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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   29 January 1876

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Jan 29. 76

My dear Hooker

Frank and I, if we are both alive, will certainly be at the Linn: Soc on Thursday, & I hope the Socy will be saved from the utter disgrace of blackballing Lankester.1 Its grand news about Tyndall & I heartily rejoice at it.2 I saw the extreme absurdity of Taits new names; I could not judge at all about the morphological part, but I cannot help being sorry for him notwithstanding his extreme presumption & vanity.3 My wicked son Frank rejoices at his discomfiture, which I must own he does deserve

Ever yours | Ch. Darwin


CD and Francis Darwin both attended the Linnean Society meeting on 2 February 1876 to support a second, successful, attempt to have Edwin Ray Lankester elected as a fellow after his rejection at a meeting in December 1875. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 28 January 1876 and n. 1.
John Tyndall had become engaged to Louisa Charlotte Hamilton; see letter from J. D. Hooker, 28 January 1876 and n. 4.
See letter from J. D. Hooker, 28 January 1876 and n. 2. CD had asked Hooker for comments on a paper by Lawson Tait on Nepenthes (the genus of tropical pitcher-plants) that Tait had asked CD to pass to the Royal Society of London for possible publication. The paper has not been found, but in a later publication on the characteristics of the pitchers in Nepenthes and based on observations he made at this time, Tait described subdermal (‘epithelial’) structures that he believed to be modifications used in the absorption of water or nutrients; he also disagreed with Joseph Dalton Hooker’s identification of glands on the underside of the hoods of Nepenthes as nectaries, considering those also to be more likely to be involved in digestion (L. Tait 1879–80, pp. 7–8, 59–61).


Tait, Lawson. 1879–80. Notes on the structures of pitcher plants. Midland Naturalist 2 (1879): 265–8, 295–7; 3 (1880): 5–8, 58–62.


Promises to vote for Lankester.

Acknowledges faults of R. L. Tait’s paper.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 403
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10374,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24