To T. H. Huxley 28 December 
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Huxley
Yesterday Evening when I read the Times of previous day I was amazed to find a splendid Essay & Review of me.1 Who can the author be? I am intensely curious. It included a eulogium of me, which quite touched me, though I am not vain enough to think it all deserved.— The Author is a literary man & German scholar.— He has read my Book very attentively; but what is very remarkable, it seems that he is a profound naturalist. He knows my Barnacle book, & appreciates it too highly.—2 Lastly he writes & thinks with quite uncommon force & clearness; & what is even still rarer his writing is seasoned with most pleasant wit. We all laughed heartily over some of the sentences. I was charmed with those unreasonable mortals who know everything all thinking fit to range themselves on our side3 Who can it be? Certainly I should have said that there was only one man in England who could have written this Essay & that you were the man.4 But I suppose I am wrong, & that there is some hidden genius of great calibre. For how could you influence Jupiter Olympus5 & make him give 3 columns to pure science? The old Fogies will think the world will come to an end.—
Well whoever the man is, he has done great service to the cause, far more than by a dozen Reviews in common periodicals. The grand way he soars above common religious prejudices, & the admission of such views into the Times, I look at as of the highest importance, quite independently of the mere question of species. If you should happen to be acquainted with the author for Heaven-sake tell me who he is.—
My dear Huxley | Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin
Upon my life I am sorry for Owen; he will be so d—d savage; for credit given to any other man, I strongly suspect is in his eyes so much credit robbed from him. Science is so narrow a field, it is clear there ought to be only one cock of the walk!
I could hardly sleep for thinking of the wonderful fact.
Delighted with Times review [26 Dec 1859]. Puzzled by author, suspects THH, but publication in Times makes it unlikely. Sorry for Owen.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Huxley, T. H.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 92)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2611,” accessed on 27 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2611