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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Henry Holland   25 June [1865]1

Brook Street

June 25

My dear Charles,

I have again to thank you for your kindness, in sending me your very valuable paper on the Climbing Plants.2

It is a subject new to me except in the most common facts; & I have read with great interest the researches, by which you raise it to the character of a branch of natural science.— We shall soon have to speak of Animal & Vegetable Instincts as having community in nature & origin.

I heard, & with regret, from Erasmus,3 that you had been less well again, But I know so little of details, that I can do no more than express my earnest wish that you may be speedily relieved.

My best remembrances to Mrs Darwin.4 Ever your’s very truly | H Holland

I shall get some, (though less than usual), of sea-voyage this autumn.— first to the Orkneys with my second Son—5 then to Portugal, to see the Exhibition at Oporto.6 Crossing the B. of Biscay will give me sorrowful recollection of poor Falconer, with whom & Busk I crossed it last Autumn on our way to the Gibraltar Caves7


The year is established by the reference to ‘Climbing plants’, which was published in June 1865. No presentation list for the paper has been found.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin.
Emma Darwin.
Francis James Holland.
The ‘Exhibition of Arts and Industry’ opened in Oporto, Portugal, on 18 September 1865 (see The Times, 26 September 1865, p. 10).
Holland, Hugh Falconer, and George Busk had visited Gibraltar in October 1864 to examine Genista Cave, Windmill Hill, and the fossil remains recently recovered from it. A report, in the form of a letter from Busk and Falconer to the Governor of Gibraltar, had recently been published in the Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society (Busk and Falconer 1865; see also Falconer 1868, 2: 554–63). See Correspondence vol. 12, letter from Henry Holland, 4 November [1864] and n. 6. Falconer died of heart-failure on 31 January 1865 (DNB).


‘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. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.

Falconer, Hugh. 1868. Palæontological memoirs and notes of the late Hugh Falconer … with a biographical sketch of the author. Compiled and edited by Charles Murchison. 2 vols. London: Robert Hardwicke.


Thanks for "Climbing plants" [see 4861].

Letter details

Letter no.
Henry Holland
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Brook St
Source of text
DAR 166: 246
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4865,” accessed on 15 January 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13