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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   [13–21 September 1868]1

My dear Huxley.

I have written the first page so that you can tear it off & send it, if you like, to Mr Nunn.—2

We are so sorry to hear of the poor dear little man being ill; but I do believe it will turn out only indigestion. Pray ask Mrs H., as soon as all anxiety is over, to let us hear.— He is such a charmer.— Thanks for your pleasant note—3 How I shd have liked to have been at Norwich, & heard Hooker & Tyndall & you on Chalk & especially on the races of man.—4 Everything seems to have gone off splendidly.

I am very fairly well & hard at work—

Ever yours most truly | C. Darwin


The date range is established by the relationship between this letter, the letter from T. H. Huxley, 12 September 1868, and the letter from C. W. Nunn, 23 September 1868.
The first page of the letter has not been found; however, it evidently concerned Charles William Nunn’s photograph of an ear of wheat with two oat florets growing out of it (see letter from T. H. Huxley, 12 September 1868 and n. 1). For the content of CD’s reply to Nunn, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 September 1868.
In his letter of 12 September 1868, Huxley had mentioned an illness of his son Henry (Harry) Huxley.
See letter from T. H. Huxley, 12 September 1868. CD refers to Joseph Dalton Hooker’s presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (J. D. Hooker 1868) and John Tyndall’s address as president of the mathematics and physics section (Tyndall 1868). Huxley delivered a lecture ‘On a piece of chalk’ to the working men of Norwich (T. H. Huxley 1868c). Huxley also delivered a lecture, ‘On the distribution of the races of mankind’ (T. H. Huxley 1868d), on 24 August at the International Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology, which was held in Norwich concurrently with the British Association meeting; his lecture was said to be the ‘great event’ of the congress (A. L. Lewis 1869, p. xxviii). For a published report of the congress, annotated by CD and including comments on Huxley’s talk, see DAR 80: B173 v.–174 v. For more on Huxley in Norwich, see the letter from J. D. Hooker, 30 August 1868.


Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1868. Address of the president. Report of the thirty-eighth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Norwich, pp. lviii–lxxv.

Lewis, Alfred L. 1869. Report on the International Congress of Archaic Anthropology. Journal of the Anthropological Society of London 7: xxvi–xxix.

Tyndall, John. 1868. [Presidential address to the section for mathematics and physics.] Report of the 38th meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Norwich, Transactions of the sections, pp. 1–6.


Sends a page to be sent on to Charles William Nunn.

Offers sympathy for the illness of THH’s son, Henry (Harry) Huxley.

Wishes he could have attended the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting at Norwich.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine Archives
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6381F,” accessed on 18 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16