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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. S. Henslow   12 October [1855]

Down Bromley Kent

Oct. 12th

My dear Henslow

I write one line to thank you for your note & Programme. I was, also, interested by the brief account in the Gardeners’ Chronicle.1 You little know how difficult, not to say impossible & how awful it would be to many, & to myself for one; to lecture or lecturette to a crowd of people. I would sooner pay 50£ for a good lecturer to come here; but in the same proportion as I shd. dread such an undertaking, so do I honour you for all you do: how I should like to see you at one of your Exhibitions!

Before many months are over I shall have to go over all my cirripedial collections & then I will not forget the Whale & Turtle parasites,2 if, as I believe, I have any to spare.

I have lately been reading in M.S. an admirable essay by Hooker on variation,— geographical range— & other such high & curious points &c. & it strikes as a first rate production, worthy of a son-in-law of you.—3

Ever my dear Henslow | Most truly Yours | C. Darwin


The Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, no. 39, 29 September 1855, p. 646, carried a report of the Hitcham Horticultural Show which had been held on 19 September. It mentioned Henslow’s ‘lecturets on the objects in the Marquee Museum’.
CD had earlier sent Henslow specimens of cirripedes for the natural history collection of Ipswich Museum (letters to J. S. Henslow, 2 September [1854] and 13 March 1855). He refers to the genera Coronula, found attached to whales, and Platylepas, which attaches to turtles.
It is not clear to which of Hooker’s papers CD refers: possibly he had seen an early draft of [J. D. Hooker] 1856.


Is impressed by all JSH is doing with his lectures and exhibitions at Hitcham.

Has read admirable Hooker MS on variation, geographical range, etc. [Introductory essay to the Flora Indica (1855)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
John Stevens Henslow
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 93: A117–18
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1765,” accessed on 15 June 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5