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Letter 1552F

Darwin, C. R. to Hooker, J. D.

[9 or 16 Feb 1854]

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    Has received JDH's book [Himalayan journals (1854)]. Is very gratified by the dedication to him.



Thursday Afternoon

My dear Hooker

I do not know what to say— I have within these few minutes received your Book, & after admiring some of the illustrations, I fell on the Dedication to me.— My dear Hooker, you have gratified me, more than I can speak, but really it is altogether too great a compliment to me.— Only fancy that I should live to have a Book, dedicated to me,—& such a book, so beautiful & magnificent.— I have not even read the Title-Page nor looked at all the illustrations, & now Emma has seized on the Book. Most of the illustrations seem to me quite beautiful: there is a capital woodcut, showing the great plain in an admirable manner,— it reminds me of the Pampas from the Andes.— Your book will delightfully last me for a long time, & I shall begin this evening, & lay aside the Salt-Lake Book.— What a sum of money the whole must have cost! I had no idea whatever that it would be so splendid,—And that I should have such a book dedicated to me.— Well, my dear Hooker, I thank you from my heart, & Mrs. Hooker, as joint-author: Emma says she feels a good share of the honour, & she desires me to give her best love to Mrs. Hooker.

I wish I felt more worthy of the honour, but I am so far worthy, that I am & have long been, my dear Hooker, your very affectionate friend | C. Darwin

I see that the Dedication has put it out of my head even to thank you for this beautiful present of the Book itself—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1552f.f1
    The date is established by the publication date of Hooker 1854 (see n. 2, below), and by the relationship between this letter and the letter to Charles Lyell, 18 February [1854] (Correspondence vol. 5), in which there is a reference to the dedication in Hooker 1854. In 1854, 9 and 16 February were Thursdays.
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    f2 1552f.f2
    Hooker's Himalayan journals (Hooker 1854) was published in mid-February 1854 (Publishers' Circular 1854). An annotated copy is in the Darwin Library--CUL (see Marginalia 1: 392--3). CD recorded it under the heading `Books read' in his reading notebooks on 7 March 1854 (see Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 128: 8).
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    f3 1552f.f3
    The dedication reads: `To Charles Darwin, F.R.S., &c. These Volumes are Dedicated, by his affectionate friend, J. D. Hooker. Kew, Jan. 12th, 1854' (Hooker 1854, 1: [v]).
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    f4 1552f.f4
    Emma Darwin.
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    f5 1552f.f5
    CD may refer to a fold-out lithograph, `Tibet and Cholamoo Lakes from Donkia Pass', in volume 2 of Hooker 1854, facing page 124.
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    f6 1552f.f6
    CD recorded Stansbury 1852, An expedition to the valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah, under the heading `Books read' in his reading notebooks on 23 March 1854 (see Correspondence 4, Appendix IV, 128: 8).
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    f7 1552f.f7
    In his Life and letters of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker (L. Huxley 1918, 2: 190), Leonard Huxley wrote of Frances Harriet Hooker: `As a good writer of English, she constantly aided him in his writing and correction of proofs, where he relied greatly on her judgment.'
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