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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [6 July 1861]1

2. Hesketh Crescent | Torquay


My dear Hooker.

Your note offering Catasetum followed me here:2 hearty thanks, but I have written to Veitch,3 (whose name you mentioned with Parker & Williams4) for 4 kinds; if he fails, I will let you know as I wish intensely to see Catasetum. I also much wish to see one of the Arethuseæ.5 I hope all your sick friends & Father are going on well.6 We slept at Reading & got here on Tuesday night & are settled in capital house with pretty view. Etty stood the Journey well; but about Exeter we were all in a frightful & laughable state of prostration & Port Wine alone saved our lives.

I hope your work will soon be lighter: but till it is I will not bother you with writing.— Thanks for Journal of Hort. returned.7 I find this journal has far more contributors who will observe & report than Gardeners Chronicle. I get capital information in almost every number.—8

Yours affect | C. Darwin


The date is established by the endorsement and by the reference to the family’s having just arrived in Torquay. The Darwins left for Torquay on Monday, 1 July 1861 (see ‘Journal’; Appendix II).
Hooker’s letter has not been found, but see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 19 June [1861].
CD received specimens of several varieties of orchid from Veitch & Son, Royal Exotic Nurseries, Chelsea. CD especially acknowledged the assistance and generosity of James Veitch Jr in Orchids, pp. 158 n., 214 n. Veitch & Son were among the leading growers of orchids in England (see Stewart ed. 1992).
Robert Parker and Benjamin Samuel Williams were proprietors of a nursery in Seven Sisters Road, Holloway, London. CD thanked Parker for sending him an ‘extremely valuable series of forms’ in Orchids, p. 158 n. Along with Veitch & Son, this nursery was noted for developing successful techniques for the cultivation of orchids (see Stewart ed. 1992).
CD subsequently wrote to the Gardeners’ Chronicle requesting orchid specimens from the Arethuseae tribe (see letter to the Gardeners’ Chronicle, [before 14 September 1861]). Hooker eventually sent CD some specimens early in 1862 (see Correspondence vol. 10, letter from J. D. Hooker, [18 January 1862]).
See the letters to the Cottage Gardener and, under its new title, the Journal of Horticulture in this volume. CD’s copies of this periodical are in the Darwin Library–CUL.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.


Trip to Torquay.

Superiority of Journal of Horticulture to Gardeners’ Chronicle for CD’s purposes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 104
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3200,” accessed on 26 October 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 9