From J. D. Hooker 29 October 1872
Mrs Barber’s address “The Highlands Graham’s town.— Cape of Good Hope”. She is a great correspondent of mine, & her two brothers, the Bowker’s, are most intelligent people.1
I am greatly gratified by your hatred of Owen for me.2 How different our contempts are— I so despise him, that I feel I could afford to converse with him across a neighbour’s table tomorrow—& yet I should be confoundedly angry if any friend of mine did so at the same table!—
I was very glad to see my letter in Nature & only hope that he won’t answer it, & drag me into a controversy.3
The fun of the thing is, that Owen never intended his letter to be made use of— it was professedly intended to be used by Ayrton, when the question of removal of the Brit. Mus: contents to S. Kensington was to be discussed, that is some years hence.4 When that time should come, Owen would withdraw this letter, on the plea of circumstances having altered, & have substituted a very different one— Meanwhile this would have done its work, of poisoning Ayrton’s mind— It’s premature appearance must have horrified Owen— It is case of the biter bit.
Owen, Ayrton & Robinson, the Editor of a paper called ‘the Garden”, are all at work against Kew. D. Galton has taken alarm.5
Ever Yr affec | J D Hooker
I am not easy about Huxley—though he says he is slowly bettering.—6
Did I tell you that I have put my Willy7 into a Ship-brokers office in London to learn the business; & that he likes it much
Sends Mrs Barber’s address.
Gratified that CD hates Owen. Hopes Owen will not answer Nature letter and draw JDH into controversy. Owen’s letter was not intended for Ayrton to use. Its appearance must have horrified him.
State of Huxley’s health makes JDH uneasy.
Willy is in a stockbroker’s office in London and likes it.