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Henrietta (Hettie) Anne Heathorn, the daughter of a brewer, met the scientist Thomas Huxley in Sydney, Australia, in 1847, during his term aboard the HMS Rattlesnake. Huxley returned to England in 1850, unhappily leaving his fiancée behind in Sydney. Their loving correspondence survives for the eight years of their separation. In 1855 she at last joined him in England and they married in July. They shared, over a marriage of forty years, an enthusiasm for science as well as six children, four of them daughters and two sons, including Leonard, the biologist father of Julian and Aldous. Huxley directed that his tombstone inscribe the last lines from Hettie's poem on the funeral of Robert Browning. In 1907, she edited Thomas's Aphorisms and Reflections, and in 1913 three of his poems, including "From Shanklin," in which he expresses his love for her in their thirty-second year together. Hettie died in 1914.

  • Huxley, Thomas Henry. Aphorisms and reflections. From the works of T.H. Huxley. Ed. Henrietta A. Huxley. London: Watts, 1911. dar Fisher Rare Book Library
  • Poems of Henrietta A. Huxley with Three of Thomas Henry Huxley. London: Duckworth, 1913. 9700.d.1043 Cambridge University Library; dar Fisher Rare Book Library (autograph)
  • White, Paul. "Science at Home: The Space between Henrietta Heathorn and Thomas Huxley." History of Science 34 (1996): 33-56.