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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [2 October 1846]1

Down Farnborough Kent


My dear Hooker

I have not heard from Sulivan lately; when he last wrote he named from 8th to 10th as the most likely time. Immediately, that I hear, I will fly you a line, for the chance of your being able to come: I forget, whether you know him, but I suppose so; he is a real good rattling fellow. Anyhow, if you do not come then, I am very glad that you propose coming soon after. My wife is going to Shrewsbury for one week (I staying at home to look after the babbies) after Sulivan’s visit, & that is the only engagement we have. I shd like to get a reunion of naturalists, but fear most will fail me, but I do trust to see you here.—

Thanks for all your curious information on distribution, & offer of books. Kosmos I will buy,2 but I shd be very glad to borrow Watson, though I am in no sort of hurry for it, as I have several Books in hand, not having even yet had time & inclination to read Forbes;3 as I feel that one must buckle to for such a task. I am rather low at hearing that your discussion on relations of Southern & northern forms will appear in Linn. Transt. as I fear it will be almost indefinitely delayed. You must indeed have a great deal of work on hand & I heartily wish you had as much leisure as I now have.

I am going to begin some papers on the lower marine animals, which will last me some months, perhaps a year, & then I shall begin looking over my ten-year-long accumulation of notes on species & varieties which, with writing, I daresay will take me five years, & then when published, I daresay I shall stand infinitely low in the opinion of all sound naturalists—so this is my prospect for the future.

Are you a good hand at inventing names: I have a quite new & curious genus of Barnacle, which I want to name, & how to invent a name completely puzzles me.—4

By the way, I have told you nothing about Southampton;5 we enjoyed (wife & self) our week beyond measure: the papers were all dull, but I met so many friends, & made so many new acquaintances (especially some of the Irish Nat.list) & took so many pleasant excursions.— I wish you had been there: on Sunday we had so pleasant an excursion to Winchester with Falconer, Col. Sabine, & Dr. Robinson, Dean of Armagh, & others. I never enjoyed a day more in my life. I missed having a look at H. Watson. I suppose you heard that he met Forbes & told him he had a severe article in the Press.6 I understood that Forbes explained to him that he had no cause to complain, but as the arcticle was printed, he wd. not withdraw it, but offered to Forbes for him to append notes to it! which Forbes naturally declined.

I am extremely glad you have not given up thoughts of examining our Flora; I shd. like beyond all things going part of the way on your expeditions.

My dear Hooker | Your’s most truly | C. Darwin


The Friday before the proposed visit to Down by Bartholomew James Sulivan mentioned in the letter. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, [6 October 1846].
Humboldt 1846–8. There is a copy in the Darwin Library–CUL.
CD refers to the barnacle collected in the Chonos Archipelago, which he at first named Arthrobalanus and then Cryptophialus minutus. The descriptive work that CD anticipated taking ‘some months’ developed into an eight-year study of the whole sub-class, see Living Cirripedia (1851, 1854) and Fossil Cirripedia (1851, 1854). Ghiselin 1969, Winsor 1976, Crisp 1983, and Southward 1983 describe CD’s barnacle work in detail.
CD attended the meeting of the British Association in Southampton, 10–16 September 1846. He was a vice-president of the committee for section D (zoology and botany).
Possibly the attack published in the appendix to Hewett Cottrell Watson’s Cybele Britannica (Watson 1847–59, 1: 55, 465–72). See letter from J. D. Hooker, [before 3 September 1846], n. 2, for Watson’s complaints against Edward Forbes.


Crisp, Dennis J. 1983. Extending Darwin’s investigations on the barnacle life-history. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 20: 73–83.

Forbes, Edward. 1846. On the connexion between the distribution of the existing fauna and flora of the British Isles, and the geological changes which have affected their area, especially during the epoch of the Northern Drift. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, and of the Museum of Economic Geology in London 1: 336–432.

Fossil Cirripedia (1851): A monograph on the fossil Lepadidæ, or, pedunculated cirripedes of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1851.

Fossil Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the fossil Balanidæ and Verrucidæ of Great Britain. By Charles Darwin. London: Palaeontographical Society. 1854.

Ghiselin, Michael T. 1969. The triumph of the Darwinian method. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.

Southward, A. J. 1983. A new look at variation in Darwin’s species of acorn barnacles. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 20: 59–72.

Watson, Hewett Cottrell. 1847–59. Cybele Britannica; or British plants and their geographical relations. 4 vols. London: Longman.

Winsor, Mary Pickard. 1976. Starfish, jellyfish and the order of life: issues in nineteenth-century science. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.


Hopes to start looking over his species notes in about a year.

Very much enjoyed Southampton [meeting of BAAS, 9–12 Sept].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 65
Physical description
ALS 8pp & C

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1003,” accessed on 21 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3