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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   12 July [1872]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

July 12th

My dear Hooker

I must exhale & express my joy at the way in which the newspapers have taken up your case. I have seen Times, Daily News & Pall Mall, & hear that others have taken up the case. The memorial has done great good this way, whatever may be the result in the action of our wretched government.2 On my soul it is enough to make one turn into an old honest Tory. You will have done one noble service to all men of science by showing governments that they cannot be trampled like dirt under the feet of any paltry official man.—3

If you answer this I shall be sorry that I have relieved my feelings by writing.

Yours affectionately | C. Darwin

Footnotes

The year is established by the reference to reports of Hooker’s dispute with Acton Smee Ayrton (see n. 2, below).
CD and others had signed a memorial in support of Hooker in his dispute with Ayrton (see letter from John Lubbock to W. E. Gladstone, 20 June 1872 and enclosure). There were articles about the dispute in The Times, 8 July 1872, p. 11; the Daily News, 10 July 1872, p. 5; and the Pall Mall Gazette, 11 July 1872, pp. 10–11, all of which were favourable to Hooker.
CD’s suggestion that he might change his political allegiance to the opposition Tory (conservative) party indicated how reprehensible he thought the actions of Ayrton, and the Liberal Government he served, to be. Even the Liberal newspapers were critical of Ayrton; the Daily News, 10 July 1872, p. 5, claimed that his meddling would turn Kew ‘from a botanic into a bear garden’.

Summary

Overjoyed at the way the newspapers have taken up JDH’s case. The memorial has done great good this way, whatever the wretched Government does. It is enough to make one a Tory. JDH has done a service to all men of science by showing governments that they cannot be trampled on.

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-8406
From
Charles Robert Darwin
To
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Down
Source of text
DAR 94: 222–3
Physical description
2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8406,” accessed on 18 November 2018, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8406

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20

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