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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   14 [January 1860]



My dear Hooker

I must just thank you for your long & interesting letter. I am very sorry to hear about Lady Hooker: it must be a great anxiety to you. An operation is so horrid a thing.1

Do not forget, when free from care & if you ever have time how heartily glad we shd. be to see you here.

I heard from Lyell this morning & he tells me a piece of news.— You are a good-for-nothing man: here you are slaving yourself to death with hardly a minute to spare & you must write a review on my Book! I thought it a very good one, & was so much struck with it, that I sent it to Lyell.2 But I assumed as a matter of course that it was Lindleys:3 now that I know it is yours I have reread it, & my kind & good friend it has warmed my heart with all the honourable & noble things you say of me & it. I was a good deal surprised at Lindley hitting on some of the remarks, but I never dreamed of you. I admired it chiefly as so well adapted to tell on the readers of the G. Chronicle; but now I admire it in another spirit.

Farewell with hearty thanks. What a lot we shall have to talk about if we ever meet.— There are several points in your Essay which I wish to discuss.4 (I have just lent it to J. Lubbock) & some point in Asa Grays.5

Farewell    your affect. | C. Darwin

I shall be very glad to hear that Lady Hooker has got over her dreadful trial.

We have three children in bed with measles.6

Lyell is going at Man with an audacity that frightens me: it is a good joke he used always to caution me to slip over man.—


Hooker’s mother, Maria Hooker, was suffering from a leg ailment.
CD refers to Hooker’s anonymous review of Origin published in the Gardeners’ Chronicle and Agricultural Gazette, 31 December 1859, pp. 1051–2. John Lindley was the editor of the Gardeners’ Chronicle.
Hooker 1859.
Gray 1859. CD had recently received a copy of this work, an analysis of the Japanese flora (see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to Asa Gray, 24 December [1859]). His annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary, Elizabeth, Francis, and Leonard Darwin contracted measles in January 1860. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1860].


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

Gray, Asa. 1859. On the coiling of tendrils. American Journal of Science and Arts 2d ser. 27: 277–8. [Vols. 10,11]

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.


CD has learned from Lyell that JDH reviewed Origin in Gardeners’ Chronicle writing in Lindley’s style.

Lyell is working on man.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 36
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2651,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8