To T. H. Huxley 5 November 1
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
My dear Huxley
I must & will answer you, for it is a real pleasure to me to thank you cordially for your note.2 Such notes, as this of yours & a few others are the real medal to me & not the round bit of gold.3 These have given me a pleasure which will long endure; so believe in my cordial thanks for your note.
I want to make a suggestion to you, but which may probably have occurred to you. Emma4 was reading your Lecture5 to Horace6 & ended by saying “I wish he would write a book” I answered he has just written a great Book on the Skull.7 “I dont call that a Book” she replied & added “I want something that people can read; he does write so well”. Now with your ease in writing & with knowledge at your fingers’ ends, do you not think you could write a “Popular Treatise on Zoology”.8 Of course it would be some waste of time; but I have been asked more than a dozen times to recommend something for a beginner, & could only think of Carpenter’s Zoology.9 I am sure that a striking Treatise would do real service to Science by educating naturalists. If you were to keep a portfolio open for a couple of years, & throw in slips of paper, as subjects crossed your mind; you would soon have a skeleton (& that seems to me the difficulty) on which to put the flesh & colours in your inimitable manner.
I believe such a Book might have a brilliant success: but I did not intend to scribble so much about it.—
Give my kindest remembrances to Mrs Huxley & cordial thanks for her sympathy.10 Tell her I was looking at “Enoch Arden” & as I know how she admires Tennyson I must call her attention to two sweetly pretty lines (p. 105) .... : “and he meant, he said he meant, Perhaps he meant, or partly meant, you well”.11 Such a gem as this is enough to make me young again & like poetry with pristine fervour.—
My dear Huxley | Yours affecy | Ch. Darwin
Can you give me a Photographic Carte of yourself— I have set up a Book for my Scientific friends,12 | C. D.
Appreciates THH’s note more than Medal.
Encourages THH to write a popular treatise on zoology.
Sends Mrs Huxley a quotation from Tennyson, with sarcastic comment.
- Letter no.
- Darwin, C. R.
- Huxley, T. H.
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 207)
- Physical description
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4661,” accessed on 11 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-4661