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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   11 April [1859]

Down Bromley Kent

Ap. 11

My dear Hooker

I write one line to say that I heard from Murray yesterday, & he says he has read 3 first Chapters of my M.S. (& this includes a very dull one) & he abides by his offer.1 Hence he does not want more M.S. & you can send my Geographical Ch. when it pleases you.—2

I hope soon to hear whether you will abide by the day of your promised visit here, ie as I understood 21st.— My eldest son arrived to our surprise yesterday3 & there will only be Georgy to meet on 21st so that we could send to Bromley Station on that day with one horse to meet you.— N.B there is Pimlico & London Bridge Line: by the Pimlico Line you would have to get out at Beckenham; by the London Bridge line you could come to Bromley (Mason Hill) Stn.—

I am much puzzled by Circular about subscription: I can decide nothing till I have a talk with some one & that will be you first—4 I fear the scheme will abort; if it really goes on, I would subscribe £50 or perhaps £100; but till I hear more I would make it only contingent on some largish sum being subscribed.—5

Ever dear Hooker | Yours most truly | C Darwin


The letter from John Murray has not been found. It was a reply to CD’s letter to John Murray, 5 April [1859].
CD sent Hooker the chapters on geographical distribution (Origin, pp. 346–410) early in March (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 11 March [1859]). CD requested their return in the letter to J. D. Hooker,2 April [1859].
Emma Darwin’s diary records that William Erasmus Darwin arrived at Down on 9 April 1859.
Following the oversubscription to the fund set up to aid John Ralfs (see letter to J. D. Hooker,2 November [1858], n. 1), the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society resolved at a meeting on27 January 1859 to initiate a fund for the charitable relief of practising scientists (see Correspondence vol.7, Appendix VII). At a subsequent meeting of the club, the treasurer, William Hallowes Miller, was requested to write to every member to ascertain their opinion (Bonney 1919, pp. 52, 143–4 and n. 1).
The fund was eventually set up, with CD a signatory to the proposal (see Correspondence vol.7, Appendix VII). An entry in his Account book (Down House MS) indicates he contributed £100 on 10 June 1859.


Bonney, T. G. 1919. Annals of the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society written from its minute books. London: Macmillan.

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

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.


Murray has read first three chapters of Origin and abides by his offer to publish.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 11
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2452,” accessed on 23 June 2024,

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