Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest

By Adrian Desmond | Go to book overview

21
From the City of the Dead
to the City of Science

P&O'S LINER WAS A far cry from the creaking, slack-canvas Rattlesnake. 'Fogs & calm' beset them but the sturdy steam pumps pushed them through. The Biscay swell was as horrid as ever, making the Malta 'very lively', and Huxley couldn't sleep. Past the Lisbon cliffs they ploughed, the last gale blowing them zoo miles in 16 hours into Gibraltar. He was on deck at 8 am. on a 'lovely morning', 16 January 1872, to see the Rock loom up.

Huxley began to revel in the leisure as he 'strolled into the market & devoured red oranges'. Then he presented his Admiralty letter and inspected the dockyard stores, only to find that 'nothing could be better in point of cleanliness & order'. 1 So he visited HMS Hercules, where the grumbling below deck about maggoty food was growing ominous. The flour was pure when it left Deptford, so he investigated the nearby sacks of cocoa and fruit, and finally traced the source of contamination: the moth eggs were being blown onto the flour from unpurified cocoa.

The former surgeon's relations with the top brass had equally changed. He was rowed over to the Minotaur to have breakfast with Rear-Admiral Hornby, commander of the Flying Squadron, whose warships could reach any trouble spot from Africa to India. Huxley enjoyed his new-found status, dining with colonial administrators and admirals. Hornby had him ferried to Tangier with the Bishop of Gibraltar. A week out and what a difference: he was 'wandering about Tangier', watching the Moors. His was a more admiring eye now, like Burton's, looking favourably on the Muslims in defiance of his own idolatrous culture. As he painted mosques his eye would catch 'a stately moor' wearing his Haik 'exactly in the manner of the

-411-

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Huxley: From Devil's Disciple to Evolution's High Priest
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Also by Adrian Desmond *
  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • The Apostle Paul of the New Teaching xiii
  • Part One - The Devil's Disciple *
  • 1825-1846 Dreaming My Own Dreams *
  • 1 - Philosophy Can Bake No Bread 3
  • 2 - Son of the Scalpel 18
  • 3 - The Surgeon's Mate 36
  • 1846-1850 the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea *
  • 4 - Men-Of-War 53
  • 5 - An Ark of Promise 66
  • 6 - The Eighth Circle of Hell 86
  • 7 - Sepulchral Painted Savages 111
  • 8 - Homesick Heroes 129
  • 1850-1858 Lost in the Wilderness *
  • 9 - The Scientific Sadducee 149
  • 10 - The Season of Despair 172
  • 11 - The Jihad Begins 195
  • 12 - The Nature of the Beast 216
  • 13 - Empires of the Deep Past 231
  • 1858-1865 the New Luther *
  • 14 - The Eve of a New Reformation 251
  • 15 - Buttered Angels & Bellowing Apes 266
  • 16 - Reslaying the Slain 292
  • 17 - Man's Place 312
  • 1865-1870 the Scientific Swell *
  • 18 - Birds, Dinosaurs & Booming Guns 339
  • 19 - Eyeing the Prize 361
  • Part Two - Evolution's High Priest *
  • 1870-1884 Marketing the 'New Nature' *
  • 20 - The Gun in the Liberal Armoury 385
  • 21 - From the City of the Dead to the City of Science 411
  • 22 - Automatons 433
  • 23 - The American Dream 463
  • 24 - A Touch of the Whip 483
  • 25 - A Person of Respectability 495
  • 26 - The Scientific Woolsack 507
  • 1885-1895 the Old Lion *
  • 27 - Polishing off the G.O.M 537
  • 28 - Christ Was No Christian 562
  • 29 - Combating the Cosmos 583
  • 30 - Fighting Unto Death 600
  • Afterword *
  • Abbreviations 645
  • Notes 648
  • Bibliography 751
  • Index 783
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