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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   5 November [1854]

Down Farnborough Kent

Nov. 5th.

My dear Hooker

I was delighted to get your note yesterday. I congratulate you very heartily, & whether you care much or little, I rejoice to see the highest scientific judgment-court in Great Britain recognise your claims.1

I do hope Mrs Hooker is pleased, & Emma desires me particularly to send her cordial congratulations. Mind my words you will be an awful scientific giant some day, & I shall have the very great satisfaction of having foretold it from the very first days we knew each other.— I pity you from the very bottom of my heart about your after dinner speech, which I fear I shall not hear. Without you have a very much greater soul than I have (& I believe that you have) you will find the medal a pleasant little stimulus, when work goes badly & one ruminates that all is vanity, it is pleasant to have some tangible proof, that others have thought something of one’s labours.2 Goodbye my dear Hooker, I can assure that we both most truly enjoyed your & Mrs Hooker visit here.

Farewell | My dear Hooker | Your sincere friend | C. Darwin

I am glad to hear about Greenland.

What a disgusting puzzle about your Ischian case. I have begun to get some facts about aberrant genera in insects.—3

I cannot possibly come up on Tuesday,4 as we shall have visitors;5 whether I shd. if we had not, shall be left in obscurity.


Hooker had been awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society for his researches in botany on the Antarctic and Himalayan expeditions. The presentation took place at the meeting of 30 November 1854. Hooker was recognised, among other things, for his investigation of ‘one of the most difficult questions of natural science, which is now acquiring that prominence to which it is so well entitled,—I mean the question of the origin and distribution of species’ (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 7 (1854–5): 261).
CD had been awarded the Royal Medal in 1853 for his works on geology and for his monograph on the pedunculated Cirripedia (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [4 November 1853]).
For the meeting of the Linnean Society on 7 November 1854 (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 November [1854]).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary, Fanny Mosley Wedgwood and her daughter Amy arrived in Down on 6 November.


Congratulates JDH on receipt of Royal Medal.

CD gathering facts on aberrant genera of insects.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 152
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1597,” accessed on 17 September 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5