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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   5 November [1853]

Down Bromley Kent

Nov. 5th

My dear Hooker

Amongst my letters received this morning, I opened first one from Col. Sabine: the contents certainly surprised me very much, but, though the letter was a very kind one, somehow, I cared very little indeed for the announcement it contained.1 I then opened yours,2 & such is the effect of warmth, friendship & kindness from one that is loved, that the very same fact told as you told it, made me glow with pleasure till my very heart throbbed. Believe me I shall not soon forget the pleasure of your letter. Such hearty affectionate sympathy is worth more than all the medals that ever were or will be coined. Again my dear Hooker, I thank you.—

I hope Lindley will never hear that he was a competitor against me; for really it is almost ridiculous (of course you would never repeat that I said this, for it would be thought by others, though not, I believe, by you, to be affectation) his not having the medal long before me; I must feel sure, that you did quite right to propose him; & what a good dear kind fellow you are, nevertheless, to rejoice in this honour being bestowed on me.

What pleasure I have felt on the occasion, I owe almost entirely to you.

Farewell my dear Hooker | yours affectionately | C. Darwin

We are both very sorry to see in your note that Mrs. Hooker, recovers slowly.

You may believe what a suprise it was, for I had never heard that the medals cd be given except for papers in the Transactions.— All this will make me work with better heart at finishing the second volume.—3

I see you speak of “foreign evidence” did you hear mentioned any review on the Barnacles? I was not aware of any; so I presume the evidence must have referred to the Coral Reefs.


Edward Sabine, treasurer and vice-president of the Royal Society, informed CD that he had been awarded a Royal Medal, but his letter making the announcement has not been found.
CD received his first proofs for Living Cirripedia (1854) in February 1854 (‘Journal’; Appendix I).


Living Cirripedia (1854): A monograph of the sub-class Cirripedia, with figures of all the species. The Balanidæ (or sessile cirripedes); the Verrucidæ, etc. By Charles Darwin. London: Ray Society. 1854.


Edward Sabine’s official letter announcing CD’s receipt of Royal Society Medal left him cold. JDH’s informal one moved him.

Applauds JDH for supporting John Lindley.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 125
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 1540,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 5