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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Huxley   17 and 20 January 1872

26 Abbey Place | St John’s Wood

Janry. 17th 1872

Dear Mr Darwin

I have nothing to do, so I am going to write to you. Mamma gave me a beautiful box of bricks and pater has gone to Egypt by sea.1 we have had very bad weather, and on the nineteenth we are going to a circus

20th. Jan. We have just come home from the circus   Mr Hughes and Lady Lyell took us there   we saw Cinderella acted and there was a nice horse whose name was [Dueroco] and he went round the middle of the room and at the last there were some monkeys riding on ponies.2

With love to you and Mrs. Darwin | I remain | Yours affectionately | Henry Huxley.


Henry’s parents were Henrietta Anne and Thomas Henry Huxley; Henrietta had secured Thomas two months’ leave from the School of Mines and sent him to Egypt to recuperate after his health broke down (A. Desmond 1994–7, 2: 28). Henry, a particular favourite of CD’s (see Correspondence vol. 16, letter to T. H. Huxley, 10 June 1868) had celebrated his seventh birthday on 14 January 1872 (A. Desmond 1994–7, 1: 332).
Henry refers to Thomas Hughes and Mary Elizabeth Lyell. Hengler’s Circus, in Argyll Street, London, was putting on the pantomime Cinderella (Penny Illustrated Paper, 20 January 1872, p. 47).


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

Desmond, Adrian. 1994–7. Huxley. 2 vols. London: Michael Joseph.


His father has gone to Egypt.

Tells of visit to circus.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
St John’s Wood
Source of text
DAR 166: 286
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8162,” accessed on 9 February 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20