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Letter 4601

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

28 Aug [1864]

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    Summary Add

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    CD is not well enough to sit for Woolner.

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    Two Bignonia plants, which JDH does not distinguish as species, can be separated by differences in climbing and sensitivity behaviour.

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    Wants to write a non-quarrelsome reply to R. A. Kölliker ["Darwin'sche Schöpfungstheorie", Z. Wiss. Zool. 14 (1864): 174–86] in the Reader. Lyell opposes, but E. A. Darwin and Hensleigh Wedgwood support the idea.


4 Chester Place | Regent's Park

Aug. 28th.

My dear Hooker

I should like awfully,, as the boys say, to pay you an hours visit at Kew, but I fear I have not strength enough. For the same reason Mr. Woolner must I fear wait. With respect to the Bignonia, it is certainly very different from the B. unguis   the latter has sensitive petioles & can hardly twine, whereas B. buxifolia has not sensitive petioles & can twine well. I suppose I must call it ``an unnamed species from Kew allied to B. unguis''.

I should have much wished to have consulted you about sending an answer to Kölliker in the Reader as a good opportunity of giving a little lecture on the points misunderstood by him. It would not be quarrelsome in nature.

But Lyell thinks it would not be worth the short time required to do it. & I quite gave up the thought   On the other hand my brother & H. Wedgwood think it would. Have you any decided opinion for I cant make up my mind.

We shall return probably on Thursday or Friday.— If I shd. get wonderfully strong, I could not resist coming for an hour.—but I fear there is hardly a chance; for Bot. Garden in Regents Park, almost did for me.—

Yours affecty | C. Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 4601.f1
    The reference is to Thomas Woolner. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 August 1864 and n. 8.
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    f2 4601.f2
    See letter to J. D. Hooker, 11 August [1864] and n. 4, and letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 August 1864.
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    f3 4601.f3
    CD refers to Rudolf Albert von Kölliker and to Kölliker 1864c. CD never replied to Kölliker's article; however, he was delighted by Thomas Henry Huxley's criticism of Kölliker, which appeared in the Natural History Review for October 1864 (T. H. Huxley 1864a; see letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 October [1864] and n. 2. See also letter from Ernst Haeckel, 10 August 1864 and n. 12.
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    f4 4601.f4
    During his stay in London, CD visited Charles Lyell. Emma Darwin's diary (DAR 242) notes `went to L.' on 28 August 1864.
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    f5 4601.f5
    Erasmus Alvey Darwin and Hensleigh Wedgwood.
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    f6 4601.f6
    CD refers to the gardens of the Royal Botanical Society, in Regent's Park, London.
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