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Darwin Correspondence Project

From T. H. Huxley   30 July 1871

My dear Darwin

I met Lyell in Waterloo Place today walking with Carrick Moore—and although what you said the other day had prepared me I was greatly shocked at his appearance and still more at his speech1   There is no doubt it is affected in the way you describe and the fact gives me very sad forebodings about him— The Fates send me a swift & speedy end whenever my time comes— I think there is nothing so lamentable as the spectacle of the wreck of a once clear & vigorous mind!

I am glad Frank2 enjoyed his visit to us— He is a great favorite here & I hope he will understand that he is free of the house— It was the greatest fun to see Jess & Mady3 on their dignity with him— No more kissing I can tell you.— Miss Mady was especially sublime.

Six out of our seven children have the whooping cough— Need I say therefore that the wife4 is enjoying herself?

With best regards to Mrs Darwin & your daughter—(and affectionate love to Polly)5

believe me | Ever yours faithfully | T. H. Huxley

26 Abbey Place | N.W

July 30. 1871


Huxley refers to Charles Lyell and John Carrick Moore. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 July [1871] and n. 2.
Francis Darwin.
Jessie Oriana and Marian Huxley were 13 years and 12 years old respectively.
Henrietta Anne Huxley.
Huxley refers to Emma Darwin, and to Henrietta Emma Darwin and her dog, Polly.


Shocked at Lyell’s appearance and speech.

Family news.

Letter details

Letter no.
Thomas Henry Huxley
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Abbey Place, 26
Source of text
DAR 166: 325
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7888,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

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