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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   30 January [1863]


Jan. 30th

My dear Hooker

Please address enclosed & post.—1

I have to thank you for two very pleasant notes:2 it was very good of you to write from Paris.—3 I fear Naudin has not responded;4 but I hope he may experiment, for I clearly see that he trusts too much to resemblance to parents & does not think enough of actual fertility or number of seeds. I hope to Heaven, that he may explain sterility, but do not expect it.—5 I am not surprised at all at Decaisne & Naudin thinking little of “Origin”;6 there has always appeared to me something antagonistic to a Frenchman in the way in which Englishman writes. On other hand I have just had another letter from A. Decandolle;7 he speaks of “us” as believing in mutability in glorious way, & reports that a Count Saperda, who is writing on Fossil plants goes the whole hog.—8

What do you think, Bates writes in a P.S. that he is married!9

I have just had a letter or rather M.S. with capital drawings by a young civilian at the Cape of Good Hope about the orchids there; with most curious account of their structure;10 they seem to me more singular creatures than any that I have seen, viz Satyrium, Disperis &c.— My hot-house will soon be ready, & the thought gives me not a little pleasure.11 I shall be most grateful for Nepenthes, or anything experimental:12 anything ornamental which, however, I shall avoid of course I must not have from Kew— I wish you would remind H. Gower? (your superintendent) that he really ought to try again on several flowers of Victoria Lily own pollen & pollen from distinct plant or distinct flower,—his result was so curious.—13

We are all going to London on Tuesday evening for a week, chiefly to see if change will do me good;14 I hope to read my paper on Linum on the 5th at Linn. Soc.; but Heaven knows whether I shall be able.—15 If I do get a bit stronger, I must come & pay you a visit of an hour & see Hot-Houses.—16

I see it announced that Wellwitschia is actually published!17

I suppose you saw Haast’s address   it seemed to me very good.— Splendid Glacial action & how wonderful the old flint tools.18

I am tired—goodnight.— Anhow I hope I shall see you at Linn Soc. for come I will if I can, however bad sickness may come on— goodnight | C. Darwin

Jameson uses well your Himalayan glacial work in his Glen Roy paper.—19


The enclosure has not been identified.
Letters from J. D. Hooker, [15 January 1863] and 24 January 1863.
In his letter to Hooker of 24 December [1862] (Correspondence vol. 10), CD enclosed a ‘memorandum of enquiry’ for Charles Victor Naudin, whom Hooker planned to meet during a ten-day trip to Paris. See also letter from J. D. Hooker, 24 January 1863 and n. 3.
Alphonse de Candolle’s letter has not been found; however, see the letters to Alphonse de Candolle, 14 January [1863] and 31 January [1863].
Louis Charles Joseph Gaston de Saporta. Saporta had recently published two papers on Tertiary flora (Saporta 1862a and 1862b); he expressed his general views on species and species change in Saporta 1862b, pp. 16–17, without reference to CD’s theory. There is a presentation copy of Saporta 1862b in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL, bearing the inscription: ‘M. Darwin | hommage de l’auteur qui partage et propage ses idèes relative á la notion de l’espéce’ (compliments of the author, who shares and spreads his ideas relative to the notion of species). Saporta and CD did not correspond until 1868 (see Calendar, and Conry 1972).
Roland Trimen’s letter and manuscript have not been found. However, see the letter to Roland Trimen, 31 January [1863]; part of the letter from Trimen was published as Trimen 1863. See also letter from W. H. Harvey, 3 February 1863.
At the end of 1862, CD resolved to build a hothouse (see letter to Asa Gray, 2 January [1863] and n. 24).
Victoria regia. William Hugh Gower was a foreman at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. See letter from W. H. Gower, 23 November 1861 (Correspondence vol. 9).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), CD, Emma, Henrietta, and Horace Darwin stayed at Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s house at 6 Queen Anne Street, London, from 4 to 14 February 1863.
CD’s paper on dimorphic flowers in Linum, ‘Two forms in species of Linum, was read at a meeting of the Linnean Society on 5 February 1863, which CD was too ill to attend (see letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 19 February [1863] and n. 6).
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), the Darwins visited the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on 11 February 1863.
J. D. Hooker 1863a. The first part of volume 24 of the Transactions of the Linnean Society of London was published on 30 January 1863 (Raphael 1970, p. 76).
J. F. J. von Haast 1862a. See letter to Julius von Haast, 22 January 1863.
Jamieson 1863. Thomas Francis Jamieson’s paper on the parallel roads of Glen Roy, Scotland, was referred to CD before being published (see letter from T. F. Jamieson, 28 January 1863 and n. 1). During his expedition to the Himalayas from 1848 to 1850, Hooker made a number of geological observations in Sikkim, particularly on the phenomena of terraced hillsides, which he explained as former glacial lake shorelines (see J. D. Hooker 1854b, 1: 242–4; 2: 116–21).


Calendar: A calendar of the correspondence of Charles Darwin, 1821–1882. With supplement. 2d edition. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1994.

Conry, Yvette. 1972. Correspondance entre Charles Darwin et Gaston de Saporta. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

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

Jamieson, Thomas Francis. 1863. On the parallel roads of Glen Roy, and their place in the history of the glacial period. [Read 21 January 1863.] Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society of London 19: 235–59.

Raphael, Sandra. 1970. The publication dates of the Transactions of the Linnean Society of London, series 1, 1791–1875. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 2: 61–76. [Vols. 10,11]

Saporta, Louis Charles Joseph Gaston de. 1862. Notice sur les plantes fossiles de Coumi et d’Oropo. Paris: [privately printed]. [Reprinted in Animaux fossiles et géologie de l’Attique d’après les recherches faites en 1855–56 et en 1860 sous les auspices de l’Académie des Sciences. With atlas. By Albert Gaudry. Paris: F. Savy. 1862–7.]

Trimen, Roland. 1863. On the fertilization of Disa grandiflora, Linn.... drawn up from notes and drawings sent to C. Darwin, Esq., FLS, &c. [Read 4 June 1863.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 7 (1864): 144–7.

‘Two forms in species of Linum’: On the existence of two forms, and on their reciprocal sexual relation, in several species of the genus Linum. By Charles Darwin. [Read 5 February 1863.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 7 (1864): 69–83. [Collected papers 2: 93–105.]


Naudin has not answered CD’s letter.

Reactions of Candolle, Naudin, Decaisne, and Gaston de Saporta to Origin.

CD’s new hothouse.

CD’s Linum paper.

JDH’s work on Welwitschia.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 180
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3953,” accessed on 27 March 2023,

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