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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   29 [December 1862]



My dear Hooker

The spirit moves me to write a line or two, though I have nothing particular to say & what is very strange nothing to ask. I heartily wish you joy that Wellwitschia is finished & no doubt it will be a great work.1 Your Scotch simile made me laugh;2 but by the Lord how true it is: I have often said that when this or that job is finished, I will give myself a holiday; but alas & alas the days of even half-holidays are over with me;—a holiday is simply an unendurable bore.—

The Genera plantarum are reviewed in the last Parthenon, by some one who thinks you have neglected the treasures of the B. Museum.3 The Reviewer thinks you a disgraced man; for he says you are “notoriously tinged with Darwinism”.

Here is an odd chance; my nephew Henry Parker, an Oxford classical swell & Fellow of Oriel came here this evening; & I asked him whether he knew who had written the little article in the Saturday, smashing the Duke of A. which we liked;4 & after a little hesitation he owned he had. I never knew that he wrote in Saturday; & was it not an odd chance? I shd. like now to read the Saturday again, & wish I had thought of asking you to return it.—5

I have just received a cargo of orchids & Mitchella in excellent state from Asa Gray.6 He sends me American newspapers which I never read, & tells me to forward them to Dr. Boott, who writes to me not to send them, as he won’t read them, but that I must not say so to Gray;7 & what the deuce I am to do to stop the poor fellow having trouble of posting them, I know not.—

Ever yours affect | C. Darwin


J. D. Hooker 1863a. See letter from J. D. Hooker, [21 December 1862], and n. 2, below.
The reference has not been identified. However, it seems likely that Hooker made this comment in a letter that is now missing, written in answer to the letter to J. D. Hooker, [21 December 1862]; the incomplete letter from J. D. Hooker, [before 29 December 1862], may be the postscript to such a letter.
The anonymous review of Bentham and Hooker 1862–83 appeared in the Parthenon, 27 December 1862, pp. 1102–3.
CD had sent Hooker his copy of the issue of the Saturday Review containing [Parker] 1862 (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [before 29 December 1862]).


[Campbell, George Douglas.] 1862. [Review of Orchids and other works.] Edinburgh Review 116: 378–97.

[Parker, Henry.] 1862. The Edinburgh review on the supernatural. Saturday Review, 15 November 1862, pp. 589–90.


Genera plantarum reviewed in Parthenon by a man who says JDH is disgraced by being "obviously tinged with Darwinism".

CD by chance has found that Saturday Review article [14 (1862): 589] on Duke of Argyll was written by his [CD’s] nephew, Henry Parker.

Asa Gray sends American newspapers which CD never reads.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 175
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3881,” accessed on 13 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10