skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   21 November [1857]1

Down Bromley Kent

Nov. 21st

My dear Hooker

I was most sincerely sorry to receive your little note, saying how dangerously ill Mrs. Henslow was.2 I am sure Mrs. Hooker & all at Hitcham have my most sincere sympathy. If the worst does happen & you make any stay at Hitcham do just say to my dear & most kind friend, Henslow, how truly I feel for his sorrow. I will not trouble him with writing to him.— To the last day of my life I shall feel under what deep obligations I lie to Henslow & Mrs. Henslow for their extraordinary kindness to me at Cambridge. How many pleasant little dinners I have had with them; & how invariably kind poor Mrs. Henslow was to me.3 I do hope she has not suffered much. They were like the nearest & most affectionate relations to me.—

My dear Hooker | Yours affectionately | C. Darwin

I shd. like much to have ever so short a scrap to tell me how Henslow is.—


Dated by the reference to the illness of Harriet Henslow (see n. 2, below).
Harriet Henslow, wife of John Stevens Henslow and Hooker’s mother-in-law, died on 20 November 1857 (Gentleman’s Magazine n.s. 4 (1858) 1: 113).
During his undergraduate days at Cambridge, CD was frequently invited to the Henslows’ home. See Correspondence vol. 1.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.


Mrs J. S. Henslow’s illness.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 114: 213
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2174,” accessed on 16 September 2021,

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