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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   22 May [1861]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

May 22d.

My dear Huxley

I had a note this morning from Asa Gray saying that Wright was very glad to hear by my first note that his Review had not arrived & was lost, & was very sorry to hear by my second note that it had arrived & was sent to Nat. Hist. Review.2 So he does not estimate it highly.— I write now to ask you, when done with, (as I suppose it is) to send it me, as Wright asks me to keep it for him.—3

We have decided to move all our household on June 3d. or 10th to Torquay for 6 or 8 weeks for my daughters sake (who has been going on very well) for my own sake, who have been extra dyspeptic & fit for utter extermination.4 If you feel inclined to be a very good man (but I do not urge it, as I know how hard you are worked) you will let us have a line to tell us how Mrs Huxley is, & how you yourself are.—

So poor dear Henslow is at last gone;5 as good & true & noble a man as ever lived.—

Hooker tells me that the squib in Punch was by Sir P. Egerton, which astonishes me;— I did not think it very good.—6 One of Lubbock’s brothers, I fear, is dying, from being thrown out of carriage—, Head badly hurt & arm badly fractured7

Farewell | Yours most sincerely | C. Darwin


The year is provided by the reference to the death of John Stevens Henslow (see n. 5, below).
Asa Gray’s letter has not been found, but see the letter to Asa Gray, 11 April [1861]. Gray had forwarded to CD a manuscript review of Origin by Gray’s friend Chauncey Wright. CD had sent it to Huxley for possible inclusion in the Natural History Review.
The copy of Wright’s review has not been located. It was not published in the Natural History Review.
The Darwin family had to postpone their departure for Torquay until 1 July 1861 (‘Journal’; Appendix II).
Henslow died on 16 May 1861.
The reference is to a poem entitled ‘Monkeyana’ that appeared in Punch, or the London charivari, 18 May 1861, p. 206. A ‘squib’ on the relation of CD’s species theory to the question of the origin of man, it was signed ‘Gorilla, Zoological Gardens, May, 1861’. For a transcription, see Correspondence vol. 9, Appendix VIII. Philip de Malpas Grey-Egerton, the Tory MP for South Cheshire, was a recognised authority on fossil fishes.
John Lubbock’s brother Montagu eventually recovered from the accident. See also letter to W. E. Darwin, [25 May 1861].


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.


Chauncey Wright’s review of Origin.

Family plans for Torquay in summer.

J. S. Henslow’s death.

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: 164)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3153,” accessed on 18 September 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9