skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   14 July 1868

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

July 14— | 1868

My dear Hooker

It will be the most delightful thing in the world if you can pay us a visit at Freshwater.1

We were to have started on Thursday, but I have been so baddish of late that I am doubtful whether the journey wd be endurable.2 As soon as we are settled & I feel that I have even moderate powers of talk in me I will at once let you hear. I am glad you are going to say in your address that you have not time to work up an elaborate affair, for I think every one will see that this is reasonable in the head-man of a large establishment.3 It cuts me to the quick to be honest, but I think you wd be wise not to touch on Pangenesis. It has so very friends; Bentham as you know, is very doubtful or hostile;4 Victor Carus dead against it;5 & Alf. de Candolle says he likes it much the least of the whole book. By the way I was much pleased & surprized by a very long letter from Decandolle, in which he shews he is fond of speculation.6 Altho’ I advise thus about Pan. my conviction is unshaken that it will hereafter be looked at as the best hypothesis of generation, inheritance & development.

But I must write no more so Goodbye—

We are very glad to hear so capital an acct of Mrs Hooker & the baby.7

yours affectionately | Ch Darwin

Perhaps you mean to cut up Pangenesis— if so, I have not a word to say in opposition


The Darwins went to London on Thursday 16 July, the first stage of their journey to Freshwater.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 July [1868] and nn. 3 and 4. Hooker was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.


Thinks JDH would be wise not to touch on Pangenesis; it has very few friends. Bentham is doubtful, Carus against, and Alphonse de Candolle likes it least in the book. CD still convinced it will be hereafter looked on as "best hypothesis of generation inheritance & development". If JDH means to cut up Pangenesis he has no word to say in opposition.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 76–7
Physical description
LS(A) 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6276,” accessed on 26 March 2023,

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