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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   8 [July 1856]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Hooker

I do hope that this note may arrive in time to save you trouble in one respect. I am perfectly ashamed of myself, for I find in introduction to Flora of Fuegia a short discussion on Tristan plants,2 which though scored I had quite forgotten at time & had thought only of looking into introduction to New Zealand Flora. It was very stupid of me.—

In my sketch, I am forced to pick out the most striking cases of species which favour the multiple creation doctrine, without indeed great continental extensions are admitted. Of the many wonderful cases in your books, the one which strikes me most is that list of species, which you made for me, common to N. Zealand & America, & confined to Southern hemisphere; & in this list those common to Chile & N. Zealand seem to me the most wondrous. I have copied these out & enclosed them.3 Now I will promise to ask no more questions, if you will tell me a little about these. What I want to know is whether any or many of these are mountain plants of Chile, so as to bring them in some degree (like the Chonos plants) under the same Category with the Fuegian plants. I see that all the genera (Edwardsia even having Sandwich Isd & Indian species) are wide ranging genera, except Myosurus, which seems extra wonderful. Do any of these genera cling to sea-side?— Are the other species of these genera wide rangers?

Do be a good Christian & not hate me.

Ever yours | C. Darwin

I began last night to reread your Galapagos paper,4 & to my taste it is quite admirable: I see in it, some of the points which I thought best in A. Decandolle! such is my memory.—

Lyell will not express any opinion on continental extensions.


Dated by the relationship to the letters to J. D. Hooker, 5 [July 1856] and 5 July [1856].
See the letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 [July 1856] and n. 6. CD refers to J. D. Hooker 1844–7, 2: 216–17. These pages are scored in pencil in CD’s copy of the work in the Darwin Library–CUL.
A list headed ‘Plants common to New Zealand and South America but not Europœan’ in J. D. Hooker’s hand is bound into the back of CD’s copy of the introductory essay of J. D. Hooker 1853–5 (Darwin Library–CUL). It has been extensively annotated in pencil by CD. A second list, headed ‘Plants common to Chile *not Fuegia [interl] & New Zealand found only in Southern Hemisphere’ in CD’s hand, is also bound in the back of the same work. The latter list has been annotated by J. D. Hooker.
J. D. Hooker 1851. CD’s copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.


Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1844–7. Flora Antarctica. 1 vol. and 1 vol. of plates. Pt 1 of The botany of the Antarctic voyage of HM discovery ships Erebus and Terror in the years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. London: Reeve Brothers.

Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1851. On the vegetation of the Galapagos Archipelago, as compared with that of some other tropical islands and of the continent of America. Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 20: 235–62. [Vols. 4,6]

Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1853–5. Flora Novæ-Zelandiæ. 2 vols. Pt 2 of The botany of the Antarctic voyage of HM discovery ships Erebus and Terror, in the years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. London: Lovell Reeve.


CD writing species sketch; must cite cases favouring multiple creations.

Requests details on species JDH listed as common to Chile and New Zealand. Notes their genera are mundane.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 168
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1921,” accessed on 9 August 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6