From J. D. Hooker [21 November 1859]1
I am a sinner not to have written you ere this, if only to thank you for your glorious book— What a mass of close reasoning on curious facts & fresh phenomena—it is capitally written & will be very successful I say this on the strength of 2 or 3 plunges into as many chapters, for I have not yet attempted to read it. Lyell, with whom we are staying is perfectly enchanted, & is absolutely gloating over it. I must accept your compliment to me & acknowledgement of supposed assistance from me as the warm tribute of affection from an honest (though deluded) man, & furthermore accept it as very pleasing to my vanity—but my dear fellow neither my name nor my judgment nor my assistance deserved any such compliments. & if I am dishonest enough to be pleased with what I dont deserve it must just pass.— How different the book reads from the mss— I see I shall have much to talk over with you. Those lazy printers have not finished my luckless Essay—which beside your book will look like a ragged handkerchief beside a Royal Standard. I will send copy for Wallace & any one else you wish.
I read the contemptuous & contemptible Athenæum yesterday Lyell thinks entre nous that Woodward may have wrote it, & I think his evidence conclusive but I will leave him to tell you what he thinks—so pray remember that I have said nothing about it!2 One thing you may set your mind at rest about—your book is as cautious & modest as any could be
Of course Lindley wrote the G.C. article on H.C.W. & upon my honor I do think it richly deserved.3 The sneering contempt with which he treats his enemies the virulence of his dishonest attacks on those he knows little of, & his patronizing air to those he approves, are beyond all whipping powers of reviewers—& I do think that his whole tone & argument in the long discussions of Cybele IV are as wrong in fact as they are principle.— I had nothing at all to do with the Review.—
I saw Huxley today who talked about giving a R Inst. Friday Evening to your book—but pray say nothing of this—it may come to nothing—he is vastly pleased with it.4
All Well | Ever yrs affect | Jos D Hooker
JDH’s congratulations on Origin.
Lyell believes S. P. Woodward wrote review in Athenæum.
Lyell’s and Huxley’s positive responses.
JDH has only plunged into a few chapters.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2539,” accessed on 5 May 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2539