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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   28 March [1874]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

March 28th

My dear Huxley

Thank Heaven I have almost completed the horrid job of correcting the Descent.2 Will you, therefore, send me pretty soon your discussion on the Brain & skull, & please give it some Title. It will come as a supplement to Part I. of Vol I of my book.3 Proofs shall be sent to you of it.

I hope soon to send Vol I to the Printers. And now I want to ask you what is doing about Dohrn’s affair, Has M. Foster taken it up?4 I have got one other subscriber in my eldest son, William, for 20£. I heard the other day from Mr. Grant5 just acknowledging my cheque for 120£, & telling me that Dohrn had just returned from Rome with fever, but was expected soon to be better, & that he wd. then write to me. If the subscription is attempted, I hope that it may prove tolerably successful, but I cannot help having doubts, there are so many claims on scientific men.6

Ever yours | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from T. H. Huxley, 6 March 1874.
CD was preparing the second edition of Descent (see CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
CD had asked Huxley to compare the brains of apes and humans (see Correspondence vol. 21, letter to T. H. Huxley, 5 December [1873] and n. 5); Huxley’s ‘Note on the resemblances and differences in the structure and the development of the brain in man and apes’ appeared in Descent 2d ed., pp. 199–206. This position corresponded to the end of the first volume of the first edition of Descent; Descent 2d ed. was published as a single volume.
Michael Foster was attempting to help Anton Dohrn overcome the difficulty of financing his new Zoological Station in Naples (see letter from T. H. Huxley, 6 March 1874 and n. 4).
Charles Grant.
Huxley had estimated that no more than one-third of the £1500 Dohrn required could be raised through a subscription fund for the Zoological Station (see letter from T. H. Huxley, 6 March 1874).


Asks for THH’s description of brain and skull [of man and apes] for 2d ed. of Descent [supplement to ch. 7].

Asks about Dohrn affair and contributions for Naples station. Doubts subscriptions will be successful.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science and Technology Archives (Huxley 5: 293)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9376,” accessed on 18 July 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22