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Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   6 January 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Jan. 6th/75/

My dear Huxley

I have just received the Academy & read with absolute delight your article. What a man you are: I am convinced that all the writers in England could not have written such an article. How grandly you have defended me from the charge of duplicity. You have also greatly honoured George.1 You have indeed been a true friend to me.

Yours affectly. | Ch Darwin

Though contrary to your advice, I cannot make up my mind not to write to Mr Mivart & tell him with the utmost plainness what I think of his conduct.2 There will then be no doubt, if we ever meet, that I shall cut him dead.—

What will his feelings be when he reads your article! I wish the Bishop was alive.—3


In his review of Ernst Haeckel’s Anthropogenie (Haeckel 1874) in the Academy, 2 January 1875, pp. 16–17, Thomas Henry Huxley had criticised the insinuations of the ‘anonymous reviewer’ (St George Jackson Mivart) against George Howard Darwin in the Quarterly Review ([Mivart] 1874, p. 70).
In December 1874, Huxley had written to Mivart about his attack on George, but had advised CD not to do anything unless Mivart took the initiative in writing to CD or Joseph Dalton Hooker (Correspondence vol. 22, letter from T. H. Huxley, 23 December 1874). See also ibid., Appendix V.
Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop of Oxford, died in 1873. In his article in the Academy, Huxley referred scathingly to an anonymous review of Origin in the Quarterly Review; the review was in fact by Wilberforce and had been suspected to be by Wilberforce almost from the first by CD ([Wilberforce] 1860; see Correspondence vol. 8 and the Wellesley index).


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

[Mivart, St George Jackson.] 1874b. Primitive man: Tylor and Lubbock. [Essay review of the works of John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor.] Quarterly Review 137 (1874): 40–77.

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.

Wellesley index: The Wellesley index to Victorian periodicals 1824–1900. Edited by Walter E. Houghton et al. 5 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1966–89.

[Wilberforce, Samuel.] 1860. [Review of Origin.] Quarterly Review 108: 225–64.


Thanks THH for his article in the Academy and his defence of CD and G. H. Darwin against Mivart. Still thinks he should write plainly to Mivart.

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: 313)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9804,” accessed on 31 July 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23