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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [28 September 1863]1

Dear dear friend

My darling little 2d. girl died here an hour ago,2 & I think of you more in my grief, than of any other friend.3 Some obstruction of the bowels carried her off after a few hours alarming illness—with all the symptoms of strangulated Hernia.

Your affectionate | J D Hooker

Kew Monday.


The date is established by the reference to the death of Maria Elizabeth Hooker (see n. 2, below).
Maria, the Hookers’ second daughter, died on 28 September 1863, aged 6 (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 2: 61). Hooker’s reaction to her death is discussed in Jalland 1996, pp. 350–1.
Hooker apparently refers to CD’s extreme grief following the death in 1851 of his eldest daughter, Anne Elizabeth (Annie), at the age of 10 (see Correspondence vol. 5).


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

Jalland, Pat. 1996. Death in the Victorian family. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Grieves over the death of his second daughter [Maria Elizabeth].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 159
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4309,” accessed on 17 October 2021,

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