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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   11 December [1860]

Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 11th

My dear Hooker

Sincere thanks for suggestions; some of which had occurred to me.—1 I will profit by all that I can.—& two or three are excellent hits.

Please tell me soon is it Bamboo or Palm: it grows in your great Hot-house & is used in Java to catch thieves.—2

I do not understand what you mean by “a greyhound will run a Scotch Terrier”.—   Nor do I see, why sports in buds or offsets “must necessarily be rare under nature”— But these cannot be important points.— I understand everything else.—

I heard from A. Gray this morning;3 at my suggestion he is going to reprint the 3 Atlantic articles as Pamplet & send 250 copies to England, for which I intend to pay half cost of whole Edition, & shall give away & try to sell by getting a few advertisements put in, & if possible Notices in Periodicals.— A. Gray said he shd. ask you to help, but I have told him that I would gladly pay half cost.—

Ever my dear Hooker | Yours | C. Darwin

David Forbes has been carefully working the Geology of Chile, & as I value praise for accurate observation far higher than for any other quality, forgive (if you can) the insufferable vanity of my copying the last sentence in his note. “I regard your monograph on Chile as without exception one of the finest specimens of geological enquiry”.—4 I feel inclined to strut like a Turkey-cock!


The Crustacea on shores of N. Chile & California offer parallel case with your plants: but I shall keep details for my larger work if it ever can be done.—6


In his letter, Hooker stated that he thought the trailing ‘bamboo’ of the Malay Archipelago, referred to by CD in Origin, p. 197, was in fact a palm. The rattan or cane palms are armed with formidable hooked prickles. CD changed the text of the third edition of Origin to read ‘palm’.
Asa Gray’s letter has not been found, but see the preceding letter.
The letter has not been found, but see the letter from David Forbes, [November? 1860]. Forbes had recently read a paper on the geology of Bolivia and Peru at a meeting of the Geological Society of London (D. Forbes 1861).
The note is in DAR 115.1: 78E. Although the paper and the ink of the note are the same as those of the letter, it is not clear whether it was enclosed with this letter; since it continues the discussion of points raised in Hooker’s letter of [6–11 December 1860], it would appear to have been written at about this time.
The larger work CD envisioned as providing the empirical evidence summarised in Origin was never published in its entirety. CD abandoned the plan after the appearance in 1868 of Variation.


Forbes, James David. 1861. On the climate of Edinburgh for fifty-six years, from 1795 to 1850, deduced principally from Mr Adie’s observations; with an account of other and earlier registers. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 22: 327–56.

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.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


On JDH’s suggestions for new edition of Origin.

Gray’s Atlantic Monthly articles to be published [in England] as a pamphlet.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 80, 78E
Physical description
4pp encl 1p inc

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3019,” accessed on 21 September 2021,

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