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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   7 April 1868

Royal Gardens Kew

April 7/68.

Dear Darwin

I am going to North Wales with Huxley on Thursday— will you lend me the Duke’s Reign of Law: which I want to understand if I can, & would take with me.—1

Thanks for your note, I get more & more unhappy about the address as the time draws on.2 Nothing on earth would induce me to do a thing so damned indelicate as to force such a position on an unwilling soul.— Science might go to the Devil before I would do so, by an enemy even. You see I am working up myself to the starting point—

I have often thought of History of great steps in Botany, but it would take a deal of reading, & I have no time for any—& then when we come down to later years I should offend every body.—3 And after all, should a President’s address be a “Scientific thesis”. I think not.— Who ever consulted such addresses, or regarded such as authorities?

Smith will supply the Euryalias & notes— he is again very poorly with palpitations of heart &c.4

I saw Woolner yesterday— he is to let me know when he goes to Down.5

Ever Yr affec | J D Hooker


The reference is to Thomas Henry Huxley. Hooker also refers to George Douglas Campbell’s The reign of law (Campbell 1867; CD’s copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL).
In his letter of 3 April [1868], CD had suggested the history of botany as a topic for Hooker’s presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
Hooker refers to John Smith. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 April [1868] and n. 2.
Thomas Woolner visited Down in November 1868 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Goes to N. Wales with Huxley.

Wishes to borrow Duke of Argyll’s Reign of law.

The BAAS Presidential Address [Rep. BAAS 38 (1868): lviii–lxxv] – his unhappiness about it; history of botany requires too much reading.

Smith will supply notes on Euryale.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 208–9
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6099,” accessed on 16 June 2019,

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