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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [31 December 1862]1



Dr Darwin

It is rather jolly this writing about matters non-scientific— let’s give up Science when you have done the 3 vols & take to gossip.2 I quite agree with you that a holiday is an unendurable bore,3 but depend on it that is because we have no vices to indulge in, & if you will only join me in some good vice, such as talking about & writing about what will do no good to our neighbours & some harm to ourselves—we shall get on capitally, & scratch away. As luck would have it—I put aside the Ducal critique for a more careful reading with the Article itself.— I read the article itself, & in turn forgot I had put aside the smasher, which by a curious coincidence I stumbled upon yesterday, the day you wrote to me! so here it is. I congratulate you on so clever logical & acute a relative—4 Have I not met him at Down? many years ago.

I saw Mr Froud5 yesterday for first time at my Cousins wedding— what a singularly magnetic man he is to look at & talk (2 words) to; I think Frank P. has married a nice girl of a nice family.6

I have a great mind to send the Parthenon a s⁠⟨⁠creed⁠⟩⁠7 —The only 7 times I ap⁠⟨⁠plied⁠⟩⁠ for information at b⁠⟨⁠ritish museum⁠⟩⁠ I got none whatever ⁠⟨⁠and on one⁠⟩⁠ occasion the attendant could not find the Natural Order Cruciferæ!— The last time I went I found the invaluable plants of Loureiro,8 the only authentic scraps for identifying genera which it is impossible to make out by descriptions, in such a state of dirt, disorder & confusion that I came away determining never to try there again.

Ever Yrs affec | J D Hooker


Dated by the relationship to the letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 [December 1862] (see nn. 3 and 4, below), and by the reference to the wedding of Hooker’s cousin, Francis Turner Palgrave (see n. 6).
Variation was intended to be the first part of a three-volume work on natural selection (see Correspondence vol. 7, letter to T. H. Huxley, 16 December [1859], and Correspondence vol. 8, letter to Asa Gray, 28 January [1860]).
See letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 [December 1862] and n. 5. Hooker refers to a critique of George Douglas Campbell’s review of Orchids ([G. D. Campbell] 1862), published in the Saturday Review by CD’s nephew, Henry Parker ([Parker] 1862). CD had sent Hooker his copy of the critique before realising its authorship.
Hooker refers to the marriage of his cousin, F. T. Palgrave, to Cecil Grenville Milnes Gaskell on 30 December 1862 (see Gentleman’s Magazine n.s. 14 (1863): 231).
Hooker refers to a review, published in the Parthenon, 27 December 1862, pp. 1102–3, of part 1 of Bentham and Hooker 1862–83 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 29 [December 1862]). The reviewer criticised the authors for having neglected the materials in the British Museum.
The reference is to João de Louriero, whose herbarium had been acquired by the British Museum (Taxonomic literature).


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

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 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.

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

Taxonomic literature: Taxonomic literature. A selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. By Frans A. Stafleu and Richard S. Cowan. 2d edition. 7 vols. Utrecht, Netherlands: Bohn, Scheltema & Holkema. The Hague, Netherlands: W. Junk. 1976–88.

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


JDH’s impression on meeting [J. A.] Froud[e].

CD’s projected three volume work.

Complains at poor state of some [unspecified] plant collection.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 96–7
Physical description
ALS 4pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3890,” accessed on 12 September 2023,

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