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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   14 June 1877


June 14/77.

Dear Darwin

I got home at 1.30 this morning from the R.S. Soirée1 with a crick in my shoulder & “phalangitis” from pumphandling some 500 people, to find a telegram from “my friend” the Emperor of Brazil,2 saying that he would be out at 6 this morning; & sure enough here he has been, with his heart-set on seeing you— I pleaded your illness &c &c. but it was no good. First he suggested that I should write to Owen3 & offer himself you & me to dejeuner!!! Of course I would have none of that; then he wanted me to ask himself & you to dejeuner at Kew with me, to which I could only express myself proud & pleased if you were well enough to come.—an alternative which he met by suggesting that if so He & I, should go to Down & dejeuner with you!— he made me promise to write at once, to you to this effect.— Pray my dear fellow do not suppose that I in any way ever countenanced all this— I can wriggle out of a bad hypothesis, but not out of such a pertinacious old bird as this Emperor— What is to be done? I will do anything you like that I can.

He is coming to my wife’s4 “At Home” here on Wednesday 4–7 PM. to which we had asked a whole lot of R.S. friends, but did not go through the form of sending you & Mrs Darwin cards.— Or shall I bring him down to Down. We might drive, or go by train—on Sunday, or will you meet him at a quiet dejeuner here? on Monday or Tuesday?

I think the best way would be for you Mrs Darwin & Frank5 to come here on Wednesday—early if you like or at 4–7.

I am off to town for R.S. Council 1–6.—& then to the evening meeting, so I shall be pretty well used up by bed-time.

Ever yr affec friend | J D Hooker

Telegraph if you can make up your mind what is best done.


Hooker hosted a large reception at the Royal Society on 13 June (The Times, 14 June 1877, p. 10).
The emperor of Brazil was Pedro II.
Richard Owen.
Hyacinth Hooker.
Francis Darwin.


JDH has to entertain the Emperor of Brazil [Pedro II], who wants to meet CD.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 86–7
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 11000,” accessed on 16 October 2021,