skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   9 December 1880

6. Queen Anne St

Dec. 9th. 1880

My dear Huxley

Whilst returning home, I thought of your second proposal, & it seems to me that if any such document was presented to a man like Ld. Aberdare, he would say “what the devil do I care what he wishes”.1 And as for Owen he would send the whole concern to the Devil rather than sign2—not that his signature signifies very much.— Whatever you decide on all points that will I do.—

Ever Yours | Ch. Darwin


CD had planned to meet with Huxley to discuss the memorial to obtain a government pension for Alfred Russel Wallace (see letter to T. H. Huxley, [7 December 1880]). Henry Austin Bruce, first Baron Aberdare, was president of the Royal Geographical Society; CD had offered to approach Bruce to sign the memorial (see letter to T. H. Huxley, 13 November 1880).
Richard Owen and CD had not been on speaking terms since shortly after the publication of Origin, when Owen had written what CD described as a ‘spiteful’ review (see Correspondence vol. 8, letter to J. S. Henslow, 8 May [1860]).


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Thinks Wallace memorial should not be presented to Lord Aberdare, nor to Owen, for signature, but will follow THH’s wishes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 351)
Physical description
ALS 1p

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12899,” accessed on 28 September 2023,