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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [21 May 1867]1



My dear Hooker

I suppose you are now in France. I am very sorry you cd not come here, but remember that you are bound by honour to two visits here.2

We intend to be in London in the early part of June for a week & shall perhaps see you but that must not count.3 I am very glad to hear about Wallace & the gold medal. Every thing that I have read of his gives me the highest idea of his extraordinary talents. I cannot of course judge about Müller, but he must have done much good work if he is to beat Wallace.4 Thanks for the enclosed letter; I am glad to see that Barkely takes the same view that I did about the bones of the deer. I remember distinctly in one of the old voyages the express statement that no quadruped inhabited the island. With respect to Barkly’s belief in continental extensions, the argument which always brings me round to my old belief again is that you must extend the continental theory to every single island, as far as I know, in every ocean.5

I am getting on very slowly with my book for I have unparalleled power of expressing myself badly, so that I doubt whether it will be finished by Nov. & this half breaks my heart & injures my stomach6

yours affectly | Ch. Darwin


The date is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 17 May 1867. In 1867, the first Tuesday after 17 May was 21 May.
Hooker had evidently cancelled two visits to Down; one on 20 April (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 13 April 1867 and n. 4), and one on 18 May (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 17 May 1867). Hooker was attending the Paris Exhibition as a juror (Gardeners’ Chronicle, 6 April 1867, p. 348).
The Darwins visited London from 17 to 24 June 1867 (see CD’s ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix II)), but did not see Hooker (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [23 June 1867]).
See enclosure to letter from J. D. Hooker, 17 May 1867, and letter to J. D. Hooker, 8 February [1867]. For CD’s views on continental extensions, see, for example, Correspondence vol. 6, letter to Charles Lyell, 25 June [1856], and letters to J. D. Hooker, 19 July [1856] and 30 July [1856] and n. 3, and Origin, pp. 357–8. Hooker and CD had disagreed on the subject: see, for example, Correspondence vol. 11, letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 March [1863] and n. 17.
CD was working on the proof-sheets of Variation; he finished on 15 November (see ‘Journal’ (Correspondence vol. 15, Appendix II)).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

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.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Glad to hear Wallace is contender for Gold Medal. Has highest esteem for his extraordinary talents.

Thanks for H. Barkly’s letter from Mauritius.

Glad to see HB takes same view as CD about bones of deer [see 5395].

Objections to continental extension theory.

Progress [on Variation] very slow.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 26–7
Physical description
LS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5543,” accessed on 26 September 2022,

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