skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   31 [January 1860]

Down Bromley Kent


My dear Hooker

I have resolved to publish a little sketch of the progress of opinion on the change of species—.1 Will you or Mrs Hooker do me the favour to copy one sentence out of Naudins paper in Revue Horticole 1852 p. 103, namely that on his principle of Finalité.—2 Can you let me have it soon, with those confounded dashes over the vowels put in carefully. Asa Gray, I believe, is going to get a 2d. Edit of my Book, & I want to send this little preface over to him soon.—

I did not think of necessity of having Naudins sentence on finality, otherwise I would have copied it.—

Yours affect | C. Darwin

I shall end by just alluding to your Australian Flora. Introduction—   What was date of publication    December 1859 or Jan. 1860?3

Please answer this.—

My Preface will also do for French Edition which I believe is agreed on.—4


CD’s ‘historical sketch’ was first published as a preface to the ‘revised and augmented’ American edition of Origin (Freeman 1977, p. 85). It was also included in the German translation (Bronn trans. 1860). See Appendix IV. CD expanded the text for the third English edition (1861).
Late in 1859 Hooker had drawn CD’s attention to the similarity between his theory and an essay by Charles Victor Naudin and sent CD the journal in which Naudin 1852 appeared. See Correspondence vol. 7, letters to J. D. Hooker, 21 [December 1859] and 23 [December], and to Charles Lyell, 22 [December 1859]. In the historical sketch included in Origin US ed., p. ix, CD referred to Naudin’s belief ‘that species are formed in an analogous manner as varieties are under cultivation’ through man’s selection. However, he further noted that Naudin believed in a ‘puissance mystérieuse’, a concept that CD interpreted as a ‘principle of Finalité’ guiding the transformation of species.
CD refers to the introductory essay of Hooker’s Flora Tasmaniæ, published as the concluding number of Hooker 1855–60. It was available in December 1859 (Wiltshear 1913) and was also issued as an independent volume, (Hooker 1859). CD gave the date as December 1859 in Origin US ed., p. xi.
See letters to J. L. A. de Quatrefages de Bréau, 21 January [1860], and to John Murray, 23 [January 1860].


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

Freeman, Richard Broke. 1977. The works of Charles Darwin: an annotated bibliographical handlist. 2d edition. Folkestone, Kent: William Dawson & Sons. Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, Shoe String Press.

Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1855–60. Flora Tasmaniæ. Pt 3 of The botany of the Antarctic voyage of HM Discovery Ships Erebus and Terror, in the years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. 2 vols. London.

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.

Origin US ed.: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. A new edition, revised and augmented by the author. By Charles Darwin. New York: D. Appleton. 1860.

Wiltshear, F. G. 1913. The botany of the Antarctic voyage. Journal of Botany: British and Foreign 51: 355–8. [Vols. 6,7,8]


CD preparing historical sketch, which will go into second American edition of Origin.

Asks JDH to copy out Naudin’s line on finality.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 38
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2671,” accessed on 12 September 2023,

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