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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   3 January [1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Jan 3d Sunday morning

My dear Hooker

I have not heard from Mr. Mivart & I do not think that there is now a chance of hearing.—2

I shall be anxious to hear what you finally determine to do, & I will not write till I hear from you.— If you consult Allman, perhaps he will not take so strong a view as you do, influenced, I do not doubt by your kind feelings towards me.3 Whatever anyone else may think, I am convinced that the man is a false hypocrite to the core. All this affair must have cost you much time & what is even worse much annoyment.— As I said in a former note, when I told Huxley & you about it, it never for an instant occurred to me that you would take up the affair in so earnest & sympathetic a manner.4 If I had thought so, I ought, perhaps, to have refrained from mentioning it, but I doubt whether I shd. have had sufficient self-restraint.

I hope before very long that you may hear about your Assist. Secy.—5

Yours affectionately | Ch. Darwin

I have just been reading in Nature the first part of your Royal Address, & I have been particularly glad to learn something about the R. Socy.: it was all new to me.—6

If you can remember, thank Oliver for note received to day about Warming; but I have the pamphlet to which he refers. He sent it to me.—7


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from Daniel Oliver, 2 January 1875.
CD and Hooker had been debating what action to take about an anonymous attack on George Howard Darwin by St George Jackson Mivart in the Quarterly Review ([Mivart] 1874b, p. 70). Mivart had acknowledged to Thomas Henry Huxley confidentially that he was the author of the article. See Correspondence vol. 22, Appendix V.
George James Allman was the president of the Linnean Society of London. Hooker had suggested that Mivart should be removed from his position as secretary of the society (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter from J. D. Hooker, 29 December 1874).
Huxley had learned about the Mivart affair and communicated with Mivart about it in December 1874 (see Correspondence vol. 22).
CD had been helping Hooker in his campaign to have an assistant appointed to him at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 December [1874]).
CD refers to Hooker’s presidential address to the Royal Society of London, made on 30 November 1874 (J. D. Hooker 1874c); extracts from it were reprinted in Nature, 31 December 1874, pp. 175–8, and 7 January 1875, pp. 196–9, under the heading ‘The present condition of the Royal Society’.
See letter from Daniel Oliver, 2 January 1875. CD refers to Eugenius Warming; there is an annotated copy of Warming 1874 in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


Has not heard from Mivart; CD is convinced he is a hypocrite.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 363–4
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9798,” accessed on 30 April 2017,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23