From J. D. Hooker [before 3 September 1846]1
This probable fracas between the 2 Geographers distresses me, for they are almost the only 2 men who have looked on British Flora with the eyes of philosophers.2 Watson in particular ranks in my opinion at the very head of English Botanists, whether for knowledge of species or of their distribution; he first wrote philosophically upon them & his works are of the highest order.
Unfortunately he is touchy & very severe when first offended, though he never holds a grudge long.
I need hardly ask what you are about, as my Proof sheets come from Reeves enveloped with cabalistic diagrams, all your own—which I doubt not belong to the Geology of S. America.3 When that work is over you will I suppose attack Species as you have long promised I wish you joy of the task: & shall be very glad to know your views— I have done all of Edmonstones Galapago plants that have been received,4 but understand that these are only duplicates of a much fuller collection not yet received. As it is, they modify the results drawn from the xamination of previous collections materially; there being more Guayaquil species amongst them.
I have at last finished down to the Ferns of Flor. Ant. & begun the Cryptog. I am ready on my return to send you a return of the species identical & representative inhabiting N. temperate & Antarctic regions. I hope you get your numbers regularly from Reeves; but he is not the most regular of publishers. This winter I shall (entre nous) bilk the Survey & work at home. My address is as above, where I shall be for a week or 10 days,5 longing to hear how you all are & what about
Ever my dear Darwin | Most truly yrs. | Jos D Hooker.
Has done Edmondston’s Galapagos plants.
Dispute between Edward Forbes and H. C. Watson.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 994,” accessed on 17 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-994