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Darwin Correspondence Project

DCP-LETT-9150

From J. D. Hooker   [8 November 1873]1

Royal Gardens Kew

Saturday

Dear Darwin

I shall always be at home from 9–11 am. so pray choose a day most suitable to yourself, you need not write beforehand—& bring Frank or any one you please (who will perhaps stay after you go)— Sunday is the best day, as no one will disturb us then—2

I have had a weeks cessation of all Nepenthes work, owing to having to get out a paper for 1st. meeting of Linnean last Thursday on a very difficult subject.3 I shall now begin again.

I was trying M. albida in the Hot House the other day & found it wonderfully sensitive compared to what it was in my room—.4 I wonder if the damp heat kept it in the “qui vive”, like a pig before rain! It is in our hottest house now.

I am in a state of temporary inflation— a book just published on the Military operation in Sikkim says of my travels “Never was the Officer Commanding a force favored with a fuller, more able, or more lucid report of a country & it’s inhabitants than I was by the study of Dr Hooker”5

I wonder whether Leonard will ever display such military sagacity & acumen as this Commander in Chief exhibits—;6 & he has his reward, by being made “Keeper of Crown Jewels”7 a sort of Lady’s Maid extraordinary you will say—

Ever yours affec | Jos D Hooker

Footnotes

1
The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter to J. D. Hooker, 6 November 1873. In 1873, the Saturday following 6 November was 8 November.
2
Hooker refers to Francis Darwin. CD evidently visited Hooker at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on Sunday 9 November (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [9 November 1873].
3
Hooker had been experimenting on the digestive properties of Nepenthes (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 November [1873] and n. 2). His paper on the parasitic flowering plant Hydnora americana (a synonym of Prosopanche americana) was read at the Linnean Society on 6 November 1873 (J. D. Hooker 1873).
4
For CD’s interest in Mimosa albida, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 November [1873] and n. 5.
5
Hooker’s Himalayan journals (J. D. Hooker 1854) was praised in John Cox Gawler’s Sikkim, with hints on mountain and jungle warfare (Gawler 1873, p. 3).
6
Leonard Darwin was in Royal Engineers.
7
Gawler was keeper of the crown jewels until his death in 1882.

Summary

Has had a week’s cessation of Nepenthes work.

Had to get out a paper for the Linnean Society on Thursday.

Has tried Mimosa albida in hothouse and found it wonderfully sensitive.

A military report from India praises his travel book.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-9150
From
Hooker, J. D.
To
Darwin, C. R.
Sent from
Kew
Source of text
DAR 103: 184–5
Physical description
4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9150,” accessed on 31 August 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-9150

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