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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [19 November 1845]1



My dear Darwin

I doubt not you are very busy & I shall therefore be brief in answers to your last.

There are not more than two numbers to all the Gal. collection that I can find. I have often tried to make your notes hinge on to the species. I wish you would come & take a look at them before I return them to Henslow. “Cosmos” came all right, I am quite annoyed at your binding it, but obliged truly all the same. Please send back my things for Humboldt by bearer, or else to Hiscock’s Kew boat Hungerford Stairs or by P. Deliv. Coy, not by Steamer.

What on earth do you want to buy Webbs Geograph part of Canary Islds for.?2 I had rather you kept mine altogether I can no more use it now than I can 2 pair of spetacles; you may really & truly keep it altogether if you will. I have my Father’s copy here. Would you like his historical & Anthropological portion Zoology &c..?—

I cannot make out that Sandwich Isld have any thing of an Alpine Flora, there are I know a few alpine things but nothing to what 12000 ft should give. I expect the higher regions are desperately barren, bad soil earthquaquey perhaps &c.— Terra del Fuego at 56o has no alpine Flora that I could make out, or next to none, I diligently explored the hill tops, 1000–1700 ft.3

I think the climate of Tasmania infinitely more xcessive than New Zeald. but am no Meteorologist, if any one would calculate them I have lots of Tasmanian temperatures

I hope never again to call ♂ flowers sterile. Botanical nomenclature is quite a science per se & you must be forbearing with us, we having nothing familiar like stomachs nerves eyes &c to talk of & by; all is a new language I will pay particular attention to your most val. hints especially as coupled with such pretty comps. The Plates are all done by Mr. Fitch except the Dissections, which are almost invariably my own, copied by him on the stone.4

Could we arrange to turn over the Gal. plants together,?— I fear you are come to Town on your health & dread bothering you. Henslowe is to be in Town Friday & I intended returning them then to him, he will be at 44 Queen Square Bloomsbury on Saturday.

Ever yours most truly | J D Hooker

PS. I append a few comparison of what I took as standards of excessivity in climates. V. D. L & London are tolerably close, I wish I had New Zeald. I used to calculate that mean of Max & Min differences of the months, of the days & of each day (I think) gave tolerable results. I am rather confused now

P.S. I have 9AM, 3PM, 9PM temps. throughout our cruize including 8 Months at Tasmania & 4 at New Zeald., or rather my dear delightful Capt R. has them all5 but a very few scattered results I amused myself working out of V. D. L. & London. diag Sept V D L. March London

1820 1821 1822 Max. Monthly var. 31 36. 26 33 Max Daily var —24 —21. —22 —23 Min Daily var —2 —3 —4 —5 For 15 days Aug. V. D. L. Mean diff. of daily Max & Min

& London. 1822 —1821 —1820 Max Monthly var —28 —20 —18 —26 Max. daily var —20 —15 —11 —12 Min daily var —6. —6. —1. —2. V D L. October 1840 London 1820 1821 1822 Max. var in Month 36 —38 —40 —33 Max. in a day —26 —27 —20 —20 Min in a day —8 —3 —5 —8 V D.L. Novr. 12 days begin. 1840 London May (whole Month)

1820 —1821 —1822 Max Month var —30 —37 —30 —27 Max daily var —25 —27 —25 —19 Min daily var —6 —10 —10 —5. Kerguelens Land July 19 first days—& same days in London January

K.G. Land. Lond. 1820 1821 1822 Max. Month var 17 —34, —28, 20 Max. daily var —10 —18 —11 —15 Min. daily var —2 —2 —0 —3.ramme

CD annotations

crossed pencil and ink
crossed ink


Dated on the basis that Hooker wrote on the Friday before CD’s trip to London, 19–24 November 1845, recorded in CD’s Account Book (Down House MS) on 24 November. See also letter to G. B. Sowerby, 12 [November 1845].
Webb and Berthelot 1836–50.
CD kept the following note with this letter: Hooker. Antarctic Work.. Nov. 45. The absence of Alpine plants in the antarctic islds. & especially in S. America shows that the manufacture of such species (& of all species) is a hard effort.— H. attributes the uniformity & paucity of species in S. America & Antarctic [interl] islands to uniformity of climate. Opposed to this is the very fact of same species inhabiting Alpine & lowland situations. Surely there is no great difference in climate between N. New Zealand & Tasmania & yet great diff: in species. Surely S. S. America including Patagonia presents greater range of climate than S. Africa, & yet wonderful difference in number of plants.— Surely some other cause of difference in number: in isld. we can understand this on my theory: & theoretically understand it, by oscillations [‘ha’ del] not having been many.— (DAR 100: 59).
Walter Fitch, the official draughtsman for Kew publications. He drew the lithographs for J. D. Hooker 1844–7.
James Clark Ross, who commanded the Antarctic expedition and used some of Hooker’s notes in composing J. C. Ross 1847.


Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1844–7. Flora Antarctica. 1 vol. and 1 vol. of plates. Pt 1 of The botany of the Antarctic voyage of HM discovery ships Erebus and Terror in the years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. London: Reeve Brothers.

Ross, James Clark. 1847. A voyage of discovery and research in the southern and Antarctic regions, during the years 1839–43. 2 vols. London: John Murray.


Answers CD’s queries arising from Flora Antarctica.

Would like CD to come to town and go over Galapagos plants with him.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 100: 57–8
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 928,” accessed on 4 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 3