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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   8 November 1872


Nov 8/72


Dear Darwin

Oliver, Bentham, Bates & others, urge me not to answer Owen; on the grounds that I should feel such an attack to be beneath my notice—1 I have written to Huxley2 for his advice, informing him that I have not read the article.

Some think that “Nature” owes me an apology for inserting it considering the terms of the Treasury minutes, which calls me worthy of the gratitude of the country.—& more especially as ‘Nature” was the only paper, except the Athenæum, which never expound my cause in the fight with—Ayrton—abstaining altogether from an opinion,—or all but: & that hence if I insist on answering, it should not be in “Nature”.3

CD annotations

2.3 except … “Nature”. 2.6] ‘Published the Mem’4 blue crayon


Hooker refers to Daniel Oliver, George Bentham, Henry Walter Bates, and Richard Owen. See the first letter from J. D. Hooker, 8 November 1872 and nn. 3 and 5.
Thomas Henry Huxley.
For a quotation from the relevant part of the Treasury minutes, see The Times, 30 July 1872, p. 5. A memorial in support of Hooker in his dispute with Acton Smee Ayrton (see letter from John Lubbock to W. E. Gladstone, 20 June 1872) was, however, reproduced in Nature, 11 July 1872, pp. 211–16.
CD’s annotation is a note for his letter to Hooker of 9 November [1872].


Writes, as a P.S. to his previous letter, stating his friends have advised him not to answer Owen’s attack.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 133–4
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8610,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

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