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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   20 June [1870]1

Down | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

June 20

My dear Huxley

You were so kind as to say that you would lend me Ecker Icones Phy. (Part with Pl 30) & Bischoff Hund-eies (Part with Pl. 41) to get the embryos copied for engraving—2 I shd. keep the books only for a week.— Will you have kindness to send them by parcel Delivery Coy, to 6 Queen Anne St Cavendish Sqe. to be there on Thursday 23d, when we come to London for a week—3

If I do not hear to the contrary, I hope you will let me pay you my early Sunday call on the 26th

I will caution Mr Ford to be very careful with your Books.—4

Ever yours | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the form of the address, with ‘Bromley’ crossed out and ‘Beckenham’ inserted by hand, a form that CD used between April 1869 and May 1871, and by the reference to a week’s visit to London in June: the Darwins were in London from Friday 24 June to Friday 1 July 1870 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
CD refers to Rudolph Wagner’s Icones physiologicae (R. Wagner 1851–9), edited by Alexander Ecker, and Theodor Ludwig Wilhelm Bischoff’s Entwicklungsgeschichte des Hunde-Eies (Developmental history of the dog-egg; Bischoff 1845). CD used the illustrations of human and dog embryos in Descent 1: 15; see also ibid, p. 16, n. 11, for CD’s note on these illustrations.
Six Queen Anne Street, London, was the address of CD’s brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin. In fact, the Darwins seem to arrived in London on the Friday (see n. 1, above).
George Henry Ford made many of the illustrations for Descent.


Bischoff, Theodor Ludwig Wilhelm. 1845. Entwicklungsgeschichte des Hunde-Eies. Brunswick: F. Vieweg und sohn.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Wagner, Rudolph. 1851–9. Icones physiologicae. Erläuterungstafeln zur Physiologie und Entwickelungsgeschichte. 2d edition, revised and edited by Alexander Ecker. Leipzig: Leopold Voss.


Asks for figures of embryos by A. Ecker and T. L. W. Bischoff to copy [for Descent, ch. 1].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Caerdeon Down letterhead
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 269)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6788,” accessed on 11 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18