skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   12 July [1864]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

July 12th

My dear old friend—

I write merely to thank you for your note2 & to say that I have not heard from the Neilgherry planter; so on your return, if I do not hear first, will you direct your agent to look out for a ship for J. Scott.—3

Good Lord what a day’s work you had on that on which you wrote to me.— I do truly hope that the mountain air (in which there certainly is a strange charm) may do you a deal of good & Mrs. Hooker.—4 It is great news that you have given up the Examinership:5 I am very curious to hear whether you wrote the pleasant article in N. H. R. on Beech & Oak trees never producing flowers.—6

Remember me very kindly to Harvey & stir him up to publish his disagreeable monstrous plants.7

How glad I shall be to see you here, when you can come with some ease.— 8

Farewell   I have no news of any kind,— I do an hour or two’s work daily at my climbers & hope in a month to finish—9

By the way I had a grand letter this morning from a very good German Zoologist E. Haëcke, who maintains that all the best of the younger men are enthusiasts for natural selection, & that Germany will soon beat England in this respect.10 Hurrah & Farewell | Ever yours | affectionately | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 5 July 1864.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 5 July 1864 and n. 4. CD refers to John Scott. Hooker’s shipping agent was Henry Taylor (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [29 July 1864] and n. 2).
The Hookers were in County Wicklow, Ireland (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 5 July 1864 and n. 3).
CD refers to [J. D. Hooker?] 1864c, a review of Daniel Oliver’s Lessons in elementary botany (Oliver 1864b). In a footnote, the author wrote (p. 363 n.), ‘One examiner informs us that he has been not unfrequently told by medical students under examination, that such trees as Oaks, Beeches, &c. have never any flowers.’ Hooker was examiner in botany for the medical service of the Indian army (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 1: 387).
See letter from W. H. Harvey, 19 May 1864 and n. 4. The Hookers were visiting William Henry Harvey and his wife in Ireland (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 5 July 1864 and n. 3).
Hooker visited CD at Down on Sunday 24 July 1864 (letter from J. D. Hooker to Asa Gray, 29 July 1864, Gray Herbarium of Harvard University).
The manuscript of ‘Climbing plants’ was largely finished by 13 September, although CD was still making changes during the last months of the year (see, for example, letter to Asa Gray, 29 October [1864], and letter to J. D. Hooker, 4 December [1864]; see also ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix II)). The paper was sent to the Linnean Society on 18 January 1865, and was read on 2 February 1865 (see Correspondence vol. 13, letter to J. D. Hooker, 19 January [1865]).


‘Climbing plants’: On the movements and habits of climbing plants. By Charles Darwin. [Read 2 February 1865.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 9 (1867): 1–118.

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


Ernst Haeckel writes that young German scientists are enthusiastic for natural selection.

Did JDH write the article in Natural History Review on trees not producing flowers ["Botanical lesson books", (1864): 355–69]?

Encourages Harvey to publish on his "disagreeable" monster plants.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 241
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4561,” accessed on 4 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12