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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker to Emma Darwin   11 November 1863


Nov 11/63.

My dear Mrs Darwin

Will you kindly te⁠⟨⁠ll⁠⟩⁠ me whether I ought ⁠⟨⁠to⁠⟩⁠ write to Mr Darwin whil⁠⟨⁠st⁠⟩⁠ he is so ill—promising th⁠⟨⁠at⁠⟩⁠ my letters require no answering—1 Do you know that it is such a real pleasure to me to write to him, that I feel it a positive privation not to—

I was very glad to get his letter,2 this morning, but he must not try to write to me.

Please tell him that I ⁠⟨⁠ha⁠⟩⁠ve prepared a mere notice of ⁠⟨⁠the⁠⟩⁠ introduced plants of ⁠⟨⁠New⁠⟩⁠ Zeald: from letters of Mr Travers, for Nat Hist Review—3 would he object to my adding Haast’s notes on the introduced Animals? I see Haast says that Mr Darwin may make “any use of his communications how & when you like.”4— I should also like to read the letter to the Phil. Club.5

My wife & 2 children are still in Norfolk, & will be till end of month.6 Willy has been scoured with oil & soft soap & sent to Hastings.7 My Mother still keeps her bed, but is well recovering.8

With most sincere regards | Ever ty yrs | J D Hooker


No reply from Emma Darwin has been found, but see CD’s letter to J. D. Hooker, [13 November 1863].
Hooker’s account (J. D. Hooker 1864) was published in the January 1864 issue of the Natural History Review. Hooker refers to the botanist and ornithologist William Thomas Locke Travers (R. Desmond 1994). Travers was quoted at length in J. D. Hooker 1864, p. 124. Hooker was well aware of CD’s interest in the introduction of plants and animals to new environments (see J. D. Hooker 1864, p. 125, and letter to Julius von Haast, 22 January 1863 and n. 9). See also letter to Osbert Salvin, 11 [May 1863] and n. 6.
CD sent the letter from Julius von Haast of 21 July [– 7? August] 1863 with his letter to J. D. Hooker of 10 [November 1863]. See J. D. Hooker 1864, pp. 126–7, for his inclusion of Haast’s information.
Hooker refers to the letter from Julius von Haast of 21 July [– 7? August] 1863 and to the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society; however, he does not appear to have read the letter to the club. See Bonney 1919.
Hooker refers to Frances Harriet Hooker and their two youngest children, Charles Paget Hooker and Brian Harvey Hodgson Hooker (Allan 1967).
William Henslow Hooker, Hooker’s eldest son, had had scarlet fever (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [1 or 3 November 1863]). Eleanor Jane Jacobson, Hooker’s aunt, lived in Hastings, Sussex (Allan 1967).


Allan, Mea. 1967. The Hookers of Kew, 1785–1911. London: Michael Joseph.

Bonney, T. G. 1919. Annals of the Philosophical Club of the Royal Society written from its minute books. London: Macmillan.

Desmond, Ray. 1994. Dictionary of British and Irish botanists and horticulturists including plant collectors, flower painters and garden designers. New edition, revised with the assistance of Christine Ellwood. London: Taylor & Francis and the Natural History Museum. Bristol, Pa.: Taylor & Francis.


Asks whether he ought to write to CD while he is ill.

Wonders if he might use Haast’s notes on introduced animals for a notice he is preparing ["Note on the replacement of species in the colonies and elsewhere", Nat. Hist. Rev. n.s. 4 (1864): 123–7].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Emma Wedgwood/Emma Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 101: 171–2
Physical description
ALS 3pp damaged

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4339,” accessed on 2 March 2024,

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