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Darwin Correspondence Project

To P. P. C. Hoek   11 March 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

March 11/75

Dear Sir

I am much obliged for your very kind letter & the gift of your work.1 I am extremely glad that you have taken up the study of the Cirripedia. I am sorry to say that I cannot read your language, but one of my sons has already translated to me parts of your book, & I feel sure that you will do excellent work.2 I am aware that I fell into several great errors, as about the ovaria and from my ignorance of Histology I was quite unfitted to investigate one chief subject of your book, namely the formation of the ova.3

With the most sincere hope & expectation of your success I remain dear Sir | Yours very faithfully | Charles Darwin


Hoek’s letter and the work he sent have not been found, but he probably sent a copy of his doctoral thesis, Eerste bijdrage tot een nauwkeuriger kennis der sessile cirripedien (First contribution to a more accurate knowledge of sessile cirripedes; Hoek 1875).
CD probably refers to Francis Darwin, who had been his secretary since 1874 (see Correspondence vol. 22, letter to W. D. Fox, 11 May [1874]).
In Living Cirripedia (1851), pp. 57–8, CD identified the two gut-formed masses near the ventral edge of the peduncle as ovaria rather than salivary glands and then postulated a connection between the ovarian tubules and the cement ducts. He was also unable to trace the oviduct to the opening at the base of the first pair of cirri, and consequently identified that aperture as an acoustic organ. Later researchers were able to trace the oviduct and identify the female genital aperture (for more on these observations, see Newman 1993, pp. 368–71).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Hoek, Paulus Peronius Cato. 1875. Eerste bijdrage tot een nauwkeuriger kennis der sessile cirripedien. [Doctoral dissertation at Leiden University.] Leiden: P. Somerwil.

Living Cirripedia (1851): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Lepadidæ; or, pedunculated cirripedes. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1851.

Newman, William A. 1993. Darwin and cirripedology. History of Carcinology. Crustacean Issues 8: 349–434.


Thanks for publication [Berste bijdrage tot een nauwkeuriger kennis der sessile cirripedien (1875)]. Cannot read Dutch. Mentions PPCH’s research on cirripedes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Paulus Peronius Cato Hoek
Sent from
Source of text
Artis Library (P.P.C. Hoek Archive, Darwin correspondence)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9883,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23