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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   10 [November 1863]



My dear old Friend.

I was so glad to hear of your French tour & that you are determined & are able to exert yourself.—1 What an addition of trouble your case of S. Fever.—2

I now send Haast:3 I have tried many days to write to you, but could not.— Dr. Brinton has been here, (recommended by Busk)4 he does not believe my Brain or heart are primarily affected; but I have been so steadily going down hill, I cannot help doubting whether I can ever crawl a little up hill again. Unless I can, enough to work a little, I hope my life may be very short; for to lie on sofa all day & do nothing, but give trouble to the best & kindest of wives & good dear children is dreadful. I shd. much like to write on N. Zealand distribution & superficial deposits &c   (I have been rereading your old letters) but am too weak.5

God Bless you my best of Friends. | Yours affect. | C. Darwin

Haast sent me a Report of some kind & large map.—6


Hooker’s son, William Henslow Hooker, and mother, Maria Hooker, were both ill with scarlet fever (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [1 or 3 November 1863]).
William Brinton was recommended to CD in the letter from George Busk, [c. 27 August 1863]. According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), Brinton visited CD on 3 November 1863.
The report referred to is J. F. J. von Haast 1861; a lightly annotated presentation copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. CD may also refer to the map that Haast mentioned in his letter to CD of 6 August 1863, or it may have been a copy of a map, including a geological section, that he presented, with a handwritten report, to the Provincial Council, Province of Canterbury, on 18 August 1863 (Archives Reference CH 287, CP 608a, National Archives, Christchurch). See also letter from Julius von Haast, 21 July [– 7? August] 1863 and n. 10.


Haast, John Francis Julius von. 1861. Report of a topographical and geological exploration of the western districts of the Nelson Province, New Zealand. Nelson, New Zealand: Nelson provincial government.


Pleased with JDH’s account of his French tour.

Doctor Brinton, recommended by Busk, does not believe CD’s brain or heart affected. Feels he is going steadily downhill. If so, hopes his life will be short.

Sends Haast’s letter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 208
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4335,” accessed on 4 October 2023,

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