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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   12 [October 1858]1

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Hooker

I have enjoyed your note full of news.— Will you tell me name of Legum. plant which has set pods.— I presume it never did so before?— I wish the flowers had only been moved.—2 At request of a Gardener I am drawing up an account of appar-ent crossing of Kidney Beans & intend giving all the results of covering up Leguminosæ:3 so I shd. particularly like, to give your case, in Gardeners Chronicle as showing some little practical good of result.4

I have sent 8 copies by post to Wallace, & will keep the others for him, for I could not think of anyone to send any to.—5

I pray you not to pronounce too strongly against Nat. Selection, till you have read my abstract, for though I daresay you will strike out many difficulties, which have never occurred to me; yet you cannot have thought so fully on subject, as I have.— I expect my abstract will run into a small volume, which will have to be published separately.6

Your statement about F. Palgrave will be deeply interesting to some of Ladies, who are gone fairly crazy about the P. Pilgrim.—7

What a splendid lot of work you have in hand.—

Ever yours | C. Darwin

Pray give our kindest remembrances to Mrs Hooker


The letter was endorsed ‘Sept 58’ and then altered to ‘Oct 58’. The latter date is confirmed by CD’s reference to drawing up an account of the crossing of kidney-beans. This paper was sent to the Gardeners’ Chronicle in November 1858 (see letter to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 13 November 1858]).
Subsequent correspondence indicates that Hooker had been experimenting on the fertilisation of Mucuna, a genus of tropical and subtropical Leguminosae. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 20 [October 1858].
See preceding letter and letters from Henry Coe, 18 September 1858 and 6 October 1858.
CD did not refer to Hooker’s work on Mucuna in his article on the crossing of kidney-beans (see letters to J. D. Hooker, 20 [October 1858] and to Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 13 November 1858]).
CD refers to offprints of Darwin and Wallace 1858 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [5 August 1858]).
See letter to T. C. Eyton, 4 October [1858], in which CD first mentioned the possibility that his ‘abstract’ would form a small volume.
Francis Turner Palgrave was the author of The passionate pilgrim, a pseudonymous romantic novel (Thurstan 1858). CD entered the work in his list of books to be read (Correspondence vol. 4, Appendix IV, *128: 154). The entry was at some stage marked ‘(Read)’. Palgrave was Hooker’s cousin.


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

Thurstan, Henry J., pseud. [Francis Turner Palgrave]. 1858. The passionate pilgrim; or, Eros and Anteros. London. [Vols. 7,10]


Abstract will run into a small volume.

Urges JDH not to reject natural selection until he has read abstract.

[Enclosed are CD’s comments on a ?JDH manuscript that perhaps belong elsewhere.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 249
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2339,” accessed on 3 February 2023,

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