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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   [22 November 1859]1

Well Terrace | Ilkley Otley | Yorkshire


My dear Lubbock

I beg pardon for troubling you again. I do not know how I blundered in expressing myself in making you believe that we accepted your kind invitation to Brighton. I meant merely to thank you sincerely for wishing to see such a worn-out old dog as myself.2 I hardly know when we leave this place,—not under a fortnight, & then we shall wish to rest under our own roof-tree.—

I do not think I hardly ever admired a book more than Paley’s Natural Theology:3 I could almost formerly have said it by heart.—

I am glad you have got my Book, but I fear that you value it far too highly.— I shd. be grateful for any criticism I care not for Reviews, but for the opinion of men like you & Hooker & Huxley & Lyell &c—

Farewell. With our joint thanks to Mrs Lubbock & yourself | Adios. | C. Darwin


The date is the Tuesday following the letter to John Lubbock, [19 November 1859]. The date given in Freeman 1977, p. 75 (15 November), is incorrect. CD did not leave Ilkley until around 7 December 1859 (‘Journal’; Appendix II), but this letter evidently precedes Emma Darwin’s departure on 24 November (Emma Darwin’s diary). After Emma left, CD relinquished his rented house in Wells Terrace and returned to Edmund Smith’s hydropathic establishment, Ilkley Wells House.
Paley 1802. CD read William Paley’s works at Cambridge University and admired them deeply (Autobiography, p. 59, and Correspondence vol. 1).


Autobiography: The autobiography of Charles Darwin 1809–1882. With original omissions restored. Edited with appendix and notes by Nora Barlow. London: Collins. 1958.

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

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Paley, William. 1802. Natural theology; or, evidences of the existence and attributes of the Deity, collected from the appearances of nature. London: R. Faulder.


CD’s former admiration for Paley’s Natural theology [1802].

Cares not for reviews [of Origin] but for opinions of men like Lubbock, Huxley, Hooker, Lyell.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 17 (EH 88206466)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2532,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

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