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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   23 [December 1859]

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Hooker

I received last night your “Introduction”, for which very many thanks:1 I am surprised to see how big it is: I shall not be able to read it very soon.—

It was very good of you to send Naudin, for I was very curious to see it.2 I am surprised that Decaisne shd say it was same as mine. Naudin gives artificial selection as well as a a score of English writers; & when he says species were formed in same manner I thought the paper would certainly prove exactly the same as mine. But I cannot find one word like the Struggle for existence & Natural Selection. On the contrary he brings in his principle (p. 103) of Finality (which I do not understand) which he says with some authors is fatality, with others Providence, & which adapts the forms of every Being, & harmonises them all througout nature.—

He assumes (like old geologists assumed the forces of nature were formerly greater) that species were at first more plastic. His simile of tree & classification is like mine (& others), but he cannot, I think, have reflected much on subject, otherwise he would see that genealogy by itself does not give classification.— I declare I cannot see much closer approach to Wallace & me in Naudin than in Lamarck—we all agree in modification & descent.—3

If I do not hear from you I will return Revue in a few days (with the cover).— I daresay Lyell would be glad to see it.— By the way I will retain the volume, till I hear whether I shall not send it to Lyell. I shd. rather like Lyell to see this note; though it is foolish work sticking up for independence or priority.—

Ever yours | C. Darwin


A presentation copy of Hooker 1859 is in the Darwin Library–CUL. It was extensively annotated by CD.
CD repeated most of these comments in his discussion of Naudin’s paper in the ‘Historical sketch’ that he later prepared for Origin.


Naudin, Charles Victor. 1852. Considérations philosophiques sur l’espèce et la variété. Revue Horticole 4th ser. 1: 102–9.

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.


Received JDH’s introduction to Flora Tasmaniae.

Criticism of C. V. Naudin’s descent theory.

Asks that Lyell be allowed to see letter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 32
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2595,” accessed on 14 April 2024,

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