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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   24 December [1859]

Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 24th

My dear Huxley

I have been sorry that I could not come up this week, but it has been quite out of the question.—1

I send all the articles specified & the M.S.; but I looked this over last night & it is really impossible for you to make heads or tails of it.— If you try; perhaps the correlated peculiarities in Pigeons & especially (p. 118 M.S.) the History of the Breeds, would be best worth glancing at.—2 The History shows how ancient the breeds are, & yet that some of them have sensibly changed.— The account of the Pigeons will appear intolerably long & tedious, but I really think that nothing is actually superfluous; & I have thought it well worth while to treat one set of domestic varieties with care & minuteness.—

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


CD had arranged to meet Huxley in London on 22 December 1859 before poor health forced him to cancel his visit. See letter to T. H. Huxley, 16 December [1859].
In his lecture at the Royal Institution on 10 February 1860, Huxley described the history of the various breeds of domesticated pigeons and used them to illustrate the power of selection in producing new and diverging breeds (T. H. Huxley 1860, pp. 197–8).


Sends MS on pigeons for THH’s lecture at Royal Institution.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 221.4: 218 photocopy
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2600,” accessed on 26 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7