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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   14 July [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

July 14th

Please Read last part. soon.

My dear Hooker

The enclosed specimens do not concern me, but perhaps you would like to see them: they are seedling Lathyrus nissolia. In the 3 or 4 I have looked at lower scale-leaf is diagram a); the second alternate (B); & the third with lateral stipules (C)

As these seedlings are about 12 days old, the cotyledons seem never to come out, which if true, tells me, what I did not know how subordinately their function is that of a leaf.2

Many thanks for your last note & answer to my query.3

(N.B I once saw a laburnum tree with terminal flower in each raceme regular or peloric)4

I quite agree with what you say on my nut case:5 the utmost I try to show is that the means of distribution are very imperfectly known, & therefore that anyone must be cautious in arguing for double Creations of insular plants (& in extending continents!).—

I write now to supplicate most earnestly a favour, viz the loan of Boreau Flore du Centre de la France either 1st or 2d. Edit, last best.—6 Also “Flora Ratisbonensis by Dr. Furnrohr in Naturhist. Topographie von Regenberg 1839.”.7 If you can possibly spare them will you send them at once by enclosed address.— If you have not them, will you send one line by Return of Post. As I must try whether Kippist can anyhow find them, which I fear will be nearly impossible in Linnean Library, in which I know they are.—8

I have been making some calculations about varieties &c. & talking yesterday with Lubbock, he has pointed out to me the grossest blunder which I have made in principle, & which entails 2 or 3 weeks lost work; & I am at a dead lock till I have these Books to go over again, & see what the result of calculation on right principle is.—9 I am the most miserable, bemuddled, stupid Dog in all England, & am ready to cry at vexation at my blindness & presumption.

Ever yours | Most Miserably | C. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to John Lubbock (see letter to John Lubbock, 14 [July 1857]).
The letter has not been located. For CD’s query, see letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 July [1857].
CD had mentioned this case of pelorism to Hooker in 1847 (Correspondence vol. 4, letter to J. D. Hooker, [12 June 1847]).
Richard Kippist was the librarian of the Linnean Society. During 1857, the society moved its premises into Burlington House, Piccadilly (Gage 1938).


Boreau, Alexandre. 1840. Flore du centre de la France; ou description des plantes qui croissent spontanément dans la région centrale de la France, et de celles qui y sont cultivées en grand, avec l’analyse des genres et des espèces. 2 vols. in 1. Paris: Roret.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Fürnrohr, August Emanuel. 1839. Flora Ratisbonensis, oder Uebersicht der um Regensburg wildwachsenden Gewächse. Vol. 2 of Naturhistorische Topographie von Regensburg, edited by A. E. Fürnrohr. Regensburg: Manz.

Gage, Andrew Thomas. 1938. A history of the Linnean Society of London. London: Linnean Society of London.


Asks to borrow several Floras. Must redo calculations as John Lubbock has shown him an important error.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 204
Physical description
ALS 6pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2124,” accessed on 19 April 2024,

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