skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [19 July 1847]1



My dear Hooker

I must not let a post pass by, without sending you my sincere & cordial congratulations.2

Long may you live, & much happiness may you enjoy with your charming & excellent choice. Though I did not say so, I felt much pleased at your thinking me worthy of your confidence on such a subject: I have told no one (nor will I) except my wife, to whom I tell everything, as you will hereafter to your’s.— The Wedgwoods, however, perceived a flirtation:3 —as you are not married, I may venture to say how much they admired her beauty & manners. I do not know whether to be glad or sorry,—for your sake on the one hand, & for mine on the other, that you are so determined on an expedition:4 anyhow it will not be a very long one. You must pay us a visit here before you go: by the way I have forgotten to give my wife’s hearty congratulations. I will propose myself for a couple of days, as soon as I can, but a heap of relations are coming next week & early in August Prof. Studer of Berne. In Sept. I go to see my Father; but I will come to Kew.— As it turned out, I cd. not have come to you on Saturday, for on Friday one of my boils fiercely reinflamed & all Saturday I was lying on my face on the sofa,—a laughable spectacle to anyone, who by experience did not know what pain I was in.— Nevertheless such a quartet, as you four made, caused me much envy: I displayed a very benevolent heart in not rejoicing over the rain on Saturday.—

On Thursday, I will send per Hiscock Boat,5 all your Books back again (which I had intended bringing with me) & extremely much obliged I am for them: what a production the Phytologist is!

I hope some time to meet with you, Watson. Once again let me congratulate you; I believe you will be able to live very comfortably on your expected income, till lots of Babies drop in, & then no doubt providence will take care of them.

Farewell my dear Hooker | Ever yours | C. Darwin


Dated from the relationship to the letter to J. D. Hooker, 15 [July 1847] and the reference to CD having read the Phytologist (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [10 June 1847], n. 6).
A reference to Hooker’s engagement to Frances Harriet Henslow.
Presumably on the expedition to Dropmore. See letter to J. D. Hooker, [10 June 1847], in which CD asked Hooker whether he would mind if Hensleigh Wedgwood joined the party.
Hooker continued to seek financial support for a botanical expedition to India.
Hiscock’s Kew Boat, a Thames carrier-boat service to Richmond. See Correspondence vol. 3, letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 September [1845], in which Hooker stated that Hiscock had an office at the Hungerford stairs ‘& receives all parcels for us.’


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Congratulations on JDH’s engagement.

Sorry JDH is so determined on an expedition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 98
Physical description
7pp & C

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1101,” accessed on 19 January 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4