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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   [23 October 1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

Friday Evening

My dear Hooker

I have just sent off the Box to Bromley, addressed to “57 Queen Anne St, Cavendish Sqe;2 it will reach there on Saturday Evening”, so you can send for it on Monday morning. By keeping the Box till Monday I cd. have returned 2d vol. of Ledebour, but I thought it best to lose no time.—

I have retained 2d, 3d, & 4th vols. of Ledebour, & Grisebach, which shall be despatched by separate parcel per Parcel Delivery when done with, & no time shall be lost.— I have, also, retained the Cybele Brit.

Will you bring with you Henslow’s present of Butterflies.3

I am delighted you will come: your best plan will be by Beckenham Ry from London Bridge at 5°.20′ (remember there is crush & delay on Saturday) & thence per Bus to our door for late dinner; for we have to send on that day (Oct 31) for Etty who is coming home.4 Is there any chance of persuading Mrs. Hooker to come with Baby;5 we shd. be so very glad to see her. We can send you back on whatever day you must return

Thank you much for asking me to meet Sulivan:6 I shd. like it very much, though I must confess that I shd. prefer you two by yourselves: but it so great an excertion for me, poor contemptible wretch as I am, that nothing short of a sort of compulsion, ie, seeing you in no other way, would make me.—

Most truly yours | C. Darwin

PS. | Please remember if possible a Flora of Holland; for Miquels list, with only 47 vars. for whole Flora, works out slightly wrong way; the only case as yet.—7


The date is given by CD’s reference to Hooker’s intended visit to Down House on the day that Henrietta Darwin was to return home from Moor Park (see n. 4, below). The Friday preceding 31 October 1857 was 23 October.
The address is that of CD’s brother, Erasmus Alvey Darwin. The box was full of botanical books (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 20 October [1857]).
Henrietta Darwin had been at Edward Wickstead Lane’s hydropathic establishment at Moor Park since 22 August 1857. She returned home on 31 October (Emma Darwin’s diary).
Frances Harriet Hooker had given birth to the Hookers’ fourth child, Marie Elizabeth, on 10 August 1857.
Bartholomew James Sulivan.
Miquel 1837, about which CD noted in the manuscript of his species book: ‘The list is unsatisfactory for our purpose so few varieties being indicated … I should not have given the results from this list, had I not felt bound to do so from honesty, as the result differed from those in all the other Floras, in several respects.’ (Natural selection, p. 169).


Miquel, Frederich Anton Wilhelm. 1837. Disquisitio geographicobotanica de plantarum Regni Batavi distributione. Leiden. [Vols. 6,7]

Natural selection: Charles Darwin’s Natural selection: being the second part of his big species book written from 1856 to 1858. Edited by R. C. Stauffer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1975.


Return of books.

JDH coming to Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 214
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2157,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 6