To J. D. Hooker 23 August 
Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.
Sunday Aug 23
(Read this when at Kew.)
My dear old Friend.—
I have received your note. I can hardly say how pleased I have been at the success of your address & of the whole Meeting— I have seen the Times, Telegraph, Spectator & Athenæum;1 & have heard of other favourable newspapers & have ordered a bundle. There is a chorus of praise. The Times reported miserably, ie as far as errata were concerned, but I was very glad at the Leader, for I thought the way you brought in the megalithic monuments most happy.2 I particularly admired Tyndalls little speech; but you mistake that I was brought in: nor indeed shd. I have deserved it; but it is most true, (too true for you always neglect yourself) in regard to yourself.3 The Spectator pitches a little into you about Theology, in accordance with its usual spirit; for there is some writer in the Spectator who is the most ardent admirer of the Duke of Argyll.4 Your great success has rejoiced my heart. I have just carefully read the whole Address in the Athenæum; & though, as you know, I liked it very much when you read it to me; yet as I was trying all the time to find fault, I missed to a certain extent the effect as a whole; & this now appears to me most striking & excellent.5 How you must rejoice at all your bothering labour & anxiety having had so grand an end. I must say a word about myself: never has such a Eulogium been passed on me & it makes me very proud. I cannot get over my amazement at what you say about my Botanical work. By Jove, as far as my memory goes, you have strengthened instead of weakened some of the expressions. What is far more important, than anything personal, is the conviction which I feel that you will have immensely advanced the belief in the evolution of species. This will follow from the publicity of the occasion, your position, so responsible, as President, & your own high reputation. It will make a great step in public opinion I feel sure, & I had not thought of this before.— The Athenæum takes your snubbing with the utmost mildness.—6 I certainly do rejoice over this snubbing, & hope Owen will feel it a little.— —7 Whenever you have spare time to write again, tell me, whether any Astronomers took your remarks in ill part: as they now stand they do not seem at all too harsh or presumptuous.8 Many of your sentences strike me as extremely felicitous & eloquent. That of Lyell’s “underpinning” is capital. Tell me was Lyell pleased: I am so glad that you remembered my old Dedication.9 Was Wallace pleased?10
How about Photographs? Can you spare time for a line to our dear Mrs. Cameron. She came to see us off & loaded us with presents of Photographs, & Erasmus called after her “Mrs Cameron there are six people in this house all in love with you”. When I paid her: she cried out “oh what a lot of money” & ran to boast to her husband!!11
Tennyson talked of you in a most friendly way, & took all your snubbing most amiably.—12
I must not write any more, though I am in tremendous spirits at your brilliant success.—
Yours ever Affect | C. Darwin
Pleased at success of JDH’s address. Has read several press reports.
Spectator pitches into JDH about theology ["Dr Hooker on the evidences", 22 Aug 1868, pp. 986–7].
Feels JDH has "immensely advanced the belief in evolution of species".
- creationism, religion
- negative attitude/assessment
- positive attitude/assessment
- species, speciation
- theory (including philosophy)
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6327,” accessed on 13 February 2016, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-6327