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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker [to W. E. Darwin?]1    [13 April? 1867]2



Dear Darwin

Adoxa is a standing puzzle, which I have not myself examined except once with you at Down?3 It is the subject of various memoirs of which Profr Oliver4 refers me to the following—

Wydler in Flora 1850— p. 433.

— "— in Bot. Zeit. 1844. p 657.

Decaisne in Ann. Sc. Nat. ser ii vi. 72. under Helwingia.

There are also good dissertions in Nees Gen. Plant. Floræ Germanicæ.—5

These books are all in the Linnæan Library.6

We hope that the baby is now out of danger though it still has starts & twitches.7

The piece of Elers. pottery was I think at Browns an antiquity shop in Wardour street, on the right as you go up towards Oxford St., & some 5 doors from the latter.8

Ever sincerely yrs | Jos D Hooker

I was greatly pleased with Paris Exhibition though not yet half finished.9

CD annotations

Verso of last page of letter: ‘Victor Hugo | Shirt’


William Erasmus Darwin is conjectured to be the addressee because of the existence of another letter from Hooker to CD on 13 April 1867 containing similar information, and because of annotations, possibly by W. E. Darwin, on the letter that are similar to notes in W. E. Darwin’s botanical sketchbook (DAR 186: 43).
The date is conjectured from the similarity of the references to Hooker’s baby and the Paris exhibition to those in the letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 April 1867. In 1867, 13 April was a Saturday.
There are some annotations about Adoxa, possibly by W. E. Darwin, on this letter.
Daniel Oliver often provided CD with bibliographic references.
Hooker refers to Wydler 1850 and 1844, Decaisne 1836, and Nees von Esenbeck 1835[–61].
CD regularly borrowed books from the library of the Linnean Society.
John Philip and David Elers produced high-quality red stoneware using innovative techniques in Staffordshire between about 1690 and 1700; their work was known to Josiah Wedgwood I, CD’s grandfather, whose pottery works were also in Staffordshire (G. Elliott 1998). There was an antique furniture warehouse run by William Brown at 14 Wardour Street (Post Office London directory 1867).


Decaisne, Joseph. 1836. Remarques sur les affinités du genre Helwingia, et établissement de la famille des Helwingiacées. Annales des Sciences Naturelles (Botanique) 2d ser. 6: 65–76.

Elliott, Gordon. 1998. John and David Elers and their contemporaries. London: Jonathan Horne Publications.

Post Office London directory: Post-Office annual directory. … A list of the principal merchants, traders of eminence, &c. in the cities of London and Westminster, the borough of Southwark, and parts adjacent … general and special information relating to the Post Office. Post Office London directory. London: His Majesty’s Postmaster-General [and others]. 1802–1967.

Wydler, H. 1850. Ueber Adoxa moschatellina L. Flora, oder allgemeine botanische Zeitung n.s. 8: 433–7.


Sends Oliver’s list of references on Adoxa.

Baby now out of trouble.

Pleased with Paris exhibition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
William Erasmus Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 186: 48
Physical description
ALS 3pp † (by W. E. Darwin)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5493,” accessed on 9 June 2023,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 15