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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   18 August [1875]1

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

Aug. 18th

My dear Hooker

I am delighted at your news about D. Galton, for though I never saw him I feel a diabolical spite towards him.— But you seem to be as bad off as ever with L. Henry. Why on earth shd. he care where you build. It looks as if it were merely to spite you.2 I have no news about myself, as I am merely slaving over the sickening work of preparing new Editions.3 I wish I could get a touch of poor Lyell’s4 feelings, that it was delightful to improve a sentence, like a painter improving a picture—. We go on the 27th to Southampton for a fortnight & shall then see the last of Leonard.5 I am as dull as a duck & so good night

Yours affect | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 16 August 1875.
Douglas Strutt Galton was retiring as director of public works and buildings in the Office of Works, but Henry Gordon-Lennox, first commissioner of works, continued to object to Hooker’s plans for the Kew Gardens Herbarium (letter from J. D. Hooker, 16 August 1875 and n. 3).
CD had been working on the second editions of both Variation and Climbing plants (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
The Darwins stayed at the home of their son William Erasmus Darwin in Southampton from 28 August to 11 September 1875 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). Leonard Darwin, an officer in the Royal Engineers, had been posted to Malta (ODNB).


Climbing plants: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts & Green; Williams & Norgate. 1865.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Shares Hooker’s feelings about Douglas Galton and Lord Henry Lennox.

Bored with preparing new editions.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 390–1
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10124,” accessed on 19 May 2024,

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