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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   23 October [1862]1


Oct. 23d.

My dear Lubbock

I had intended writing to you on my return home, but two days afterwards I had a bad attack, which kept me in house for week or two & stopped me going to Cambridge, as I had much wished & where I shd. have seen you.—2

I very much wish to see you; but I do not know what to do. Two days ago three officers of the Beagle came here to dinner;3 I took every possible precaution, but it made me very ill with violent shaking & vomiting till the early morning; & Could not even wish them goodbye next morning. Forgive these wretched details on my health, for I cannot bear that you shd. think me indifferent of your friendship or ungrateful for your kindness about my son William.—4

It is not worth your while, but if you could any day come & dine & sleep here & let me go away for an hour after dinner & retire to my room at 9 o clock I do not think it would hurt me; or if weather shd. ever come fine again would you spare time, if so inclined, to come on a Sunday to our early dinner, which would do, for your lunch.—

Whether I see you or not, I hope you will believe in my sincere attachment.

Yours very truly | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship to the letter from John Lubbock, 25 October 1862.
The Darwins spent September 1862 on holiday in Bournemouth (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix II)); following their return to Down House, CD developed eczema (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 October [1862]). In 1862, the British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Cambridge from 1 to 8 October.
Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) records that Arthur Mellersh, Bartholomew James Sulivan, and John Clements Wickham, three of CD’s former shipmates from the Beagle, dined at Down House on 21 October 1862.
In 1861, Lubbock helped to arrange William Erasmus Darwin’s partnership with George Atherley in the Southampton and Hampshire Bank, Southampton (see Correspondence vol. 9).


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


Would like JL to call.

Letter details

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

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3779,” accessed on 23 July 2024,

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