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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [28 August]1 1866

British Association for the Advancement of Science, | Nottingham

Tuesday. 1866.

Dear old Darwin

The whole thing went off last night in very good style— the audience were well fed & conformable, they followed the whole lecture with admirable good nature & were sent into fits by the conclusion.2 I made myself well & easily heard without unreasonable effort & have all the more reason to bless my stars that I not earlier given way to popular lecturing—for which I am already besought!

I never was so glad to get a thing out of hand & mind. & now I must in the course of the winter cast it into Scientific form for publication.3

I am awfully busy as you may suppose, & only just beginning to enjoy the fun—

Huxley is getting on splendidly in § D.4 He returned thanks for my Lecture in the most skilful graceful & perfect way— I never heard anything so hearty & thoroughly good—no coarse flattery, or fulsome praise—but an earnest, thoughtful & I believe truthful eulogy of what he thought good & happy in the treatment of the subject, with a really affectionate tribute to myself.

Ever your affectionate | Jos D Hooker


The date is established by the reference to Hooker’s lecture to the British Association, which was delivered on Monday 27 August 1866 (J. D. Hooker 1866a, p. 6).
The reference is to Hooker’s lecture ‘Insular floras’, which he concluded with a humorous allusion to the acceptance of CD’s theory of transmutation since the appearance of Origin (see J. D. Hooker 1866a, pp. 75–6; see also letter to J. D. Hooker, 30 August [1866] and n. 3).
The text of Hooker’s lecture appeared in Gardeners’ Chronicle (1867): 6–7, 27, 50–1, 75–6 (J. D. Hooker 1866a). Summarised versions appeared in the edited report of the papers and discussions at the Nottingham meeting (J. D. Hooker 1866b) and the Journal of Botany for 1867 (J. D. Hooker 1867), and a French translation in Annales des Sciences Naturelles, 1866 (J. D. Hooker 1866c). CD’s annotated copy of the edited offprint from the Gardeners’ Chronicle version is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. This version is also reprinted in Williamson 1984.
Thomas Henry Huxley was the president of section ‘D’ Biology (Report of the thirty-sixth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Nottingham, p. xxxi).


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.

Williamson, M. 1984. Sir Joseph Hooker’s lecture on insular floras. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 22: 55–77.


BAAS lecture on "Insular floras" [see 5135] went well.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
BAAS, Nottingham
Source of text
DAR 102: 98–9
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5199,” accessed on 22 February 2020,

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