Beyond the Brownings–Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895)


NPG Ax38172; Thomas Henry Huxley by Elliott & Fry© National Portrait Gallery, London

Written by Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Thomas Henry Huxley was an English biologist who supported Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. His famous debate with Charles Wilberforce promoted a wider acceptance of evolution. He also coined the word “agnostic” to describe his position with regard to theology. Huxley wrote on many issues relating biology to the humanities, particularly evolution and ethics.

The Armstrong Browning Library owns four letters written by Huxley and eight books authored by him. Huxley-to-Bonney-1web

Huxley-to-Bonney-2webLetter from Thomas Henry Huxley to T. G. Bonney. 05 November 1882.

In this letter to the English geologist, T. G. Bonney, Huxley discusses their participation in the Darwin Commission.

Huxley-Man's-Place-in-Nature-1web Huxley-Man's-Place-in-Nature-2webHuxley-Man's-Place-in-Nature-3webThomas Henry Huxley. Evidence as to Man’s Place in Nature. London; Edinburgh: Williams and Norgate, 1863.

 In this first edition volume, Huxley gives evidence for the evolution of man and apes from a common ancestor. It was the first book devoted to the topic of human evolution.


Thomas Henry Huxley. On Our Knowledge of the Causes of the Phenomena of Organicnature. Being Six Lectures to Working Men, Delivered at the Museum of Practical Geology. London: Robert Hardwicke, 1863.

Huxley developed his ideas on evolution from 1860–63, presenting them in lectures to working men, students, and the general public. In 1862 a series of talks to working men was printed lecture by lecture as pamphlets and later bound up as a little green book. This volume is a first edition of those lectures. The Table of Contents describes the six lectures which were delivered by Thomas Henry Huxley.



Beyond the Brownings: The Victorian Letter and Manuscript Collection

By Melinda Creech, Graduate Assistant, Armstrong Browning Library

Beyond-the-BrowningsScholars know the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University as a world-class research library devoted to the lives and works of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In addition to housing the world’s largest collection of books, letters, manuscripts, and memorabilia related to the Brownings, the library houses a substantial collection of primary and secondary materials related to nineteenth-century literature and culture. The Victorian Letter and Manuscript Collection includes almost 2,500 items from literary, political, ecclesiastical, scientific, and cultural figures in the nineteenth century. Letters, manuscripts, and books from Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, Matthew Arnold, Charles Babbage, J. M. Barrie, William Cullen Bryant, Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Michael Faraday, W. E. Gladstone, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Victor Hugo, Thomas Henry Huxley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, George MacDonald, John-Henry Newman, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Christina Rossetti, William Michael Rossetti, John Ruskin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, William Makepeace Thackeray, John Greenleaf Whittier, and William Wordsworth will be featured in the exhibit. In future blogs about the exhibit you can find out how Elizabeth Barrett Browning was related to Charles Babbage, where Victor Hugo spent his summer vacation, who was b__k b__ll__ed, and what happened to Miss Brodie’s cow.