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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [23 November 1858]1



My dear Hooker

I write in haste to say that I was going to offer to write, though unwillingly on account of my health, Lyell’s eloge,2 but I have just recollected that Henslow comes on Thursday3 & on my honour I shall be utterly incapable of doing any earthly thing on Thursday, Friday & Saturday & you cannot imagine the anxiety I shd. feel to be well enough to do the work before post-time on Monday.4 Nor shd I much like sending in the eloge without your seeing it.— I know well how much bound I am to do anything for you, but without you lived with me you cannot form any conception how incapable I am of any exertion of mind or body. Daily after my work is done at 12 oclock my head swims so that I can hardly walk

Yours affectionately | C. Darwin

You shall hear in few days from me.—

I can do nothing after 12. That confounded Leguminous paper in G. Chronicle was done in afternoon & the consequence was I had to go to Moor Park for a week, & I am resolved I will not attempt mental work in afternoon:5 my head, I do assure you, will not stand it.


Dated by the reference to John Stevens Henslow’s forthcoming visit to Down (see n. 3, below).
Emma Darwin’s diary records that Henslow arrived at Down on 25 November and left on 27 November 1858.
The citation for the award of the Royal Society’s Copley Medal to Charles Lyell needed to be in the hands of the secretary by Tuesday, 30 November 1858, the day of the anniversary meeting.
CD refers to his article on the crossing of kidney-beans (see letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 13 November 1858]). He had visited Moor Park hydropathic establishment from 25 October to 1 November 1858 (‘Journal’; Appendix II).


CD declines to write Lyell éloge [for Copley Medal] because of his ill health.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 251
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2369,” accessed on 19 January 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7