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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   18 August 1866

Royal Gardens Kew

Aug 18/66.

My dear Darwin

I found to my vexation that I had brought away vol I instead of III of Felix Holt.1 I return I & II. with the Coddington, which was under my nose on my writing table!2

I shall find out what it cost & hold your 10/ till then.

Smith will send you our small plant of Drosera binata. the leaves of our other are much bigger than I told you.3 Give yours a nice sphagnum pot as you treat rotundifolia in a pot full of crocks & stand it in a pan of a water in a damp coolish house—4

I have told Smith you would keep yourself to Acropera.5

I forgot to ask you if your beef diet had improved your Pitcher plant.6

Ever yrs affec | J D Hooker

My Mother is very unwell at Yarmouth with Diarrhœa & I am in dread of being sent for.7

The “Nation” says that Agassiz has shown that the Amazon valley was made since the Glacial Epoch & consists of 3 deposits—no particulars.8

CD annotations

1.1 I found … till then. 2.1] crossed pencil
3.1 Smith … binata.] ‘(Susan)’ added pencil
Top of 2d page: ‘[one word illeg] both 10thpencil, circled & del pencil


The reference is to Felix Holt the radical by George Eliot (Eliot 1866).
The reference is to a microscope made with a lens popularised by Henry Coddington (see Bradbury 1967, pp. 102, 173). CD acquired a microscope of this type in 1831 (see Correspondence vol. 1, letter from [J. M. Herbert], [early May 1831] and n. 3).
Hooker refers to John Smith (1821–88). Drosera binata (syn. D. dichotoma) is described in Insectivorous plants, pp. 281–4. CD had requested a specimen from Hooker in 1864 (see Correspondence vol. 12, letter to J. D. Hooker, [27 January 1864] and n. 9).
CD had begun extensive experiments with Drosera rotundifolia, the common sundew, in 1860 (see Correspondence vol. 8, and Correspondence vol. 9, Appendix IV).
CD had kept several specimens of Nepenthes, a genus of pitcher-plant, for his research on climbing plants (see ‘Climbing plants’, pp. 46–7).
The reference is to Maria Hooker.
The notice of Louis Agassiz’s view on the formation of the Amazon valley has not been found in the Nation. For more on Agassiz’s glacial theory, see the letters to Charles Lyell, 7 February [1866] and 15 February [1866].


Bradbury, Savile. 1967. The evolution of the microscope. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

‘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–.

Eliot, George. 1866. Felix Holt: the radical. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and sons.

Insectivorous plants. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1875.


Returns two volumes of Felix Holt [George Eliot (1866)]

and the Coddington [lens].

John Smith will send Drosera.

Nation reports that Louis Agassiz holds that the Amazon Valley was formed since the glacial epoch.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 104–5
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5192,” accessed on 23 June 2021,

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