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Darwin Correspondence Project

From W. E. Darwin   [3 November 1871]1



My dear Father,

I have the proofs and am at work.2 I cannot get them done as quickly as I should like, as I only can have my evenings just now as Hankinson3 is moving houses, I have had to be more at the Bank, but in a week’s time I hope to get on quicker. I shall send you a batch on Tuesday. How do you like organization spelt, sometimes you use z generally s— send me a card.

I have read Huxley and enjoyed him awfully, it is delicious feeling Mivart’s bones crunching in one’s mouth.4

It is such a perfect & evident upsetting of Mivart’s theological standing, that I have a sort of trembling that Huxley must have overlooked something, as it is seems impossible that M. could have been so ignorant of his own Suarez.5

I hope you have stood the journey well.6

I have only come across a few letters out of place &c. as yet

Your affect son | W E Darwin


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letters to W. E. Darwin, 3 [November 1871] and [4 November 1871] (Correspondence vol. 19).
William was correcting the proofs of Origin 6th ed. (Correspondence vol. 19, letter to W. E. Darwin, 3 [November 1871]).
Robert Chatfield Hankinson was one of the partners in the Maddison, Atherley, Hankinson and Darwin Bank in Southampton (Banking almanac 1872, p. 114).
Thomas Henry Huxley had written an article criticising St George Jackson Mivart’s Genesis of species 2d ed. and anonymous review of Descent (Mivart 1871b and [Mivart] 1871c; T. H. Huxley 1871a).
Huxley claimed that Mivart had misunderstood the views of the Catholic theologian Francisco Suarez, whom Mivart had cited in support of an allegorical reading of the Genesis story of creation (Mivart 1871b, p. 21; T. H. Huxley 1871a, p. 451). See Correspondence vol. 19, letter from T. H. Huxley and H. A. Huxley, 20 September 1871 and nn. 4–5.
CD had travelled to Leith Hill Place in Surrey, where he stayed from 3 to 10 November 1871 (see Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix II).


Apologises for not working very quickly on proofs. Comments on Huxley’s theological critique of Mivart.

Letter details

Letter no.
William Erasmus Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
Cornford Family Papers (DAR 275: 40)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8048F,” accessed on 22 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24 (Supplement)