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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henrietta Grace Powell   11 February 1863

1, Hyde Park Gate South, | W.

My dear Sir

There are some points in your most interesting book, on which we were wishing much to know more, when my dearest Husband died, and I could not venture to ask you to take the trouble to come to see me alone.1 I was sorry indeed to hear from Mr. Wedgewood2 that your health is so delicate as to render it fruitless to ask you to any meal. May I however hope that you will give me the pleasure of seeing you here next Sunday afternoon? Mr. Huxley and the Bishop of Natal are coming to have a quiet talk with me between 2—and 6 oclock and you shall not be teazed with any eating!3

I need scarcely add how pleased I should be to see Mrs. Darwin also should she be in town.

Truly your’s | Henrietta G Powell.

February 11. 1863.

Address | Mrs. Baden Powell | 1. Hyde Park Gate South | Kensington Gore


The reference is to the former Savilian professor of geometry at Oxford University, Baden Powell (DNB). CD and Powell had corresponded about Origin before the latter’s death in June 1860 (see Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Baden Powell, 18 January [1860]). Powell’s enthusiastic reception of Origin is discussed in Corsi 1988, pp. 283–4.
Powell probably refers to Hensleigh Wedgwood.
Thomas Henry Huxley and John William Colenso. CD did not accept this invitation, and returned to Down on Saturday 14 February (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 11, Appendix II)).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


Invites CD to visit on Sunday afternoon, for a quiet discussion with Huxley, the Bishop of Natal [J. W. Colenso], and herself. Will not trouble him with any eating.

Letter details

Letter no.
Henrietta Grace Powell
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Hyde Park Gate South, 1
Source of text
DAR 160: 13
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3977,” accessed on 21 October 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11