Books: Barnacles for All

  • Share
  • Read Later

(3 of 3)

Except for a few short trips, Darwin emerged from Down House only for his funeral (1882) in Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was terrific: all sat in awe as the coffin of the archfiend, "borne by Huxley, Hooker, Wallace, Lubbock, James Russell Lowell, Canon Ferrar, an Earl, two Dukes, and the President of the Royal Society," was carried in amid the angelic chanting of choirboys. Fortunately, there was a living Darwin present, his son William, to give the ceremony a characteristically Darwinian touch. The abbey was very drafty, so William, "with the respect shown by all Darwins for the possible invasion of disease . . . poised his black gloves on the top of his bald head and sat thus throughout the service."

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next Page