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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [23 August 1864]1


Tuesday Evening

My dear Hooker

I write a line to say that on Thursday we are going to 6 Chester Place Regents Park for a week to see how I stand a change.2 I mean, if I can walk, to devote myself to Zoolog. & Bot. Soc.y.—3

When Oliver comes back please tell him that you have answered me about Nepenthes: what you say (& which I shall quote) about footstalk thickening is to my mind decisive that it is a true climber.4

I was very much pleased with John Scott: he strikes me as a superior man in manners, &c as well as in mind.—5

Thank Heaven I have finished (first time over) my Climbing Paper.—6 The other day it occurred to me with huge satisfaction, that whenever you write your Plant Book,7 a great mass of facts will be ready in my paper for you to give an abstract of a page or two.—

Have you read Murchison v. Ramsay—it is excellently done & has quite staggered me.—8

Ever yours affecty | C. Darwin

P.S. I will return “Beer” with thanks; carriage paid to London—9


The date is established by the reference to the visit to Chester Place (see n. 2, below).
CD visited his cousin and sister-in-law Sarah Elizabeth Wedgwood at 4 Chester Place, London, from 25 August to 1 September 1864 (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 12, Appendix II)); in 1864, 23 August was a Tuesday. CD wrote ‘6’ in error; Hooker deleted ‘6’, and replaced it with ‘4’ (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [25 August 1864]).
CD refers to the gardens of the Royal Botanical Society and the Zoological Society’s zoological gardens, in Regent’s Park, London (see Saunders 1969, pp. 15–19).
John Scott probably visited Down on 18 August 1864 (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [16 August 1864] and n. 2).
CD probably refers to Hooker’s proposed book on the geographical distribution of plants (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 10 December [1864] and n. 15, and Correspondence vol. 13, letter from J. D. Hooker, 1 January 1865).
CD refers to the portion of the address by Roderick Impey Murchison (Murchison 1864a, pp. 221–41) that included criticims of Andrew Crombie Ramsay’s glacial theory. See letter from J. B. Jukes, 10 August 1864 and nn. 2 and 3, letter from A. C. Ramsay, 18 August 1864 and n. 2, and letter from RIMurchison, 19 August 1864.


Beer, Joseph Georg. 1863. Beiträge zur Morphologie und Biologie der Familie der Orchideen. Vienna: Carl Gerold’s Sohn.

‘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–.

Saunders, Ann. 1969. Regent’s Park. A study of the development of the area from 1086 to the present day. Newton Abbot, Kent: David & Charles.


First draft of climbing plants paper is completed.

Nepenthes is a true climber.

Scott has visited Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 245
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4597,” accessed on 2 October 2023,

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