skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   14 October [1870]1

Leith Hill Place | Dorking | Surrey

Oct. 14.

My dear Hooker

I have come here for a few days idleness & I am doing the job thoroughily.2 Your question is puzzler: I do not think so poorly of Nature as you do by any means.— I fear the Pop. Sc. R. is rather ephemeral, but more durable, I presume, than Nature.3 I suppose it wd. be against precedent to publish it in Linn. Journal;4 otherwise that wd. be best place. What do you say to Annals & Mag. of N. History?5 I suppose circulation is on smallest scale.— Anyhow I hope it will be published somewhere.—

What a wretch you have been not to say, as you were writing, whether the case of the charlock impressed you at all;6 or did you, my chief in the art of wriggling, get out with ease.—7

Your lazy friend | C. Darwin


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 October 1870.
CD was visiting the home of his sister Caroline Wedgwood and her husband Josiah Wedgwood III (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
Hooker had wondered where George Bentham’s translation of the introduction to Miquel 1860 should be published (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 12 October 1870). Pop. Sc. R.: Popular Science Review.
Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London.
Annals and Magazine of Natural History.
No recent correspondence with Hooker regarding charlock, or wild mustard (Sinapis arvensis), has been found. In 1855, CD had investigated the length of dormancy and the vitality of charlock seeds, and he and Hooker had debated the issue of general seed viability at length (see Correspondence vol. 5).
On CD and Hooker’s ongoing joke about ‘wriggling’, see the letter to Asa Gray, 15 March [1870].


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

Miquel, Friedrich Anton Wilhelm. 1860. Flora van Nederlandsch Indië. Erste bijvoegsel. Sumatra, zijne plantenwereld en hare voortbrengselen. (Flora Indiae Batavae. Supplementum primum. Prodromus florae Sumatranae.) Amsterdam: C. G. van der Post. Utrecht: C. van der Post Jr.


Does not think so poorly of Nature as JDH does, by any means; fears Popular Science Review is rather ephemeral but more durable than Nature.

The case of the charlock.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Leith Hill Place
Source of text
DAR 94: 184–5
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7344,” accessed on 20 April 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18