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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   29 November 1880

Royal Gardens Kew

Novr 29/80

Dear Darwin

I see no good reason why a Father should not propose a son, though I think it would not be a wise course if the claim of the son was not a rather commanding one.1

The chief draw-back would be that, in case of the election being long delayed, the friends would feel for the two parties much more than if they were not visibly joined as it were in one candidature.

I go off the Council tomorrow, & will if you like make a little enquiry as to Frank’s prospects of tolerably speedy selection,—having done which I would inform you, & act with the greatest pleasure exactly as you should wish.2

I have only one prior claim upon me, & that is Dr Dickie late Profr of Botany in Aberdeen, who has labored on Algae for upwards of 40 years, & published some 54 papers on them.3

Frank is certain to get in sometime, & in your life-time too! but he would be more certain of speedy selection if he had made more communications—4 His ability & the standard i.e. importance of his work are all that could be desired, but without looking it up I am not prepared to say that there is enough of it to make a sure claim for speedy selection; except there should be a dearth of older workers on the list, which is not likely.

Be all this as it may, it will be a real pleasure to me to take care of Frank’s interests & foster them, whether or no I can make them available at once. Oliver succeeds me on the Council & he is a sure friend of Franks.5

I know you will not be angry with my cautions—

Ever affy Yrs | Jos D Hooker.


See letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 November [1880]; CD wanted to propose Francis Darwin for fellowship of the Royal Society Society of London.
Hooker was on the council of the Royal Society until 30 November 1880; see letter to J. D. Hooker, 28 November [1880] and n. 4.
Hooker proposed George Dickie for fellowship of the Royal Society; he was elected on 2 June 1881 (Record of the Royal Society of London).
Francis Darwin had communicated one paper, ‘On the protrusion of protoplasmic filaments from the glandular hairs of the common teasel’ (F. Darwin 1877), to the Royal Society.
Daniel Oliver was elected as a member of the council of the Royal Society on 30 November 1880 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 31 (1880–1): 101).


Darwin, Francis. 1877a. On the protrusion of protoplasmic filaments from the glandular hairs of the common teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris). (Abstract.) [Read 1 March 1877.] Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 26: 4–8.

Record of the Royal Society of London: The record of the Royal Society of London for the promotion of natural knowledge. 4th edition. London: Royal Society. 1940.


Quality of Frank’s work merits F.R.S., but quantity could defer speedy election. Will advise best strategy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 146–7
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12873,” accessed on 31 January 2023,