To J. D. Hooker 15 January 
My dear Hooker
Thanks for your jolly letter.1 We are both heartily rejoiced, & this not in a parenthesis, that Mrs Hooker is safe through her affair.2 I have read your second article, & like it even more than the first, & more than this I cannot say.3 By mere chance I stumbled yesterday on a passage in Humboldt that a violet grows on Peak of Teneriffe in common with the Pyrenees.4 If Humboldt is right that the Canary I’s which lie nearest to the continent have a much stronger African character than the others ought you not just to allude to this?5 I do not know whether you admit, & if so allude to, the view which seems to me probable that most of the genera confined to the Atlantic I.s, I do not say the species, originally existed on, & were derived from, Europe, having become extinct on this continent. I shd thus account for the community of peculiar genera in the several Atlantic I’s.6 About the Salvages is capital; I am glad you speak of linking, though this sounds a little too close, instead of being continuous.7 All about St Helena is grand. You have no faith, but if I knew any one who lived in St Helena, I wd supplicate him to send me home a cask or two of earth from a few inches beneath the surface from the upper parts of the I., & from any little dried up pond, & thus as sure as I am a wriggler I shd revive a multitude of lost plants.8
I did suggest to you to work out proportion of plants with irregular flowers on islands; I did this after giving a very short discussion on irregular flowers in my Lythrum paper. But what on earth has a mere suggestion like this to do with meum & tuum?9
You have comforted me much about the bigness of my book, which yet turns me sick when I think of it.10
yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin | (Signed, whilst my wife writes)
Dear Dr Hooker
We shall be anxious to hear of Mrs Hooker going on comfortably.11 In my experience I used to be very flourishing for a few days & then not quite so well. Give her my kind love & congrats.
yours very sincerely | E. D
More comments on "Insular floras": community of peculiar genera in the Atlantic islands descended from European plants now extinct.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5361,” accessed on 27 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5361