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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   9 February [1859]1

Moor Park, Farnham | Surrey

Feb. 9th

Dear Lubbock

Many thanks for your interesting note.— I am very glad to hear about your brother.2 What a splendid joke about Falconer.—3

I shd. much like to see the Builder, with Huxley, which shall be returned.—4

I do not think Instincts present any great difficulty, for they vary & the variations are inherited. Your cases of important organs differing much in (apparently) allied forms is a much greater & very serious difficulty & I can take refuge only in our ignorance of correlations5

I have several other letters to write & am as idle as a dog, so Farewell | Yours very truly | C. Darwin

I have despatched letter to Wollaston.—6


The year 1859 is the only one in which CD visited Moor Park in February (de Beer ed. 1959).
The reference to Hugh Falconer was apparently in the missing portion of the letter from John Lubbock, 8 February 1859.
An extract from Thomas Henry Huxley’s closing lecture to working men, delivered at the Government School of Mines in the autumn of 1858, appeared in the Builder, 15 January 1859,pp. 35–6. It concerned the relationship between science and religion.
This letter was written in pencil. The letter from Lubbock to Thomas Vernon Wollaston has not been found. CD was to forward it to Wollaston (see letter to John Lubbock, [6 February 1859]).


CD sees JL’s cases of same organs varying greatly in allied forms as a serious difficulty in regard to his own ideas.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Moor Park
Source of text
DAR 263: 27 (EH 88206476)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2411,” accessed on 22 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7