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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   31 March [1858]

Down Bromley Kent

March 31st

My dear Hooker

I send off by carrier tonight Ledebour to be forwarded per Deliverance Coy.—1 I have kept it longer than I expected, as I found two or three things to look into.— Many thanks for the loan.—

I progress slowly with my hazy discussion.— Will you read it? when fairly copied; you can take your time; it will not be very long, though longer than I expected. If you have much to say on it, I wd meet you in London to save your time; and if you will read it, I would tell you the one or two main points on which your opinion would be of much value to me.— I hope I am not asking a very odious favour.— I never before bothered myself with such a perplexing subject.—

I have just been reading Huxleys paper on Aphis:2 it seems to me quite admirable & most philosophical. How he upsets Owen’s spermatic force & whole hypothesis of words!3

Farewell, my dear Hooker.— My paper will not be ready & copied for a week or two, if you will read it. Adios. | C. Darwin

Have you read Buckle I think you would be interested in it;4 I have been extremely, as I have, also, with Livingstone.—5

I have just received a present of L. Jenyns Metereology.—6


T. H. Huxley 1858.
See the two preceding letters. See Correspondence vol. 6, letter to T. H. Huxley, [before 12 November 1857], for CD’s comments on Owen’s hypothesis.
The first volume of Buckle 1857–61, which CD recorded having read early in 1858 (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 128: 23). CD and Hooker had met Henry Thomas Buckle at a dinner party (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 February [1858], and letter from J. D. Hooker, [25] February [1858]).
Livingstone 1857. CD entered this work in his reading notebook on 12 April 1858, noting: ‘(the best Travels I ever read)’ (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, 128: 23). The book had been recommended to him by Hooker in 1857 (see Correspondence vol. 6, letter from J. D. Hooker, [2 December 1857]). Notes on Livingstone 1857 are scattered throughout the Darwin Archive (see DAR 45, 46.1, 47, 205.2, and 205.11 (2): 78–80).
Jenyns 1858. See following letter.


Buckle, Henry Thomas. 1857–61. History of civilization in England. 2 vols. London: John W. Parker & Son.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 28 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Jenyns, Leonard. 1858. Observations in meteorology. London. [vols. 3,7]

Ledebour, Karl Friedrich von. 1842–53. Flora Rossica sive enumeratio plantarum in totius imperii Rossici provinciis Europaeis, Asiaticis et Americanis hucusque observatarum. 4 vols. Stuttgart. [Vols. 6,7]

Livingstone, David. 1857. Missionary travels and researches in South Africa; including a sketch of sixteen years’ residence in the interior of Africa, and a journey from the Cape of Good Hope to Loanda on the west coast; thence across the Continent, down the river Zambesi, to the Eastern Ocean. London: John Murray.


Writing section on large and small genera [for Natural selection, ch. 4].

Huxley supersedes Owen on parthenogenesis.

Buckle’s History of civilisation in England extremely interesting.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 230
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2248,” accessed on 20 May 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 7