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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [23 November 1855]1

Friday morning

My dear Hooker

I have been thinking that as I have to attend the Council before the anniversary2 it is a great chance whether I shall not have a headache You must, if you can, get me an invitation with the chance of my not being able to come. But you may rely on it, I shall if I possibly can. Moreover I do not think I shall anyhow have time to dress. So that under all these circumstances I think you had better say nothing about me, for remember I hardly know Lindley at all & it is taking too great a liberty with him.3 But do whatever is best for me: I know I shd like above all things to come, but I feel that it will be a mere chance whether able.

Ever yours | C. Darwin

I hate differing in opinion from you, & I wish I had never tried the Charlock seed;4 generally when I differ from you I doubt my own judgment, but this time I doubt your’s, & I declare I hate this almost as much as misdoubting my own.—


The Friday before the anniversary meeting of the Royal Society, held on 30 November 1855.
CD was a member of the council of the Royal Society in 1855 and 1856. The anniversary of the society was celebrated on Friday, 30 November 1855 (Athenæum, no. 1466, 1 December 1855, p. 1403). Council meetings were held on Thursdays. The minutes indicate that CD did not attend the meeting on 29 November. See also letter to W. E. Darwin, 29 [November 1855].
Earlier in the year, CD had been invited to meet John Lindley but had been obliged to cancel his engagement (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 August [1855]). From the content of this letter, it appears that Hooker may have invited CD to join him at Lindley’s house on 29 November, the day of the Royal Society’s council meeting.
See letter to the Gardeners’ Chronicle, 13 November [1855].


CD not sure that he can come to London.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 157
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1785,” accessed on 5 March 2024,

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