To J. D. Hooker 1 August 1
Down Bromley Kent
My dear Hooker
It is a horrid bore you cannot come soon, & I reproach myself that I did not write sooner, but I had fancied Mrs. Hooker’s confinement was later.2 N.B. I found that I could do with giving much less Chloroform last time, for I never gave it till she skriked out for it, & yet she never suffered at all.—3
How busy you must be! with such a heap of Botanists at Kew.— Only think I have just had letter from Henslow, saying he will come here between 11th & 15th! Is not that grand?4 Many thanks about Furnrohr: I must humbly supplicate Kippist to search for it.: he most kindly got Boreau for me.—5
I am got extremely interested in tabulating according to mere size of genera, the species having any varieties marked by greek letters or otherwise: the result (as far as I have yet gone seems to me one of the most important arguments I have yet met with, that varieties are only small species—or species only strongly marked varieties. The subject is in many ways so very important for me; I wish much you would think of any well-worked Floras with from 1000–2000 species, with the varieties marked. It is good to have hair-splitters & lumpers.—6 I have done or am doing. Babington7 Henslow8 British Flora London Catalogue. H. C. Watson9 Boreau. France Miquel.10 Holland Asa Gray.11 N. U. States Hooker.12 N. Zealand ——— Fragment of Indian Flora Wollaston13 Madeira Insects.
Has not Koch published good Germany Flora:14 does he mark varieties? Could you lend it me? Is there not some grand Russian Flora which perhaps has vars. marked.—15 The Floras ought to be well known.—
I am in no hurry for a few weeks.— Will you turn this in your head, when, if ever, you have leisure. The subject is very important for my work, though I clearly see many causes of error.—
Do not forget that you must come before very long here.— Most sincerely do I wish Mrs Hooker through her troubles
Ever yours | C. Darwin
Important issue at stake with new flora calculations: evidence that species are only strongly marked varieties. Planning large-scale survey.