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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Michael Foster   7 April [1874]1

Great Shelford | Cambridge

Ap. 7.

Dear Mr. Darwin

A letter from Balfour at Naples, (which Huxley has or which I would send you) seems fairly to justify the prosecution of the appeal which we had thought of.2

Balfour sent me a draft appeal, which I altered & which Huxley altered again. I send you a fair copy of the result3   If you approve of it I will get it set up so that we may get signatures to it at once   Do any more primary signatures suggest themselves to you.

I have also drawn up a list of probable subscribers to be ready for use.

When you write please direct Shelford, as just now I am rather busy at home & do not get my Trinity letters regularly.4

Believe me | Ever yours truly | M. Foster.

Possibly it would save time if we got the signatures to the MS—instead of waiting for proof. if so would you mind getting those signatures marked with a star5   I will get the rest.

I am quite willing to take all the necessary trouble of being secretary.

I enclose Huxley’s letter which possibly you may be able to read.6


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from T. H. Huxley, 6 March 1874 (see n. 2, below).
Francis Maitland Balfour had been doing research at the Zoological Station at Naples since late 1873 (see Heuss 1991, p. 153). On the financial difficulties of the station, see the letter from T. H. Huxley, 6 March 1874. Huxley and Balfour had been involved in a previous attempt to raise money for the station (see Correspondence vol. 21, letter from F. M. Balfour, 11 November 1873, and letter from T. H. Huxley, 3 December 1873).
The enclosure has not been found. CD and Huxley had also drafted an appeal for the Zoological Station in 1873 (see Correspondence vol. 21, letter from T. H. Huxley to Anton Dorhn, 15 November 1873).
Foster was praelector in physiology at Trinity College, Cambridge, and lived in the village of Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire.
See circular to various scientific men, [7 April 1874].
Huxley’s letter has not been found.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Heuss, Theodor. 1991. Anton Dohrn: a life for science. Translated from the German by Liselotte Dieckmann. Berlin and New York: Springer Verlag.


Is organising an appeal for the Naples Zoological Station.

Letter details

Letter no.
Michael Foster
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Gt Shelford
Source of text
DAR 164: 165
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9396,” accessed on 18 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22