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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   5 October [1871]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Oct 5th

My dear Huxley.

Hooker has returned your Review, & it has occurred to me that you may want to lend the sheets to some one else.—2 If so, send me a 12d card; but I shd. very much like to have them back again at least temporarily. Of course I shall get the number when published.—3

When I wrote to Hooker, I did not speak very strongly about your Review, as that has a flattering effect, not that I need have feared this. Now Hooker writes with wonderful admiration, & just like I did, declares several points are the best of all.—4 You will of course see that this article is published some time in your collected essays, for it would be a sin & shame if it were left in a periodical.—5 I think Hooker is perhaps most struck by the clear way you handle the metaphysics, & perhaps this is the best of the best.—

Poor dear Hooker is in much trouble, as I daresay you know, about the serious illness of his mother, & sister, & with serious disputes & vexation with that accursed fellow Ayrton.—6

Ever yours | C. Darwin

Hooker says “the article has been a God-send to me, for I am very very low”


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from T. H. Huxley, 28 September 1871.
Huxley had sent CD a proof copy of his article, ‘Mr. Darwin’s critics’, in the Contemporary Review (T. H. Huxley 1871b), and CD had passed it on to Joseph Dalton Hooker (see letter from T. H. Huxley, 28 September 1871, and letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 September [1871]).
Huxley’s article (T. H. Huxley 1871b) appeared in the November 1871 issue of the Contemporary Review. There is an annotated copy of the article in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
Huxley had published a collection of essays in 1870 (T. H. Huxley 1870a). His article in the Contemporary Review was republished in Critiques and addresses in 1873 (T. H. Huxley 1873).
CD refers to Maria Hooker, Elizabeth Evans-Lombe, and Acton Smee Ayrton. See letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 October 1871] and n. 10.


Huxley, Thomas Henry. 1873. Critiques and addresses. London: Macmillan.


Hooker admires THH’s review of Mivart [see 7977]. Most impressed by THH’s handling of metaphysics.

Hooker’s problems: family health and A. S. Ayrton [Commissioner of Works].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 287)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7987,” accessed on 7 July 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19