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Record number: WCP3758

Sent by:
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent to:
Joseph Dalton Hooker
5 September 1858

Sent by Thomas Henry Huxley, 1 Eldon Place, Broadstairs, Kent to Joseph Dalton Hooker [none given] on 5 September 1858.

Record created:
01 February 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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  • letter (1)
  • publication (1)

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LETTER (WCP3758.3670)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
Imperial College London
Finding number:
Huxley Collection, 1H/2.35
Copyright owner:
ŠImperial College London

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Physical description

Transcription information




1 Eldon Place Broadstairs

Sep 5th 1858

My dear Hooker

I am glad Mrs Hooker has found use for the sale[?] of her[?] post. I returned her Tyndall[]s letter Saturday.

I am sorry for Harvey, for of all things biles is the unpleasantest. Is he going to emigrate with you to the sea side?

Wallaces [illeg] seems to have set Darwin going in earnest and I am rejoiced to hear we shall learn his views in full, at last. I look forward to a great revolution being effected. [[2]] Depend upon it in Natural History as in everything else when the English mind fully determines to work a thing out it will do it better than any other.

I firmly believe in the advent of an English Shock in science & art which will lick the acquisition (which, by the bye, had neither science nor art in one sense, but you know what I mean) into fits. So Hooray in the first place for the Genera Plantarum.

I can quite understand the need of a new one and I am right glad you have undertaken it --. It seems to [[3]] me to be in all respects the sort of work for you and exactly adapted to your environment at Kew. I remember you mentioned to me some time ago that you were thinking of it.

I wish I could even hope that such a thing would be ever attempted in the course of this generation for animals.

But with animal morphology in the state in which it is now -- we have no terminology that will stand and consequently concise & comparable definitions are in many cases impossible[.] [[4]] If old Dom[?] Gray were but an intelligent activity instead of being [words deleted] a sort of zoological whirlwind what a deal he might do -- -- and I am hopeless of Owens comprehending what clarification means since the publication of the wonderful scheme which adorns (like a Corinthian portico in cow dung) the last edition of his lectures.

As you say I have found this a great place for "work of price[?]" -- I have finished the Oceanic Hydrozoa all but the book work for [illeg].

[[5]]2 I must have access to the B[riti]sh Library, but another week will[?] do[?] him[?]. My notes are from eight to twelve years old and really I often have felt like the editor of somebody elses posthumous work.

But now I am busy over the Croonian3 which must be done before I return. I have been pulling at all the arguments as a spider does at his thread & I think they are all strong. If so, the thing will do me good. [[6]] I am perplexed about the N. H. calculations. The best thing I firmly believe would be for the Economic Zoology and a set of well selected types to go to Kensington but I should be sorry[?] to see the scientific calculation placed under any such [illeg] as[?] there which govern "Brilers[?]" I dont believe the clay soil of the Regents Park would make a pattern[?] -- and to have a grand scientific zoological [[7]] and paleontological calculation for work is [illeg] due to the Gardens where the living beasts are would be a grand thing. I should not wonder if the affair is greatly discussed at the B[ritish] A[ssociation] at Leeds and then perhaps light will arise.

Have you seen that mad cap Tyndalls letter in the Times? Hell break his blessed neck some day and that will be a great hole in the efficiency of my scientific Young England. [[8]] We mean to return next Saturday, and [illeg] about the 6th or 7? I shall go down to York where I want to study plesiosaurs. I shall return after the British Association. The interesting question arises shall I have a row with the great O4 there? What a capital title that is they give him of the British Cuvier -- He stands in exactly the same relation to the French as British Brandy to Cognac.

Ever Your [illeg] TH Huxley [signature]

Am I to read the [illeg] Chris. Ch? & where? Please I have mislaid the address


1 Stamped at the top of the page IMPERIAL COLLEGE HUXLEY COLLECTION.

2 This page is stamped at the bottom IMPERIAL COLLEGE HUXLEY COLLECTION.

3 A lecture.

4 Richard Owen (1804 -- 1892).

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