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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   5 June 1868

Royal Gardens Kew

June 5/68

Dear Darwin

I am horrified to find that I did not announce to Mrs Darwin or yourself the birth of my little daur:—for,—whose congratulations would be more hearty or more welcome than yours? The reason of the omission was, that I had to play “Lady of the House” & write all the announcements to my wife’s Lady friends & both our relations; & what with this, & my other Correspondence, I was fairly thrown off my balance.1

A Lady friend of my wife’s has now come to be with her, & taken all this off my hands.

Mrs Hooker was very poorly for 10 days before, & the Doctor slept in the house, but the alarms were false & she suffered less than usual, & both she & baby are as well as I could wish.2

I wonder what you are about, it is so long since I have heard whether you have any work in hand but “Man”.—3 As for me I am in statu quo.

Ever yrs affec | J D Hooker

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘D. of Argyll’4 pencil


Hooker had written to CD about the latter stages of Frances Harriet Hooker’s pregnancy on 20 May 1868. Grace Ellen Hooker was born on 3 June 1868 (Allan 1967, Hooker pedigree).
The doctor and Frances Hooker’s friend have not been identified.
CD was working on material that was eventually published in 1871 as Descent.


Allan, Mea. 1967. The Hookers of Kew, 1785–1911. London: Michael Joseph.


Horrified to find he has forgotten to announce birth of daughter.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 214–15
Physical description
ALS 3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6231,” accessed on 4 March 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16