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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   29 May 1866


May 29/66

Dear Darwin

The enclosed may amuse you slightly.1

Did you see Caspary?2

Grove asked me to give him, in brief, the principal confirmatory evidences of your theory &c.3 I thought of

1 Your Orchid book & Primula &c4

2. Wallaces speculations on Man5

3. Do— Malayan Butterflies6

4. Bates Amazon ditto & his book everywhere7

5. My Arctic Essay & Australian do—8

Can you put me up to any more?— it is for his speech at Nottingham.9

This International show has been a tremendous worry & I am glad that it is all over10

Ever Yr affec | J D Hooker

CD annotations

End of letter: ‘Fritz Muller— | Eozoon— Candense— | Archeopteryx’11 pencil


Hooker evidently intended to send CD a letter from Asa Gray, but failed to enclose it (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [31 May 1866], and letter to J. D. Hooker, [4 June 1866]).
Robert Caspary had visited CD on 27 May 1866 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
William Robert Grove was president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1866; the information was for his presidential address, which was to be delivered on 22 August 1866 (see n. 9, below).
Orchids and ‘Dimorphic condition in Primula. Hooker also alludes to CD’s other papers on botanical dimorphism and trimorphism, ‘Two forms in species of Linum and ‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria.
Hooker refers to Alfred Russel Wallace’s paper, ‘The origin of human races and the antiquity of man deduced from the theory of “natural selection” ’ (A. R. Wallace 1864a).
A. R. Wallace 1864b.
Hooker refers to Henry Walter Bates’s paper on mimetic butterflies (Bates 1861) and his book, The naturalist on the river Amazons (Bates 1863).
Hooker had endorsed CD’s theory of evolution by natural selection and applied the theory to the distribution of plants in his essays on Australian and Arctic floras (J. D. Hooker 1859 and J. D. Hooker 1860a).
In his presidential address at the British Association meeting in Nottingham (W. R. Grove 1866), Grove presented evidence for the ‘derivative hypothesis’, or ‘gradual succession’, of species, as opposed to development by ‘sudden leaps’ or ‘sudden creations’. Grove cited Bates’s research on butterflies, Wallace’s observations of butterflies and birds of the Malay region, and Hooker’s work on Australian and Arctic plants as being supportive of gradual succession. Grove also referred to Benjamin Dann Walsh’s recent paper on phytophagic insect species and varieties (Walsh 1864–5), and to John Lubbock’s observations of diving hymenopterous insects. The only work by Darwin specifically mentioned in the address was Origin (see W. R. Grove 1866, pp. lxxi–lxxx).
Hooker refers to the International Horticultural Exhibition and Botanical Congress held in South Kensington, London, from 22 to 31 May 1866. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 May 1866 and nn. 10 and 25.
CD’s annotations are notes for his letter to Hooker of 31 May [1866].


Bates, Henry Walter. 1861. Contributions to an insect fauna of the Amazon valley. Lepidoptera: Heliconidæ. [Read 21 November 1861.] Transactions of the Linnean Society of London 23 (1860–2): 495–566.

Bates, Henry Walter. 1863. The naturalist on the River Amazons. A record of adventures, habits of animals, sketches of Brazilian and Indian life, and aspects of nature under the equator, during eleven years of travel. 2 vols. London: John Murray.

‘Dimorphic condition in Primula’: On the two forms, or dimorphic condition, in the species of Primula, and on their remarkable sexual relations. By Charles Darwin. [Read 21 November 1861.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 6 (1862): 77–96. [Collected papers 2: 45–63.]

Grove, William Robert. 1866. Address of the president. Report of the thirty-sixth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Nottingham, pp. liii–lxxxii.

Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1859. On the flora of Australia, its origin, affinities, and distribution; being an introductory essay to the flora of Tasmania. London: Lovell Reeve.

Orchids: On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1862.

Origin: On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1859.

‘Three forms of Lythrum salicaria’: On the sexual relations of the three forms of Lythrum salicaria. By Charles Darwin. [Read 16 June 1864.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 8 (1865): 169–96. [Collected papers 2: 106–31.]

‘Two forms in species of Linum’: On the existence of two forms, and on their reciprocal sexual relation, in several species of the genus Linum. By Charles Darwin. [Read 5 February 1863.] Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society (Botany) 7 (1864): 69–83. [Collected papers 2: 93–105.]

Walsh, Benjamin Dann. 1864–5. On phytophagic varieties and phytophagic species. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Philadelphia 3: 403–30, 5: 194–216.


JDH sends a list of the principal confirmatory evidences of CD’s theory which he has prepared at W. R. Grove’s request for Nottingham speech ["Presidential address", Rep. BAAS 26 (1866): liii–lxxxi].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 77
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5104,” accessed on 8 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 14