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Darwin Correspondence Project


To J. D. Hooker   5 July [1871]

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

July 5th

My dear Hooker

I not only have not the Gazania, but was innocent of knowing there was an aquatic species.—1 I have no evidence about Lyell, except appearance & sound of voice. Mrs. Lyell, however, said his mouth was decidedly drawn. to one side at first, & I could see that Lady L. became very anxious about him, when he became excited in talking geology with me, from which I inferred that medical men had cautioned her.—2 I heard from Huxley this morning & I find that he takes same view of Lyell with me.—3 I cd. see no difference in his mind, but he says he cannot stand labour of composition.

Thanks for your news about yourself, & especially for your promise to come here when you can.—4 I have just been quoting your moraines on the Atlas in a new Edit. of that confounded old Origin, which I am preparing, & in which I shall try & answer chief points in Mivart.5 This has stopped my Expression Essay. By the way I suppose none of your party observed anything for me on this Head?6

Also did you by any chance notice whether in Ophrys apifera in N. Africa the pollen-masses fall on the stigma, as with us?—7

We have house full of visitors &, I have no more time,8 so farewell | C. Darwin


See letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 July 1871; CD misread Zizania as Gazania. Gazania is a genus of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, and is known for its drought tolerance.
CD refers to Charles Lyell, his sister-in-law Katherine Murray Lyell, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Lyell. CD had been in London from 24 to 30 June 1871 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
No letter from Thomas Henry Huxley in early July 1871 has been found.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 July 1871.
The sixth edition of Origin was published in 1872; on page 335, CD commented that Hooker had ‘recently found great moraines at a low level on the Atlas range in N. Africa’. CD answered St George Jackson Mivart’s criticisms in Origin 6th ed., pp. 151–2, 176–204, 373. See also letter to Francis Darwin, [after 21 January 1871]. According to CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II), he began work on the sixth edition on 18 June 1872.
CD refers to his work on Expression; see letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 March [1871] and n. 4.
See Orchids, pp. 63–9, for CD’s discussion of the adaptation of Ophrys apifera (the bee ophrys) to self-fertilisation. He mentions Hooker’s observations in Morocco in Orchids 2d ed., p. 56.
See letter to C. V. Riley, 1 July [1871] and n. 4.


Lady Lyell’s anxiety over Lyell’s health.

Preparing new edition of Origin.

Asks whether anything was observed [in Morocco] on expressions.

Did JDH notice whether pollen-masses in Ophrys apifera in N. Africa fall on the stigma, as in England?

Letter details

Letter no.
Darwin, C. R.
Hooker, J. D.
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 197–8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7850,” accessed on 22 October 2016,