To J. D. Hooker 30 August 1
Down, | Beckenham, Kent.
My dear Hooker
I am particularly obliged for your address.2 It strikes me as quite excellent & has interested me in the highest degree. Nor is this due to my having worked at the subject, for I feel sure that I shd have been just as much struck, perhaps more so, if I had known nothing about it. You could not in my opinion have put the case better. There are several lights (besides the facts) in your essay new to me, & you have greatly honoured me. I heartily congratulate you on so splendid a piece of work. There is a misprint at p. 7, Mitschke for Nitschke.3 There is a partial error at p. 8 where you say that Drosera is nearly indifferent to inorganic substances: this is much too strong; though they do act less efficiently than organic with soluble nitrogenous matter; but the chief difference is in the widely different period of subsequent reexpansion.—4 Thirdly I did not suggest to Sanderson his electrical experiments; though no doubt my remarks led to his thinking of them.5
Now for your letter you are very generous about Dionæa; but some of my experiments will require cutting off leaves, & therefore injuring plants. I cd not write to Lady Dorothy.—6 Rollisson says that they expect soon a lot from America.7 If Dionæa is not despatched have marked on address “to be forwarded by foot-messenger.”
Mrs Barber’s paper is very curious & ought to be published; but when you come here (& remember you offered to come) we will consult where to send it.8
Let me hear when you recommence on Cephalotus or Sarracenia, as I think I am now on right track about Utricularia, after wasting several weeks in fruitless trials & observations.9
The negative work takes five times more time than the positive.
Ever Yours | C. Darwin
Thanks JDH for his "quite admirable" address [Rep. BAAS 44 (1874) pt 2: 102–16]. Suggests revisions.
CD thinks he is "now on right track about Utricularia" after wasting several weeks "in fruitless trials and observations".
Mrs Barber’s paper is very curious and ought to be published.
- Letter no.
- Charles Robert Darwin
- Joseph Dalton Hooker
- Sent from
- Source of text
- Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (JDH/6/3 Insectivorous plants 1873–8: 40)
- Physical description