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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [12 January 1863]1

[Royal Gardens Kew]

Dr. Darwin

Can you answer this2   I have just finished Huxleys Lectures—3 the 3 last are tremendously good,4 how lucidly & vigorously he writes— if he took more pains he would be a Scientific Buckle:5 & Oh My what praise of you—& all merited too, richly.—6 I hope you are better.7 I am off to freeze in Paris on Saturday with Bentham for 10 days—8

Ever yours affec | J D Hooker

What is the sum of our knowledge regarding qualities induced in the individual being in any degree hereditary?


CD annotations

End of letter: ‘(Medallions)9 | Naudin’10


The date is established by the reference to Hooker’s planned trip to Paris (see n. 8, below); 12 January 1863 fell on a Monday.
No enclosure containing Hooker’s query has been found; however, see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 January [1863].
T. H. Huxley 1863a. See letter to T. H. Huxley, 10 [January 1863] and n. 2.
T. H. Huxley 1863a, pp. 83–157.
Hooker refers to the historian Henry Thomas Buckle, the author of History of civilisation in England (Buckle 1857–61), a work that CD greatly admired (see, for example, Correspondence vol. 7, letters to J. D. Hooker, 23 February [1858] and 31 March [1858], and Correspondence vol. 10, letter to J. D. Hooker, 7 March [1862]).
In his letter to Hooker of 3 January [1863], CD wrote that the poor state of his health was ‘ludicrous’, and the slightest excitement caused ‘shaking & vomiting’.
Hooker and George Bentham departed for Paris on 17 January 1863 (Jackson 1906, p. 193).


Buckle, Henry Thomas. 1857–61. History of civilization in England. 2 vols. London: John W. Parker & Son.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Jackson, Benjamin Daydon. 1906. George Bentham. London: J. M. Dent. New York: E. P. Dutton.


Huxley’s lectures [Man’s place in nature (1863)]; he would be a scientific H. T. Buckle, if he were more careful.

Asks CD what the evidence is for inheritance of acquired characteristics.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 98
Physical description
ALS 2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3892,” accessed on 19 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 11