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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Ellen Frances Lubbock to Emma Darwin   [January 1862]1

Dear Mrs. Darwin

I am writing to as〈k if〉 Mr. Darwin could be pe〈rsuaded〉 to come here next Sunday either to early dinner at 14 before one o’clock—or to stay all night— He would see nobody but John, not even me, most likely, for I am not quite strong yet—2 & I will take care his bed is well aired, 〈    〉 will tell me 〈    〉 likes & has at 〈    〉 I will take care 〈    〉 all just the same— 〈Jo〉hn doesn’t know I am writing this, but I have heard him lately so often wish he “could only have a talk with Mr. Darwin”, & I know he can’t manage to get over to Downe3 now as he used to do from High Elms—so I thought I would just try what I could do to persuade Mr. Darwin to come here—4 If you will send me a line by post I shall get it on Sunday morning.

With my best wishes for very many Happy New Years to you all I am always yours very truly | E F Lubbock


The date is established by the New Year’s greeting, by the reference to the Lubbocks’ move from High Elms, near Down (see n. 4, below), and by the relationship to the letter from John Lubbock, 6 January 1862.
Ellen Lubbock had given birth to her fourth child, Norman, on 16 December 1861 (Gentleman’s Magazine n.s. 12 (1862): 82; Hutchinson 1914).
The spelling of the village name was variable. ‘Down’ was the commonest form up to the 1870s, and ‘Downe’ thereafter.
John Lubbock moved from High Elms, the home of his father John William Lubbock, to Chislehurst, a village about five miles north of Down, on 19 August 1861 (John Lubbock’s diary (British Library, Add. Ms. 62679: 64 r.)). See also letter from John Lubbock, 6 January 1862.


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


Trying to persuade CD to visit JL.

Letter details

Letter no.
Ellen Frances Hordern/Ellen Frances Lubbock
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 170.1: 9
Physical description
3pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3368,” accessed on 29 November 2020,

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