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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock    25 January [1857]1


Jan. 25th

Dear Lubbock

I am very much obliged to Lady Lubbock for her kind invitation & shall have great pleasure in dining with you on Monday (ie tomorrow) at 612 oclock.—2 My internal organs, I am sorry to say, will not stand two consecutive dinners; otherwise the outer man would enjoy it.— I quite forgot to say, when I last saw you how very much I liked your paper on Respiration of Insects3

Ever yours | C. Darwin


Although the letter was endorsed ‘1859’, this seems to be a mistake. The year is given by the reference to Lubbock 1857a and by the invitation to dine with the Lubbock family. In 1857, 26 January fell on a Monday.
Harriet Lubbock was John Lubbock’s mother. Emma Darwin’s diary indicates that CD was alone at Down from 24 to 28 January 1857, which might account for the dinner invitation.
In Lubbock 1857a, Lubbock attempted to give a brief account of ‘the principle modifications of the organs of respiration of insects’ (Lubbock 1857a, p. 153). Volumes of the Entomologist’s Annual, in which the paper was printed, were customarily published in December or January. See also Hutchinson 1914, 1: 43.


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


Dining with the Lubbocks.

JL’s paper on respiration of insects ["On the distribution of the tracheae in insects", Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 23 (1860–2): 23–50].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 20 (EH 88206469)
Physical description
ALS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3413,” accessed on 1 March 2024,

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