 2024,

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