From J. D. Hooker [24 July 1862]1
University of London, | Burlington House, W.
We arrived last night at 7pm. Having left Zurich on the previous morning only at 10 am. stopping 3 hours at Basle & as many at Paris. The journey has done my wife a wonderful deal of good. The day before leaving Zurich she mounted 6 times in the day to her room in the Hotel 83 steps up each time without the slightest palpitation or loss of breath. she enjoyed our 8 days in the Enghadien valley immensely & walked about a great deal there.2 I suppose there must be some Hygienic effect in a diminished atmospheric pressure— there ought to be at any rate. Before leaving I found another hybrid orchid— between Gymnadenia odoratissima & Nigritella— the former one was between G. Conopsea & the same Nigritella:— I have brought some plants of the latter hybrid & have left them at Kew this morning for Fitch to draw—3 (I am here at L.U. Examinations).4
I was delighted with Heer & went over all his collections which are grand & good, they serve to convince me that the Miocene vegetation was Himalayan not American as H. supposed.5 Heers error was very natural, for no one knows from any published works what the real nature of the Himalayan vegetation is.6 Heers works on Insects seem excellent too7 & I should hope from what I heard & saw that Zurich will become a good Nat Hist. School: besides a good staff of Professors they have good paid Curators of Botanical, Zoological, Entomological & Geological Cabinets, which will all be united in the new Polytechnicon, Except the Herbaria which will all go to the Bot. Garden. They have also good departmental libraries.
There is a capital review of the “Nat. Hist. Review” in the Parthenon, I wonder who wrote it, it expresses my opinion exactly.8 The last number of the Review is a sad falling off & the last page is disgraceful for errors & misprints: poor Oliver is quite down-hearted about it—9 they all seem afraid of Huxley who has undertaken sole responsibility of Editorship, which he is not up to & has not time for.10
I saw Oliver for a moment this morning when rushing up here & he told me you are again in trouble about your boy,11 my dear old friend I do grieve to hear it. I have nothing more to say till I am settled again | Ever Yrs affec | J D Hooker
Wife’s health improved by trip.
Heer’s collections convince JDH that Miocene vegetation was Himalayan, not American, as Heer supposed.
Zurich promises to be a good natural history school.
Review of Natural History Review in Parthenon [1 (1862): 373–5].
- geographical distribution
- geological time, epochs
- positive attitude/assessment
- reception of Darwinism
- specimens / samples
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3665,” accessed on 1 October 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3665