skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [31 January 1868]

My dear Hooker

I cannot of course judge about pure botany, but if I were on the Council I shd think myself bound to vote for Decandolle, from estimating so high his Geog. Bot., though privately I shd. 20 times prefer to see Asa Gray elected.1

I have not seen Wollaston’s book or paper on the C. de Verds; whenever you have occasion to write please to give me the title, or can you lend me the book?2 You will have recd by this time my new book, but do not trouble yourself to acknowledge it, nor think yourself bound to read any part till so inclined.3

I suppose you recd my letter in answer to Greg.4 I have been writing 2 longish papers for Linn. Soc. which are both nearly finished5

yours affectly | Ch. Darwin


See letter from J. D. Hooker, 28 January 1868. CD refers to the council of the Royal Society of London, to Alphonse de Candolle, and to Candolle 1855. In January, a list was drawn up by the council of potential candidates for nomination as foreign members (Minutes of the council of the Royal Society 3: 392 (London: Taylor and Francis, 1870)).
The reference is to Variation. Hooker’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for the book (see Correspondence vol. 16, Appendix IV).
Hooker had sent CD a pamphlet by William Rathbone Greg ([Greg] 1868; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 15 January 1868). CD’s reply to Greg has not been found.
CD refers to ‘Illegitmate offspring of dimorphic and trimorphic plants’ and ‘Specific difference in Primula. Both papers were published in the Journal of the Linnean Society of London (Botany) for 1869.


Candolle, Alphonse de. 1855. Géographie botanique raisonnée ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle. 2 vols. Paris: Victor Mason. Geneva: J. Kessmann.

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

‘Specific difference in Primula’: On the specific difference between Primula veris, Brit. Fl. (var. officinalis of Linn.), P. vulgaris, Brit. Fl. (var. acaulis, Linn.), and P. elatior, Jacq.; and on the hybrid nature of the common oxlip. With supplementary remarks on naturally produced hybrids in the genus Verbascum. By Charles Darwin. [Read 19 March 1868.] Journal of the Linnean Society (Botany) 10 (1869): 437–54.

Wollaston, Thomas Vernon. 1867. Coleoptera Hesperidum, being an enumeration of the coleopterous insects of the Cape Verde archipelago. London: John Van Voorst.


Royal Society Council would feel bound to vote for Candolle, but privately would twenty times rather see Asa Gray elected.

Asks for title of Wollaston’s Cape Verde book [Coleoptera Hesperidum (1867)].

Supposes JDH has received his letter in answer to Gray.

Has been writing two long papers for Linnean Society [reprinted in Forms of flowers].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 43
Physical description
LS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5820,” accessed on 21 June 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16