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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [14 September 1867]1



Dear Darwin

Very many thanks for the famous collection of plants, which are most acceptable especially the Oxalis.2

I have better news from Norwich, whither I go again today till Monday—but I suppose there is some occult cause for these repeated attacks, which there is little chance of removing even if discovered, whether morbid or proceeding from functional derangement may never be known.3

Ever aff yrs | J D Hooker

My wife had a long letter from Lady Lyell who seems to have been delighted with the Brit. Assn.4


The date is established by the references to Maria Hooker’s illness and to the British Association for the Advancement of Science meeting at Dundee, which ended on 11 September 1867 (see nn. 3 and 4, below). The Saturday following 11 September 1867 was 14 September.
CD had received several specimens of different species of Oxalis, as well as seeds or specimens of other plants, from Fritz Müller in Brazil (see letter to Fritz Müller, 15 August [1867]). The following plants were recorded as being received from CD at Kew on 7 September 1867:

Angræcum eburneum Cymbidium ensifolium Maxillaria Stanhopea Oxalis rubella. hirta. Spe. spe. Brazil — speciosa. multiflora — versicolor. cunaefolia. — bifida. & pectinata A quantity of Ophrys insectivora 2 Lobelias. 2 [Cordias]. A pot of seedling Gesnerias — — — Borrerias.

(Inwards book, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.)
Hooker’s mother, Maria Hooker, who lived in Norwich, had suffered an attack diagnosed as peritonitis and enteritis (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 31 August 1867).
Hooker refers to Frances Harriet Hooker, Mary Elizabeth Lyell, and the meeting of the British Association at Dundee from 4 to 11 September 1867 (Report of the thirty-seventh meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Dundee, p. lxxiii).


Is going to Norwich again on account of his mother’s health.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 178
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5627,” accessed on 18 January 2021,

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