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Darwin Correspondence Project

From John Lubbock   22 and 26 March 1865


22 Mar./65

My dear Mr. Darwin

The rest of the books which you were kind enough to lend me are now on their way to Down.1 I have kept them an unconscionable time, & it was very ungrateful of me not to have written to thank you. I was however really about to do so.

I shall be at High Elms2 on Sunday & will try to see you. I should much like to do so, it seems an age since we have met. I am very glad to hear you are better.

My father is I fear far from well.3

The book is at length very nearly done.4 The M.M.S. is all gone to the Printer. How about yours?5

Believe me, dear Mr Darwin, | Yours affec | John Lubbock

C Darwin Esq | FRS etc— High Elms 26 Mar. 65 My dear Mr. Darwin

The preceding note speaks for itself. I stupidly omitted to post it & only found it yesterday. You must have thought me most uncourteous.

I came up to Down this morning & hoped to have seen you, but was very sorry to hear from Parslow that you were unwell again6

Yours affec | John Lubbock

C Darwin Esq


Lubbock may refer to the first and third volumes of the Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s ships Adventure and Beagle (Narrative); volume 1 covered the first expedition, from 1826 to 1830, and volume 3 was CD’s Journal and remarks, which was also published separately as Journal of researches. Lubbock had borrowed these in September 1864 (see Correspondence vol. 12, letter from John Lubbock, 2 September 1864 and n. 1).
High Elms, the home of John William Lubbock, John Lubbock’s father, was about a mile and a half from Down House.
John William Lubbock died on 20 June 1865, having suffered from ‘gout and general debility’ since 1860 (DNB).
Lubbock 1865, which had been in preparation since the end of 1863, was published in May (Publishers’ Circular 28: 264, 284). See also Correspondence vol. 12, letter to John Lubbock, [1 January 1864] and n. 5, and letter from John Lubbock, 10 January 1864 and n. 4. There is an annotated copy of Lubbock 1865 in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 512–13).
The reference is to Variation; CD had been revising the early chapters since mid-November 1864 (see Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix II, and this volume, Appendix II). See also letter to Charles Lyell, 22 January [1865] and n. 17.
Joseph Parslow was the Darwins’ butler. For CD’s health in early 1865, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 16 [March 1865] and n. 5.


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

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Journal and remarks: Journal and remarks. 1832–1836. By Charles Darwin. Vol. 3 of Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s ships Adventure and Beagle between the years 1826 and 1836, describing their examination of the southern shores of South America, and the Beagle’s circumnavigation of the globe. London: Henry Colburn. 1839. [Separately published as Journal of researches.]

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Narrative: Narrative of the surveying voyages of His Majesty’s ships Adventure and Beagle, between the years 1826 and 1836. [Edited by Robert FitzRoy.] 3 vols. and appendix. London: Henry Colburn. 1839.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


JL’s MS at printer’s [Prehistoric times (1865)].

Apologises for failure to post letter.

Letter details

Letter no.
John Lubbock, 4th baronet and 1st Baron Avebury
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 170: 50
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4791,” accessed on 18 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13