skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   15 [April 1867]



My dear Hooker

Hurrah, Hurrah,—we will find a bed for you & Willy even if we turned some one out, not that we shall have to do anything of the sort.—1

My opinion of old I. A. Henry is just the same as yours.2 Most of his experiments are failures & those that have succeeded are not recorded with sufficient exactitude. He has, however, elsewhere recorded with more detail his curious case of the ovaria of Rhododendron directly affected by foreign pollen, like your Chamærops–Date-palm case.—3

We are very glad at so good an account of the Baby;4 as we shall see you so soon, Hurrah again, I will write no more.—

Some of our Boys will be hugely tempted by your most kind offer of your room in Paris—5

Yours affectly. | C. Darwin

P.S. I fear we shall not be able to send the carriage for you on Saturday as we expect Lizzie home from Germany, & George has promised to meet with pony-carriage a friend; but you had better enquire at “Railway Inn” near to Station.—6 We can send you back on Monday.—


Hooker planned to visit Down with his son William Henslow Hooker from 20 to 22 April 1867; however, the visit did not take place (see letters from J. D. Hooker, 13 April 1867, and letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 [April 1867]).
Hooker gave his opinion of Isaac Anderson-Henry in his letter of 13 April 1867.
CD reported Anderson-Henry’s cross of Rhododendron dalhousiae with the pollen of R. Nuttallii, as a case of foreign pollen increasing the size of the ovary, in Variation 1: 400, citing Anderson-Henry 1863. Anderson-Henry also discussed the case in Anderson-Henry 1867a; there is a lightly annotated offprint of this paper from the Farmer, which Isaac Anderson-Henry sent with his letter of 3 April 1867, in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. In his letter of 14 March 1867, Hooker reported a case of ‘seeds’ of a Chaemerops humilis crossed with a date-palm that were more like dates than like the regular ‘seeds’ of Chaemerops. Hooker’s ‘seeds’ were fruits (drupes; see Variation, 1: 399).
CD refers to Reginald Hawthorn Hooker; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 April 1867.
CD refers to his children Elizabeth and George Howard Darwin. George’s friend was probably Richard Paul Agar Swettenham, a fellow undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge; Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) for Saturday 20 April 1867 mentions ‘Mr Swettenham’. Hooker would have been travelling to Bromley Station.


Agrees with JDH about Anderson-Henry. He has however described in detail a curious case of the ovaria of Rhododendron directly affected by foreign pollen, like the Chamaerops and date-palm case.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 21–2
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5502,” accessed on 20 May 2019,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15