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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [31 October 1847]1



My dear Hooker

Excuse my writing in pencil, as I am confined to the Sofa by a perfectly devilish attack of my old evil. I have had two miserable days with my stomach also, but am much better today: I should, otherwise have answered your two notes of Thursday & Friday sooner. I am quite delighted that you will come on Saturday: I shall ask no one to meet you— The phaeton shall be at Sydenham on Saturday to meet the Train, which leaves London Bridge at 4o. 45’ & it shall wait there, for the 5o. 15’ & 5o. 45’ trains in chance you shd miss the Train, or be much engaged but we will not wait with dinner, beyond 612 so that you may be perfectly free & you can have tea & meat. But mind, if it turns out dreadfully inconvenient, do not come, & I will come over to Kew, the ensuing week though it would be a great loss to us.— I fear I shall not be able to leave this place at earliest till Wednesday, & really I have not the spirit to come round by Kew, as we shall see you on Saturday. I cannot tell you, how overdone I have been feeling lately with all fatigue—

You are indeed “game” to the very back bone, to look at, or care for, under present circumstances, the Maldiva Flora: If compelled to guess, I shd have expected only the usual Pacific Coral-island Flora, with a dash of India, or perhaps more probably Persia, or even Madagascar— I shall be very curious to hear what it really is.— How I do wish you were back again & Borneo with all its inhabitants (a Sunday wish) at the bottom of the Sea— Do not waste your precious time in answering this.— If I do not hear to contrary my phaeton shall be waiting at Sydenham—

Yours affectionately | C. Darwin


Dated from CD’s reference to his ill health, as in letter to Emma Darwin, [31 October 1847].


CD very ill; tries to arrange departure meeting with JDH.

CD’s guess at composition of Maldive flora.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 111
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1131,” accessed on 1 June 2023,

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