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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   23 January [1862]1


Jan. 23.

My dear Lubbock

At last I am pretty well after having lost three weeks & having had 16 in my household ill! It is an age since we have met, & I shd. much enjoy seeing you.2 I would come over any day to your luncheon & not stay so long as last time & then I am sure it would not tire me; though my movements must always be doubtful, but I would come punctually to your luncheon (my dinner) or not at all.— Or how would it suit you to come & dine & sleep here on Saturday or any day & take your chance of my being pretty well. Meet we must & it really makes to me no difference: settle whichever plan suits you, who have so little time to spare, best.— By the way I cannot come till after next Tuesday; any day after that would suit me to come to you or most gladly to see you here—

I was very sorry I could not read your paper which you sent,3 but I was downright ill with fever.—

I have been just reading your paper in N. H. Review, & have been much interested in it.—4 How well you write & how you find time to do all that you do, is simply marvellous.—

Mrs. Darwin, though very little fit for exertion, has gone to London for a couple of days.—5

I hope Mrs Lubbock is strong again.6

Yours most truly | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship to the letter from John Lubbock, 6 January 1862, and by the reference to Emma Darwin’s trip to London (see n. 5, below).
In 1861, John and Ellen Frances Lubbock moved from High Elms, near Down, to Chislehurst, Kent. Lubbock had been trying to arrange a meeting with CD for several weeks (see letter from E. F. Lubbock to Emma Darwin, [January 1862], and letters from John Lubbock, 6 January 1862 and 7 [February] 1862).
Lubbock had asked CD for comments on the manuscript of one of his papers, probably Lubbock 1862a (see letter from John Lubbock, 6 January 1862 and n. 2).
Lubbock 1862b.
According to her diary (DAR 242), Emma Darwin stayed in London from 23 to 25 January 1862 in order to take Leonard Darwin to the dentist. She stayed at the home of Erasmus Alvey Darwin, CD’s brother.
Ellen Frances Lubbock gave birth to the Lubbocks’ fourth child, Norman, on 16 December 1861 (Hutchinson 1914; Gentleman’s Magazine, n.s. 12 (1862): 82). See also letter from E. F. Lubbock to Emma Darwin, [January 1862].


Hutchinson, Horace Gordon. 1914. Life of Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury. 2 vols. London: Macmillan.


Has had 16 in the household ill.

Wants to meet JL.

Praises JL’s paper ["Ancient lake-habitations of Switzerland", Nat. Hist. Rev. n.s. 2 (1862): 26–51].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3409,” accessed on 20 October 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10