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Selected Poetry of Henrietta Anne Huxley (1825-1914)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

  1. An Agnostic Hymn
  2. Browning's Funeral


Notes on Life and Works

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.

Biographical information

Given name: Henrietta Anne
Family name: Huxley
Maiden name: Heathorn
Birth date: 1825
Death date: 1914
Nationality: Australian
Family relations
          husband: Thomas Henry Huxley (poet)
Literary period: Victorian
First RPO edition: 2002