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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   8 January 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Jan 8. 1874

My dear Hooker

Many thanks for sending me Gray’s interesting letter. What a terrible thing it is about Mrs Agassiz, & how lost he will be.1

We go to 6 Queen Anne St on Sat. & shall be there for a week.2 If you happen to be coming to London, do come & lunch with us (at one o’clock) as it wd be so nice to see you—

Did I give you a copy of my Coral reefs book? If so I wish you wd give it me, & I will let you have a copy of a new edition; for I cannot buy one, & yet want a copy much for correction3   If you have one, please to send it soon to 6 Q. Anne St.

yours affectionately | Ch Darwin


26. Dec. /73.

Dear Hooker

Your R.S. diploma came yesterday as a Xmas present.4 I enclose acknowledgements.

Here are 2 or three plants of interest. Turn over to Prof. Oliver,5 & you or he would oblige by a remark on the little Saxifraga.

Most sad it is for Alex v. Agassiz to lose his excellent wife. Took pneumonia by exposure on the night that Agassiz died.6 Tell Darwin

Cant write more, being interrupted— Ever. A. G.


Hooker’s letter enclosing the letter from Asa Gray of 26 December 1873 has not been found, but Gray’s letter, which CD returned to Hooker, is included here as the enclosure. See also n. 6, below.
CD stayed at Erasmus Alvey Darwin’s house in London from Saturday 10 to Saturday 17 January 1874 (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)).
The first edition of Coral reefs was published in 1842; CD had approached the publisher, Smith, Elder & Co, in December 1873 about producing a new edition of the work (see Correspondence vol. 21, letter to Smith, Elder & Co, 17 December [1873]). Coral reefs 2d ed. was published in 1874.
Gray was elected a foreign member of the Royal Society of London on 27 November 1873 (Record of the Royal Society of London).
Anna Russell Agassiz, the wife of Alexander Agassiz, died only one week after his father, Louis Agassiz (Agassiz ed. 1913, p. 124).


Coral reefs 2d ed.: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. By Charles Darwin. Revised edition. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1874.

Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

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

Record of the Royal Society of London: The record of the Royal Society of London for the promotion of natural knowledge. 4th edition. London: Royal Society. 1940.


Thanks JDH for Asa Gray’s interesting letter.

Would like JDH’s copy of Coral reefs. Needs it for corrections for a new edition. Cannot buy one.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 310; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (Asa Gray Correspondence: Letter from Gray to Hooker, folio 658)
Physical description
LS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9231,” accessed on 28 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22