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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   28 July [1847]

Down Farnborough | Kent

July 28th

My dear Hooker

Your scheme of my joining you to Hitcham1 would indeed be pleasant (not but what I shd. be decidedly de trop with one lady & perhaps with one gentleman) but I do not see how it can be effected. We are having & have had shoals of relations with us, but what keeps me more at home is that I expect a visit from Prof. Studer of Berne about that time & in my invitation I told him I shd. be at home all the beginning of August. I dread this visit not a little.— I must & will have my two days at Kew before I go to Shrewsbury. I have had such a number of applications to go & give my vote for Le Fevre2 & my political conscience urges me in the same direction that I have had some thoughts of going to Cambridge for a day, but I expect my zeal & virtue will evaporate.— Pray thank Henslow much for his invitation for the 10th. He wrote to me about Lefevre & I refused point blanck, but my conscience has hurt me ever since.—3

I heartily wish you joy at some of your work coming to a close.4

I suppose Miss Hooker5 is not at home: I much hope she continues pretty well; pray tell me whenever you write next: what famous things picnics are for knowing & becoming attached to people—a sentiment to which you will respond in the strongest form.—

Ever yours | C. D.

I have heard nothing about the coal=marine=vegetation for a long time.—


Hooker’s fiancée, Frances Harriet Henslow, lived with her parents in Hitcham, Suffolk.
John George Shaw-Lefevre, vice-chancellor of London University, who stood for election to Parliament as representative for Cambridge University (The Times, 11 June 1847, p. 8). All holders of a Cambridge M.A. degree were eligible to vote in person.
Shaw-Lefevre and John Stevens Henslow were among the founders of London University and held the same liberal, reforming views on education and public affairs. The Times of 4 August gives the final results of the election, with a selective list of those who supported each candidate, but Henslow is not mentioned, possibly because he was not resident at Cambridge University. In the poll, Shaw-Lefevre was lowest of the four candidates (Cooper 1842–1908, 4: 696).
Hooker’s work on the Antarctic flora (J. D. Hooker 1844–7) was completed in 1847.
Hooker’s sister, Elizabeth.


Cooper, Charles Henry. 1842–1908. Annals of Cambridge. 5 vols. Cambridge.

Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1844–7. Flora Antarctica. 1 vol. and 1 vol. of plates. Pt 1 of The botany of the Antarctic voyage of HM discovery ships Erebus and Terror in the years 1839–1843, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. London: Reeve Brothers.


Cannot come to Hitcham as he is anticipating a visit from Bernhard Studer of Bern.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 99
Physical description
4pp & C

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1104,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 4