skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   9 October [1856]1

Down Bromley Kent

Oct. 9th

My dear Hooker

I do not remember sending any list, except one very long ago; but anyhow that does not signify.— The only seeds in pods (with some stalk) which I want are water or marsh plants, named. The widest rangers would be the most interesting to me, as Montia fontana & Callitriche verna.— We have no water here.— I have been trying some 60 or 70 pods, heads capsules &c to see about their floatation, & I shd. very much like to try some water plants, & likewise I shd like to try whether the vitality these same seeds can resist salt-water.—2 I shall come to London on 15th & stay till Saturday 18th at noon.3

Supposing it proved convenient these seeds (& Vilmorins) cd. be sent to 57 Queen Anne St,4 by that time per Deliverance Coy.—or as soon after the 18th, as you please as before requested.—

With many thanks | Ever yours | C. Darwin

I read long ago your Review on Decandolle with very great interest.5 He will be disgusted at your estimation of Botanical Geography; though I shd. think, pleased with all the first part.—


Dated by CD’s reference to a trip to London from 15 to 18 October (see n. 3, below).
Documented in CD’s Experimental book, pp. 11–14 (DAR 157a). CD gave the results in Origin, p. 359. The species mentioned by CD in the letter were not, however, listed in his experimental records.
On 15 October 1856, Emma Darwin recorded in her diary: ‘Ch went to London’.
The residence of CD’s brother Erasmus Alvey Darwin, with whom CD usually stayed when in London.
[J. D. Hooker] 1856. See letters to J. D. Hooker, 5 August [1856] and 7 August [1856].


Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.


CD coming to London.

Read JDH’s review [Hooker’s Kew J. Bot. 8 (1856): 54–64 et seq.] of Alphonse de Candolle’s Géographie botanique raisonnée [1855] long ago.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 180
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1971,” accessed on 30 September 2023,

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