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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   19 November [1877]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Monday night. 19th. Nov.

My dear Huxley

I cannot rest easy without telling you more gravely than I did when we met for five minutes near the Museum, how deeply I have felt the many generous things (as far as Frank could remember them) which you said about me at the dinner.2 Frank came early next morning boiling over with enthusiasm about your speech.— You have indeed always been to me a most generous friend; but I know, alas, too well how greatly you overestimate me.

Forgive me for bothering you with these few lines. | Yours gratefully & affectionately | Charles Darwin.


The year is established by the reference to the speech given by Huxley at a dinner following the presentation of an honorary LLD to CD (see n. 2, below).
The Philosophical Society of Cambridge University gave a dinner in the evening of 17 November 1877, after the presentation of an honorary LLD degree to CD. The notes for Huxley’s speech at the dinner are reproduced in L. Huxley ed. 1900, pp. 480–1 (for Francis Darwin’s recollections of the speech, see ML 1: 371). The museum was probably the Museum of Zoology.


ML: More letters of Charles Darwin: a record of his work in a series of hitherto unpublished letters. Edited by Francis Darwin and Albert Charles Seward. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1903.


Deeply grateful for THH’s tribute to him at conferring of LL.D. at Cambridge.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 328)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11240,” accessed on 9 March 2021,