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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [16 April 1866]1



My dear H.

Will you tell me for new Edit. of Origin how many plants are proper to New Zealand (excluding of course naturalised plants). I do not care for any great accuracy but do not like to reprint old & false number.—2

We have been just extremely pleased by George being second in Mathematicks at Trinity (which considering size of College is great honour) & getting an 80£ Scholarship, for next five years.—3

Yours affect— | C. Darwin


The date is established by the reference to George Howard Darwin’s examination (see n. 3, below), and by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, [22 April 1866]. In 1866, the Monday before 22 April was 16 April. An endorsement, ‘April 9/66’, in Hooker’s hand is presumably in error.
In Origin, CD noted the relatively small number of indigenous species of flowering plants on oceanic islands as compared with those on equal continental areas, giving the number for New Zealand as 750 (Origin, p. 389); in the fourth edition, this number was changed to 960 (Origin 4th ed., p. 463).
George Howard Darwin achieved first class in the examination held at Trinity College for ‘junior sophs’ (second year undergraduates) in 1866 (Cambridge University calendar 1867, p. 397). In a letter to Henrietta Emma Darwin, [30 March 1866] (DAR 251: 2239), George wrote that the examination began on 4 April, and that the results would be available on 13 April.


Asks how many plants are proper to New Zealand for new edition [4th] of Origin.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 283
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5073,” accessed on 19 September 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14