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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Huxley   12 September 1868

Jermyn St

Sepr 12th. | 1868

My dear Darwin

I find among a heap of accumulated letters the inclosed— Is there anything in it?1

Duncan, who just looked in, tells me he not long since, saw you well & hearty—which rejoices me2

We returned from Littlehampton on Saturday; and were all in great vigour. But unfortunately in the course of the journey up, your spoiled boy, Harry, was seized with a fit of sickness which has lasted him at intervals up till this morning— I try to persuade myself & my wife that it was nothing but stomach—but I am, at heart, not easy about the brain—3

However, I left him much better this morning & that is so much to the good—for I am obliged to go away to Ireland tomorrow.4

We had a capital meeting at Norwich & dear old Hooker came out in great force as he always does in emergencies.5

The only fault was the terrible “Darwinismus” which spread over the section and crept out where you least expected it—even in Fergusson’s lecture on Buddhist temples—6

You will have the rare happiness to see your ideas triumphant during your life time*—

With kind remembrances to Mrs Darwin & your family | Ever yours faithfully | T H Huxley

* I am preparing to go into opposition— I can’t stand it—


The enclosure has not been found; however, it was apparently a letter to Huxley from Charles William Nunn enclosing a photograph of an ear of wheat with what appeared to be two oat florets growing out of it. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 September 1868.
No record of Peter Martin Duncan’s recent meeting with CD has been found; however, Emma Darwin recorded in her diary (DAR 242) that Duncan visited Down House on 16 September 1868.
On the Huxleys’ holiday at Littlehampton, see L. Huxley ed. 1900, 1: 302. For CD’s fondness for Henry (Harry) Huxley, see the letter to T. H. Huxley, 10 June 1868 and n. 3. Harry had stayed at Down House with his family from 18 April to 4 May 1868 (see letter to Roland Trimen, 14 April [1868], and Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)). Huxley’s wife was Henrietta Anne Huxley.
Huxley spent the last part of September in or near Dublin, serving on the Commission on Science and Art Education in Ireland (see L. Huxley ed. 1900, 1: 302).
Joseph Dalton Hooker gave the presidential address at the recent meeting in Norwich of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (J. D. Hooker 1868).
For more on the impact of CD’s theory at the meeting of the British Association, see the letters from J. D. Hooker, [20 August 1868] and 30 August 1868. James Fergusson delivered a lecture on ancient Buddhist monuments at the Drill Hall in Norwich on 21 August 1868; Hooker chaired the event (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 20 May 1868 and n. 13); for reports of Fergusson’s lecture, see The Times, 24 August 1868, p. 7, and the New-York Herald Tribune, 10 September 1868, p. 2.


Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1868. Address of the president. Report of the thirty-eighth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Norwich, pp. lviii–lxxv.


BAAS Norwich meeting. Hooker [President] came out in great force. "Darwinismus" spread over the sections and crept into everything. CD will have rare happiness of seeing his ideas triumph during his life.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Jermyn St
Source of text
DAR 166: 314
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6363,” accessed on 8 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16