skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   14 November 1876

Royal Gardens Kew

Nov 14/76

Dear Old Darwin

I have just received Ed 2 of Geological Observations, which I shall keep on my table till I can read them. How well I remember the intense pleasure I took in the first Edn.—1 Many thanks. We go to the Lubbocks’ on the 25th. I have never staid at High Elms, often as I have been asked; & ungracious as it seems, I do not care to go except for the chance of finding you at home on Sunday.2

We have just returned from 3 pleasant days of rain at the Allman’s which I utilized in getting on with my Anniversary address which will be taken up with the Challenger, the Meterological Committee; the Jodrell donation—the new Govt. grant, & a lot of such things—3 I have a few reflections in fossil Botany, but shall not have room for them I expect: I have looked through the Anniversary addresses of my predecessors & find them a poor lot—neither Science nor business, mine are the latter at any rate.

What a glorification of these arctic neophytes!— Shades of Ross, Pary, Franklin, Richardson, &c. &c.— I think they must stir in their graves—4 Adl. Sullivan & his wife dined with us at Allman’s yesterday, he looks quite young,! neither hair nor beard grey! he does not look a year over 50.5 it is marvellous. Mrs S. looks more than old-aged— he was most pleasant, his memory is wonderful, & his conversation delightful— not quite so impetuous as of yore.

I am over head & ears in work, & in despair altogether

How is Frank?6

Ever yr affec | J D Hooker


Geological observations 2d ed. was the combined second edition of Volcanic islands and South America, originally published in 1844 and 1846 respectively as parts of the geology of the Beagle voyage. See also letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 April [1876], and letter from J. D. Hooker, 26 April 1876.
John and Ellen Frances Lubbock lived at High Elms, Down, Kent. Hooker and his wife Hyacinth visited the Darwins on Saturday 2 December 1876 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
George James and Hannah Louisa Allman lived at Ardmore, Parkstone, Dorset (ODNB). In his presidential address at the anniversary meeting of the Royal Society of London (Hooker 1876b), Hooker mentioned a grant of £6000 from Thomas Jodrell Phillips-Jodrell for research in physical science; when the government decided to increase their own grant to the society, Phillips-Jodrell proposed that the £6000 should be invested for the benefit of the society (ibid., pp. 341–2). He also reported on an inquiry by the Treasury into the workings of the Meteorological Office (ibid., pp. 345–8), and on the return of the Challenger expedition from its voyage around the world (ibid., pp. 350–4).
Hooker discussed the recently returned Arctic expedition of George Strong Nares in his address (Hooker 1876b, pp. 354–5). James Clark Ross, William Edward Parry, John Franklin, and John Richardson were Arctic explorers.
Bartholomew James Sulivan, a shipmate of CD’s on the Beagle voyage, and his wife, Sophia Sulivan, lived in Bournemouth, about four miles from Parkstone.
Francis Darwin.


Geological observations 2d ed.: Geological observations on the volcanic islands and parts of South America visited during the voyage of H.M.S. ‘Beagle’. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1876.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.

South America: Geological observations on South America. Being the third part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1846.

Volcanic islands: Geological observations on the volcanic islands, visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle, together with some brief notices on the geology of Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. Being the second part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1844.


JDH prepares Anniversary Address to the Royal Society [Proc. R. Soc. Lond. (1876): 339–62].

Return of Challenger.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 69–70
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10671,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

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