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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   2 August [1866]1

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

Aug 2—

My dear Lubbock

I am much obliged for your invitation for the 11th. which I should much like to accept but doubt whether I shall have the spirit, but I may perhaps call before the collation.

What I shd like very much better would be to call on Lady Lubbock & you some morning between 12 & 1 when I take my ride;2 but I must find out on what day you generally stay at home. I have read the abstract of your paper in the Athenæum & must tell you how cordially I admired it.3 I do not think I ever read in my life any thing more clearly, concisely & conclusively put.

Believe me ever yours | very truly | Ch. Darwin

P.S. I fear you will think me a great bore but if ever you come across my Primula paper let me have it again.4


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from John Lubbock, 4 August 1866.
The reference is to Ellen Frances Lubbock. According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), CD started riding on 4 June 1866. CD was advised by Henry Bence Jones to go riding every day (see letter from H. B. Jones, 10 February [1866] and n. 3).
The Athenæum for 21 July 1866, pp. 79–82, carried an abstract of Lubbock’s paper ‘On the present state of archæological science’, delivered at the annual congress of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, held in London from 17 to 19 July 1866. Lubbock had been invited to serve as president of the primeval antiquities section of the congress (see Hutchinson 1914, 1: 82). The paper discussed the methods of archaeology, considered as a branch of science. See Van Riper 1993, pp. 200–1; for more on Lubbock and archaeology, see Correspondence vol. 13.


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

‘Dimorphic condition in Primula’: On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations. By Charles Darwin. [Read 21 November 1861.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. [Collected papers 2: 45–63.]

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

Van Riper, A. Bowdoin. 1993. Men among the mammoths: Victorian science and the discovery of human prehistory. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.


Has read abstract of JL’s paper ["On the present state of archaeological science", Athenæum 21 July 1866, pp. 79–82] and praises it.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 263: 63
Physical description
LS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5172,” accessed on 20 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14