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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   [18 November 1860]1


Sunday night

My dear Lubbock

I received this morning Ld. Cranworths2 Subscription & now enclose 5.5.0 for the Nat. School.—3

We returned home yesterday week: Etty did the journey pretty well;4 she was desperately ill at Eastbourne & we gave up all hope; but she has rallied considerably. God knows what the ultimate result will be. I never passed a more miserable time than at Eastbourne.

Pray give our kindest thanks to Mrs Lubbock for her note received this morning.5 There is no possibility of my wife leaving Etty at present. As for myself I have had some thoughts of going up on Wednesday & Thursday, but I very much doubt whether I shall have the heart. I thank you both most sincerely for so kindly wishing to see me; but when working in London, I am so poor a wretch & so tired that my own room in my Brother’s house is the sole refuge for which I am fit.—6

I have done hardly anything in science for many weeks; but have lately been employed in drawing up a paper on the movements of Drosera; the result has been that I have got actually frightened at my results, & will not publish till I have retested my work next summer.—   If you are at all at leisure, I shd. like to hear a little news of what you have been doing & whom you have seen most of.—

You take in Annals & Mag. of N. Hist; will you tell me whether in last number (or if in any future number) there is reprinted an Article on the “Origin” by Asa Gray from Atlantic Monthly Review.—7 I wish particularly to know.

I hope you have enjoyed yourself & are not working too hard.

Dear Lubbock | Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin


Dated by an entry in CD’s Account book (Down House MS) relating to the sums discussed in the letter (see n. 3, below).
Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron Cranworth, was a neighbour of CD’s and a contributor to several of the Down charities.
The sum of £5 5s made out to ‘Lubbock for school for Lord Cranworth’ was entered in CD’s Account book on 19 November 1860. Lubbock was one of the trustees of the Down national school established in 1855 by the Lubbock family.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin lived in Queen Anne Street, London.
CD had sent the second part of Asa Gray’s review of Origin ([Gray] 1860b, pp. 229–39) to the Annals and Magazine of Natural History in September (see letter to Asa Gray, 26 September [1860]). It was reprinted in the November issue (Annals and Magazine of Natural History 3d ser. 6 (1860): 373–86).


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Drawing up paper on Drosera but will not publish till results are tested.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 39 (EH 88206483)
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2988,” accessed on 3 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8