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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   7 October 1872

Royal Gardens Kew

October 7/72

Dear Darwin

Your groom informed me that Parslow often knew of a horse to be bought—1 Would you let me ask him or will you if he is with you, whether he knows of any thing that would meet the enclosed conditions

The Droseras arrived, but I am sorry to say knocked to pieces, the soil not having been secured— It is a matter of no moment— we shall bring them round or kill them—which latter we should probably have done ere this had they not gone to you.2

I am distressed to hear of your bad health & move to Seven Oaks—3

I hope that you will see the lovely place that Spottiswoode has taken.4

What do you think of Mallette’s Earthquaque theory— Will it not account for the strata dipping inwards at the base of ranges of mountains?5

All quiet here at present | Ever yours affec | J D Hooker


Wanted a Nag (not a Filly) for Cart & throwing machine—say 6 years old—15-2 to 16 hands high—clean legs—good action—Sound & quiet in harness & chains.

Blindness no objection.

Price £40. 0. 0.

Two may be wanted. If Mr Parslow should hear of any to let Dr Hooker know when & where it may be seen.


CD’s groom was Mark Ansell; Joseph Parslow was his butler.
William Spottiswoode bought Combe Bank, a house in Sundridge, a village near Sevenoaks, Kent, in December 1871 (London Gazette, 29 December 1871, pp. 5893–4).
Robert Mallet’s paper on volcanic energy was read in June 1872 (Mallet 1872). Mallet noted that earthquakes occurred ‘within the area of great seismic bands which follow and extend at either side of the mountain-chains of the world’ (Mallet 1872, p. 148; for more on Mallet’s theory of the dynamics of earthquakes, see Dean 1991). CD had theorised about the action of earthquakes and the elevation of mountain chains in ‘Volcanic phenomena and the formation of mountain chains’.


Dean, Dennis R. 1991. Robert Mallet and the founding of seismology. Annals of Science 48: 39–67.

Mallet, Robert. 1872. Volcanic energy: an attempt to develop its true origin and cosmical relations. [Read 20 June 1872.] Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 163 (1873): 147–227.

‘Volcanic phenomena and the formation of mountain chains’: On the connexion of certain volcanic phenomena in South America; and on the formation of mountain chains and volcanos, as the effect of the same power by which continents are elevated. By Charles Darwin. [Read 7 March 1838.] Transactions of the Geological Society of London 2d ser. 5 (1840): 601–31. [Shorter publications, pp. 97–124.]


Miscellaneous personal matters.

What does CD think of Robert Mallet’s earthquake theory? Would it not account for strata dipping at base of range of mountains?

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 121–3
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8547,” accessed on 13 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20