Thanks JDH for his report on the reading of the Wallace and Darwin papers at the Linnean Society [read 1 July 1858; Collected papers 2: 3–19]. Considers how to publish his work. Offers to forward a note from JDH to Wallace.
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Hooker.
We are become more happy & less panic-struck, now that we have sent out of House every child & shall remove Etty, as soon as she can move. The first nurse became ill with ulcerated throat & quincy & the second is now ill with the Scarlet Fever, but thank God recovering. You may imagine how frightened we have been. It has been a most miserable fortnight.—
Thank you much for your note, telling me that all had gone on prosperously at Linn.
I shall be curious to see proofs. I do not in the least understand whether my letter to A. Gray is to be printed; I suppose not, only your note; but I am quite indifferent, & place myself absolutely in your & Lyells hands.
I can easily prepare an abstract of my whole work, but I can hardly see how it can be made scientific for a Journal, without giving facts, which would be impossible. Indeed a mere abstract cannot be very short.— Could you give me any idea how many pages of Journal, could probably be spared me?
Directly after my return home, I would begin & cut my cloth to my measure.— If the Referees were to reject it as not strictly scientific I would, perhaps publish it as pamphet.—
With respect to my big interleaved abstract, would you send it anytime before you leave
England, to enclosed address. If you do not go till August
We thank you heartily for your invitation to join you; I can fancy nothing which I
Lastly you said you would write to Wallace; I certainly
Will you answer me sometime about your notions of length of my abstract.—
If you see Lyell will you tell him how truly grateful I feel for his kind interest in this affair of mine. You must know that I look at it, as very important, for the reception of the view of species not being immutable, the fact of the greatest geologist & Botanist in England, taking any sort of interest in subject: I am sure it will do much to break down prejudices.—
Yours affectionly | C. Darwin
Kindest remembrance to Mrs
- f1 2303.f1See letter from J. D. Hooker and Charles Lyell to the Linnean Society, 30 June 1858. When Francis Darwin later came to compile CD's letters for publication, Hooker sent him his recollections of the meeting at which Darwin and Wallace 1858 was read. He wrote (LL 2: 126):
The interest excited was intense, but the subject was too novel and too ominous for the old school to enter the lists, before armouring. After the meeting it was talked over with bated breath: Lyell's approval, and perhaps in a small way mine, as his lieutenant in the affair, rather overawed the Fellows, who would otherwise have flown out against the doctrine. We had, too, the vantage ground of being familiar with the authors and their theme.
- f2 2303.f2CD planned to write an abstract of his researches to be published in the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society. This would give a more thorough account of his theory than the brief notice read to the Linnean Society (Darwin and Wallace 1858). Hooker was actively involved with resuscitating and rationalising the various publications of the Linnean Society (see L. Huxley ed. 1918,1: 407–10).
- f3 2303.f3CD refers to the fair copy of his essay of 1844 (DAR 113), which he had sent to Hooker in June (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [29 June 1858]).
- f4 2303.f4The Hookers were planning a summer holiday in Switzerland in the company of William Henry Harvey (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 432–3). Their plans, however, were disrupted by the worsening illness of Frances Harriet Hooker's aunt, Mary Jenyns.
- f5 2303.f5CD refers to the manuscript on large and small genera, intended for his book on species (Natural selection, pp. 134–64), that he had sent to Hooker for his comments (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 May ). CD's plans to discuss the manuscript with Hooker had been interrupted by the illnesses of the Darwin children and the arrival of Alfred Russel Wallace's letter. Hooker's notes are written in pencil on the fair copy of the manuscript (DAR 15.1). See letter from J. D. Hooker, 13–15 July 1858.
- f6 2303.f6See letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 [July 1858].