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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [6–11 December 1860]1

Royal Gardens Kew

Ed I.2 P. 9. Is the term Sport confined to buds & offsets. If so, they must necessarily be rare under nature.3 p. 18. Many people have remarked that the Quarterly so disposed of Horner’s pottery dating that they wonder you should quote it.—4 I know nothing. p. 19. Bottom of page. I suppose you know that a Greyhound will run a Scotch Terrier. p. 29. I think the “explanation” of the Gardeners disbelief, is more due to want of reversion, & the fact that all future varieties wander still further from the wild apple. p. 58. Bottom. “Finally x   x   x &c”—   this is very unclear, though I see the meaning p. 109. Middle of page. “Each area is already fully stocked”— 110 at top. “No region is as yet fully stocked”— p. 132. Forbes’ & Gould’s statements are repeated in next page. p. 193. replace h by c & read ‘Matteucci p. 197. Is not the Bamboo here alluded to a Palm? 219 “Slaves carry masters” 221 “Masters carry slaves.” 353. Perhaps better to say that most Natural Genera “almost invariably continuous in area”—for many of most natural are cosmopolitan. 369 line 17. for “Some few” read “many” 379. An equally curious case is that of a group of several N. Chili species reappearing in N. Mexico & California5 416 It is the position of the rudimental florets of grapes that Brown found so important, not their characters. 459. line 7 from bottom    The introducing “which we may consider” is very confusing— ? take out comma before it—

CD annotations

1.1 P. 9.... nature. 1.2] ‘?+?’ added brown crayon
2.1 p. 18.... nothing. 2.2] crossed pencil
3.1 p. 19.... Terrier. 3.2] ‘?+?’ added brown crayon
4.1 p. 29.... apple. 4.3] crossed brown crayon
5.1 p. 58.... meaning 5.1] crossed pencil; cross added brown crayon
6.1 p. 109.... ‘Matteucci 8.1] crossed ink
10.1 219 … slaves.“ 10.1] crossed ink
11.1 353.... “many”12.1] crossed pencil
13.1 379.... California 13.2] ‘[Glacial]’ added brown crayon
14.1 416 … before it— 15.2] crossed pencil


The letter had not been received by CD when he wrote to Hooker on 6 December (see preceding letter). CD replied to it on 11 December (letter to J. D. Hooker, 11 December [1860]).
CD had asked Hooker to send him his criticisms of Origin to assist with the corrections and additions to the third edition (see letters to J. D. Hooker, 26 November [1860] and 4 December [1860]).
Hooker’s point is that buds and offsets in plants are almost always garden phenomena. CD did not change the passage in the third edition of Origin.
In the first edition of Origin, CD cited the results of Leonard Horner’s geological excavation of alluvial deposits in Egypt (Horner 1858) as support for the statement that ‘civilized men may have lived in the valley of the Nile thirteen or fourteen thousand years ago’ (Origin, p. 18). The empirical basis for Horner’s chronology, however, was challenged by the classicist William Smith in an unsigned article published in the Quarterly Review in April 1859 ([W. Smith] 1859; see Wellesley index 1: 742). In fact, CD had already replaced this sentence in the revised American edition of Origin (see letter to Asa Gray, 1 February [1860] and n. 7).
In the first edition of Origin, p. 379, CD discussed how only a few southern organisms seemed to have migrated north, giving as an example the case of ‘a few southern vegetable forms on the mountains of Borneo and Abyssinia.’ He did not add Hooker’s example to the third edition.


Horner, Leonard. 1858. An account of some recent researches near Cairo, with the view of throwing light upon the geological history of the alluvial land of Egypt. Pt II. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 148: 53–92. [vols. 7,8]

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.

[Smith, William]. 1859. Bunsen’s Egypt and the chronology of the Bible. Quarterly Review 105: 382–421.

Wellesley index: The Wellesley index to Victorian periodicals 1824–1900. Edited by Walter E. Houghton et al. 5 vols. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1966–89.


JDH’s page-by-page criticisms on Origin, first edition, as requested by CD for preparation of the third edition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 218
Physical description
inc †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3013,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

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