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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Huxley   16 July 1869

Jermyn S

July 16th. 1869

My dear Darwin

Haeckel wrote to me some time ago about his calcareous sponges.1 I was unable to help him & I do not know anyone who is likely to be able to aid him except Bowerbank—2 I forwarded a letter from him to Bowerbank but I do not know with what effect

To tell you the truth, what with Fossils & Ethnology & the great question of ‘Darwinismus’ which is such a worry to us all, I have lost sight of the collectors & naturalists “by grace of the dredge”, almost as completely as you have3

I am very sorry to hear you have not been picking up strength— But it very often happens that the effect of sea air is cumulative and one picks up more in the last week than in all the others—

We have not been particularly flourishing— My poor wife4 has had to undergo an operation which has put her in great pain, but she is picking up again now & will I hope take a fresh start. I myself, (who boasted so much) have been pulled down by an attack of acute dyspepsia—what they call Gastralgia—& kept my bed a day or two—but I am on the turn too—

The chicks have all colds or coughs—so I think the sooner we are out of this the better

It was miserably cold up to within a few days— now it is tropically hot—

With kindest remembrances to Mrs Darwin & all your circle

Ever Yours | T. H. Huxley

Hooker has come back, radiant as I hear—but I have only seen Madame—who is decidedly radiant also5


James Scott Bowerbank.
See letter to T. H. Huxley, 9 July [1869]. Huxley refers to the practice of dredging for marine specimens.
Henrietta Anne Huxley.
Huxley refers to Joseph Dalton Hooker and Frances Harriet Hooker, who had spent six weeks travelling in Russia and northern Europe. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 24 June 1869.


Has already referred Haeckel’s request to J. S. Bowerbank.

Has lost track of collectors and naturalists "by grace of the dredge" because of other work and ""the great question of "Darwinismus" which is such a worry to us all"".

Family health.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Jermyn St
Source of text
DAR 166: 320
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6830,” accessed on 11 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17