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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [19 October 1856]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Hooker

The seeds are come all safe, many thanks for them.

I was very sorry to run away so soon & miss any part of my most pleasant evening; & I ran away like a goth & vandal without wishing Mrs. Hooker good bye; but I was only just in time, as I got on the platform the train had arrived.

I was particularly glad of our discussion after dinner; fighting a battle with you always clears my mind wonderfully. I groan to hear that A. Gray agrees with you about the condition of Botanical Geography. All I know is that if you had had to search for light in zoological geography you would by contrast respect your own subject a vast deal more than you now do.— The Hawks have behaved like gentlemen & have cast up pellets with lots of seeds of them;2 & I have just had a parcel of partridges feet well caked with mud!!!3

Adios | Your insane & perverse friend | C. Darwin


The Sunday after CD’s trip to London, 15–18 October (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 October [1856]).
The experiment, which was carried out in the gardens of the Zoological Society, was recorded in CD’s Experimental book, p. 15 (DAR 157a) on19 October 1856: Killed some sparrow *on 14th [interl], one with wheat inside, put in Oats, Canary seed, Tares, Cabbage & Clover—gave *3 Birds [above del ‘it’] to small S. African Eagle. (Bateleur): bolted them; threw up pellet in 18 hours, *ie on morning of 16th [interl] charged with seed: planted these seeds on 19th.—


CD sorry he had to leave the Hookers abruptly to catch his train.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 179
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1977,” accessed on 15 September 2023,

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