Accidental Encounters

Owen Stanley 1847 © Mitchell Library, State Library NSW, 281/f96

This exhibition delves into science, life and culture in Australia through the letters of Henrietta Heathorn and her fiancé, Thomas Huxley. Assistant Surgeon on HMS Rattlesnake which surveyed Australian waters between 1847 and 1850, Huxley was a man of enviable intellectual talent and ambition who would become one of Britain’s most famous biologists. When the Rattlesnake left Britain in 1846 he was just 21. A number of accidental encounters in Australia propelled young Huxley into the scientific career he so craved.

This exhibition commemorates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

Macleay Museum
12 February-24 May 2009

Image - Owen Stanley 1847 Copyright Mitchell Library, State Library NSW, 281/f96