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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   13 October 1876


Oct 13/76

Dear Darwin

Mr Smith is sending on to you a box with pigeons’ skins from Upper India which Dr King of the Calcutta Gardens forwards from some correspondent of yours.1

We returned this day week from Scotland2   I am settling down comfortably & without any “hitches” of any kind.

Dyer has just gone for his 6 weeks holidays, which will keep me very busy.3 Andrew Clark has put me on diet for Gout!!!4

I have been plagued for years with Eczema auricula. which came on very bad shortly before I married; got better under Arsenic &c & is now breaking out again, & besides the pain is making me very deaf. Clark calls it Gout, but as my father & Grandfather had it & called it by the more intelligible name of E. A. so shall I.—5 They tell me that it is the most intractable of all ailments— which is not comforting.—

How are you, & how is Frank.?6 The Lubbocks’ asked us for 21st., but we are booked for the Spottiswoodes on that day7

Ever yours affec | Jos D Hooker

Just fancy!— the tourists are pitching the perched blocks of shores of Loch Coruisk into the Loch.— Symons is writing to the proprietor.8


John Smith (1821–88) was curator at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. George King was superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta. The correspondent was John Scully (see letter to George King, 19 September 1876).
Hooker had been travelling in Scotland with his wife Hyacinth (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 17 September [1876]).
William Turner Thiselton-Dyer was assistant director at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Andrew Clark had been treating CD since 1873 (see Correspondence vol. 21). CD had been diagnosed with ‘suppressed gout’ by other physicans (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 January [1865] and n. 16).
Eczema auricula: eczema of the ear. On gout in relation to eczema, see Correspondence vol. 10, letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 July 1862, and Correspondence vol. 13, letter from J. D. Hooker, [8–18 January 1865]. Hooker’s father was William Jackson Hooker; his grandfather was Joseph Hooker.
Erratic boulders lay on the shore of Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye. Hooker had travelled to Skye with his father-in-law, William Samuel Symonds (letter from J. D. Hooker, [24 September 1876]).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


JDH back from his honeymoon.

Finds he has gout, as his father and grandfather had.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 66–7
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10642,” accessed on 30 May 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24