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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   4 December 1880

Royal Gardens Kew

Dec 4/80

Dear Darwin

I quite hope that Frank will let me propose him for the Royal at once:—assuming that I should not run him against Dickie,1 who will I should hope get in at once, as Huxley2 highly approves my bringing him forward. We might then hope for Frank’s election in 1882.

What do you think of the Haughton & Starkie Gardener correspondence in “Nature”? It appears to me that neither of them have the smallest notion of the biological factors of the problem they are blundering about.— They both assume that the only element that has to do with the restriction of Araucaria Cunninghamii to its limited area in Australia is Climate!3

Ever affy yrs | Jos D Hooker

The Grays return to Kew on Monday for 2 months, & we now talk of all going South in February4


Francis Darwin; see letter to J. D. Hooker, 1 December 1880 and n. 2. George Dickie was proposed for fellowship in the Royal Society of London by Hooker on 7 February 1881 and elected on 2 June 1881 (Royal Society archives, GB 117 EC/1881/09).
In his article ‘A chapter in the history of the coniferæ’, Nature, 1 July 1880, pp. 199–202, John Starkie Gardner hypothesised that trees of the genus Araucaria, which was restricted to the southern hemisphere, originated and became differentiated in the northern hemisphere. A letter from Samuel Haughton published in Nature, 7 October 1880, pp. 532–3, referred to Gardner’s article and challenged geologists of the uniformitarian school to explain how the climate of Bournemouth could have been similar to that of Queensland, Australia. Letters to the journal continued the discussion on climate (see Nature, 4 November 1880, pp. 8–9; 18 November 1880, pp. 53–4; 2 December 1880, pp. 98–9). Further letters on the topic by Gardner, Haughton, and others appeared in Nature up to 24 February 1881. Araucaria cunninghamii (Moreton Bay pine) is a tree species native to parts of New Guinea and Australia (Queensland).
Asa and Jane Loring Gray had been in Paris from around October 1880; they travelled through Italy with Hooker and his wife, Hyacinth Hooker, in the spring of 1881 (J. L. Gray ed. 1893, p. 701).


Gray, Jane Loring, ed. 1893. Letters of Asa Gray. 2 vols. London: Macmillan and Co.


Wants to propose Frank for F.R.S. now, with election in 1882.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 148–9
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 12887,” accessed on 31 January 2023,