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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Huxley   5 October 1864

Jermyn St

Oct. 5. 1864

My dear Darwin

I was very glad to see your hand writing (in ink) again and none the less on account of the pretty words into which it was shaped1

It is a great pleasure to me that you like the article for it was written very hurriedly and I did not feel sure when I had done, that I had always rightly represented your views—2

Hang the two scalps up in your wigwam!

Flourens I could have believed anything of: but how a man of Köllikers real intelligence & ability could have so misunderstood the question is more than I can comprehend3

It will be a thousand pities however, if my review interferes with your saying something on the subject yourself— Unless it should give you needless work I heartily wish you would

Everybody tells me I am looking so exceedingly well that I am ashamed to say a word to the contrary— But the fact is I get no exercise & a great deal of bothering work on our Commission’s Course4 & though much fatter (indeed a regular bloater myself) I am not up to the mark

Next year I will have a real holiday—

I am a bachelor   My wife and belongings5 being all at that beautiful place, Margate—6 When I came back I found them all looking so seedy that I took them off bag & baggage to that, as the handiest place, before a week was over— They are wonderfully improved already— my wife especially being abundantly provided with her favourite East wind— Your Godson7 is growing a very sturdy fellow—and I begin to puzzle my head with thinking what he is & what he is not to be taught—

Please to remember me very kindly to Mrs Darwin8 | & believe me | Ever yours faithfully | T H Huxley


See letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 October [1864]. When CD was ill, he often wrote in pencil (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [26 or 27 April 1864] and n. 2).
The reference is to [T. H. Huxley] 1864a. See letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 October [1864] and nn. 2 and 4–5.
In [T. H. Huxley] 1864a, Huxley had answered the criticisms of CD’s views by Rudolf Albert von Kölliker and Marie Jean Pierre Flourens.
Huxley was serving on the Commission appointed to inquire into the sea-fisheries of the United Kingdom (see letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 October [1864] and n. 6, and DNB).
Henrietta Anne Huxley and the Huxleys’ five surviving children, Jessie Oriana, Marian, Leonard, Rachel, and Nettie; Henrietta was pregnant with their seventh child, Henry (Clark 1968).
Margate is a town on the Isle of Thanet in north-east Kent; in common with many other seaside towns, it was a popular place of resort for convalescents (see Walton 1983, pp. 11–20, and Corbin 1994, pp. 69–72).
Leonard Huxley (A. Desmond 1994–7, 1: 289–91).
Emma Darwin.


Clark, Ronald W. 1968. The Huxleys. London: Heinemann.

Corbin, Alain. 1994. The lure of the sea. The discovery of the seaside in the western world 1750–1840. Translated by Jocelyn Phelps. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Desmond, Adrian. 1994–7. Huxley. 2 vols. London: Michael Joseph.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Walton, John K. 1983. The English seaside resort: a social history 1750–1914. Leicester: Leicester University Press.


Surprised at Kölliker’s misunderstanding; of Flourens he could have believed anything.

Family news.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Jermyn St
Source of text
DAR 166: 302
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4627,” accessed on 17 April 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12