Tuesday, August 11, 2015


Huxleyism: the theory of the anthropoid descent of man and its inevitable consequences.
Clarence Edwin Ayres, Huxley (1929) p. 242.

Darwin's bulldog was patently a man of almost puritanical uprightness.
Cyril Bibby in 'T.H. Huxley: Scientist, Humanist and Educator (1959) p. 56.

It was worth being born to have known Huxley.
Edward Clodd, biologist and biographer in Memories (1916), p. 40.

I think his tone is much too vehement.
Charles Darwin in letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker about Huxley's Royal Institution lecture in 1854.

My good and kind agent for the propagation of the Gospel; i.e. the Devil's gospel.
This humorous remark closes a letter by Charles Darwin, to Huxley (8 August 1860), but it can also be interpreted as referring to Louis Agassiz, rather than Huxley himself.

"Pope Huxley"
Richard Holt Hutton in the title of an article in which he accuses Huxley of too great a degree of certitude in some of his arguments. The Spectator (29 January 1870).

Huxley, I believe, was the greatest Englishman of the Nineteenth Century — perhaps the greatest Englishman of all time.
H. L. Mencken in "Thomas Henry Huxley" in the Baltimore Evening Sun (4 May 1925).

All of us owe a vast debt to Huxley, especially all of us of English speech, for it was he, more than any other man, who worked that great change in human thought which marked the Nineteenth Century.
H. L. Mencken in "Thomas Henry Huxley" in the Baltimore Evening Sun (4 May 1925).

The row was over Darwinism, but before it ended Darwinism was almost forgotten. What Huxley fought for was something far greater: the right of civilized men to think freely and speak freely, without asking leave of authority, clerical or lay. How new that right is! And yet how firmly held! Today it would be hard to imagine living without it. No man of self-respect, when he has a thought to utter, pauses to wonder what the bishops will have to say about it. The views of bishops are simply ignored. Yet only sixty years ago they were still so powerful that they gave Huxley the battle of his life.
H. L. Mencken in "Thomas Henry Huxley" in the Baltimore Evening Sun (4 May 1925).

From [1854] until 1885 Huxley's labours extended over the widest field of biology and philosophy ever covered by any naturalist with the single exception of Aristotle.
Henry Fairfield Osborn in Impressions of Great Naturalists (1924) p. 107-8.

Huxley gave the death-blow not only to Owen's theory of the skull but also to Owen's hitherto unchallenged prestige.
Henry Fairfield Osborn in Impressions of Great Naturalists. (1924) p. 113.

The illustrious comparative anatomist, Huxley, Darwin's great general in the battles that had to be fought, but not a naturalist, far less a student of living nature.
Edward Bagnall Poulton in Charles Darwin and the Origin of Species (1909) p. 58.

A man who was always taking two irons out of the fire and putting three in.
Herbert Spencer.

The papers are printed and circulated among the members, and begin to form a little volume. Among the contributors have been Archbishop Huxley and Professor Manning.
Bishop Connop Thirlwall Letters to a Friend (1881) p. 317.

I believed that he was the greatest man I was ever likely to meet, and I believe that all the more firmly today.
H. G. Wells in The Royal College of Science Magazine (1901).

If he has a fault it is... that like Caesar, he is ambitious... cutting up apes is his forté, cutting up men is his foible.
"A Devonshire Man" in the Pall Mall Gazette (18 January 1870).

I'm a good Christian woman — I'm not an infidel like you!
Huxley's cook Bridget, after being scolded for drunkenness, as quoted in Huxley : From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest (1997) by Adrian Desmond.

Oh, there goes Professor Huxley; faded but still fascinating.
Woman overheard at Dublin meeting of the British Association of 1878, quoted in The Life and Letters of Thomas Henry Huxley (1900) by Leonard Huxley, p. 80.

His voice was low, clear and distinct... Professor Huxley's method is slow, precise, and clear, and he guards the positions that he takes with astuteness and ability. He does not utter anything in reckless fashion which conviction sometimes countenances and excuses, but rather with the deliberation that research and close inquiry foster.
Newspaper account of speech at opening of Johns Hopkins University (13 September 1876), quoted in The Great Influenza : The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History (2005) by John M. Barry, p. 13.