To J. D. Hooker [9 or 16 February 1854]1
My dear Hooker
I do not know what to say— I have within these few minutes received your Book,2 & after admiring some of the illustrations, I fell on the Dedication to me.—3 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 Emma4 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,—5 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.—6 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:7 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—
Has received JDH’s book [Himalayan journals (1854)]. Is very gratified by the dedication to him.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1552F,” accessed on 11 December 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-1552F