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Letter 7494

Huxley, T. H. to Darwin, C. R.

20 Feb 1871

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    Thanks for new book [Descent].


My dear Darwin

Best thanks for your new book a copy of which I find awaiting me this morning— But I wish you would not bring your books out when I am so busy with all sorts of things— You know I can't shew my face anywhere in society without having read them—and I consider it too bad

No doubt too, it is full of suggestions just like that I have hit upon by chance at p. 212 of vol I. which connects the periodicity of vital phenomena with antecedent conditions—

Fancy lunacy & menstruation coming out of the primary fact that one's nth. ancestor lived between tide-marks! I declare it's the grandest suggestion I have heard of for an age

I have been working like a horse for the last fortnight, with the fag end of influenza hanging about me—and I am improving under the process, which shews what a good tonic work is—

I shall try if I can't pick out from `Sexual selection some practical hint for the improvement of gutter-babies & bring in a resolution thereupon at the Schoolboard

Ever Yours faithfully | T H Huxley

Jermyn St

Feby. 20. 1871.

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 7494.f1
    Huxley's name appears on CD's presentation list for Descent (Correspondence vol. 19, Appendix IV).
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    f2 7494.f2
    Huxley refers to Descent 1: 212 n. 27.
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    f3 7494.f3
    Huxley was professor at the Royal School of Mines and held a number of other positions in societies and other official bodies; his health broke down in December 1871 (ODNB).
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    f4 7494.f4
    Huxley was a member of the London School Board, and sat on its education committee (ODNB).
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