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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   19 November [1864]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Nov. 19th

My dear Lubbock

It is a horrid shame to trouble you, busy as you are. But I am in perplexity. I have had circular about shares in Reader Coy.—2 Now it happens that I have taken a rather large nor of shares in guaranteed Penarth Ry. Coy.,3 & the calls have come quicker than I expected & I shall have to borrow from my Bankers, which I hate doing, so you will see that I am very unwilling to take any shares in Reader, & shd. in any case take very few. But I wish the Reader well, & want to know whether the concern is much in want of money, & whether anyone takes so little as only 1 or 2 shares.— Will you kindly advise me a little?4

I was so sincerely sorry not to see you on the two Sundays, but I have had extra bad times.5 Cordial thanks my kind friend, for your note congratulating me about the Copley medal.6

Farewell— | Yours affecty | C. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to investment in the Reader Limited Company (see nn. 2 and 4, below).
The Reader was a weekly review of science, literature, and art, started in January 1863 (see Sullivan ed. 1984, pp. 346–50). CD was an enthusiastic supporter of the journal (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 11, letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 [December 1863]). In November 1864, the Reader was purchased by a consortium of scientific practitioners, including Lubbock, and established as the Reader Limited Company (see Barton 1998, pp. 439–40).
CD’s Account book–banking account (Down House MS) records a payment of £1500 on 15 September 1864 for shares in the Penarth Harbour and Dock Railway Company.
No reply from Lubbock has been found; however, CD’s Account book–banking account (Down House MS) records an investment of £80 in the Reader Limited Company on 24 November 1864.
Lubbock had been at High Elms, near Down House, on Sunday 6 November (see letter from John Lubbock, 3 November 1864). Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) includes notes on CD’s poor health in November, but does not record any visits to or from Lubbock in November.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


About buying shares.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 62 (EH 88206506)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4674,” accessed on 15 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12