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Darwin Correspondence Project

To John Lubbock   26 February [1870]1

Down. | Beckenham. | Kent. S.E.

Febr 26

My dear Lubbock

Although you will be overwhelmed with congratulations I must write to say how heartily I rejoice over your success. Your speech at Maidstone struck me as quite excellent, & I fully expect to see you a great man in Parliament, as you are in Science.2 But even in the moment of triumph I must let one little groan escape me for poor deserted Science. Anyhow I know that you will always love your first-born child, & not despise her for the sake of gaudy Politicks—

I wrote to ask you a question about savages & suicide, before I had heard of Maidstone; otherwise of course I wd not have troubled you.3 If in the course of a few weeks, you can inform me, I shd. be glad, but the point is not very important for me.

Once again I do most sincerely congratulate you & especially Lady Lubbock4

Ever most truly yours | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the references to Lubbock’s election as MP for Maidstone (see n. 2, below).
The Times, 26 February 1870, p. 8, announced Lubbock’s election as MP for Maidstone, and gave an account of his speech.
CD’s query has not been found.


Congratulations [on election to Parliament]; hopes science will not suffer because of politics.

Previously wrote inquiring about savages and suicide, but JL need not hurry to answer.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 261.7:5 (EH 88205930)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7117,” accessed on 15 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18