skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   28 August [1864]

4 Chester Place | Regent’s Park

Aug. 28th.

My dear Hooker

I should like awfully,, as the boys say, to pay you an hours visit at Kew, but I fear I have not strength enough. For the same reason Mr. Woolner must I fear wait.1 With respect to the Bignonia, it is certainly very different from the B. unguis   the latter has sensitive petioles & can hardly twine, whereas B. buxifolia has not sensitive petioles & can twine well. I suppose I must call it “an unnamed species from Kew allied to B. unguis”.2

I should have much wished to have consulted you about sending an answer to Kölliker in the Reader as a good opportunity of giving a little lecture on the points misunderstood by him.3 It would not be quarrelsome in nature.

But Lyell thinks it would not be worth the short time required to do it.4 & I quite gave up the thought   On the other hand my brother & H. Wedgwood think it would.5 Have you any decided opinion for I cant make up my mind.

We shall return probably on Thursday or Friday.— If I shd. get wonderfully strong, I could not resist coming for an hour.—but I fear there is hardly a chance; for Bot. Garden in Regents Park,6 almost did for me.—

Yours affecty | C. Darwin


The reference is to Thomas Woolner. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 August 1864 and n. 8.
CD refers to Rudolf Albert von Kölliker and to Kölliker 1864c. CD never replied to Kölliker’s article; however, he was delighted by Thomas Henry Huxley’s criticism of Kölliker, which appeared in the Natural History Review for October 1864 (T. H. Huxley 1864a; see letter to T. H. Huxley, 3 October [1864] and n. 2. See also letter from Ernst Haeckel, 10 August 1864 and n. 12.
During his stay in London, CD visited Charles Lyell. Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242) notes ‘went to L.’ on 28 August 1864.
Erasmus Alvey Darwin and Hensleigh Wedgwood.
CD refers to the gardens of the Royal Botanical Society, in Regent’s Park, London.


CD is not well enough to sit for Woolner.

Two Bignonia plants, which JDH does not distinguish as species, can be separated by differences in climbing and sensitivity behaviour.

Wants to write a non-quarrelsome reply to R. A. Kölliker ["Darwin’sche Schöpfungstheorie", Z. Wiss. Zool. 14 (1864): 174–86] in the Reader. Lyell opposes, but E. A. Darwin and Hensleigh Wedgwood support the idea.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
London, Chester Place, 4
Source of text
DAR 115: 246
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4601,” accessed on 31 March 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 12