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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   [17–23 December 1857]1

Dear Darwin

I am disgusted at remembering suddenly that I had forgotten to send the vols: of DC.—2 I shall send on Thursday by carrier that with Leguminosæ (& others)—for I am really interested in that curious anomaly.3

Bentham I know thinks that he has created too many genera & others far more.—but whether enough to influence the whole Flora is more than I can tell—4

I have begun my Introd: Essay to Tasmania Flora.5 I think I shall confine it to a clear exposition of all the main features of the Flora of Australia & leave all conclusion drawing to others. I find there are already upwards of 100 Europ. plants well naturalize〈d〉 in vicinity of Melbourne already.

I send by post 2 tracts from A Gray— I cannot follow Dana’s metaphysical ideas on species.6 What do you say to them

Ever yours | J D Hooker

CD annotations

crossed pencil
3.3 Europ.] crossed pencil
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Dated by the relationship to the letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 December [1857], in which CD reported that the books had arrived at Down that morning. The weekly carrier service between London and Down operated on Thursdays. Hooker had been asked to send the books on 16 December (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 9 December [1857]). Hooker’s mention of sending them ‘on Thursday’ makes Wednesday, 23 December the latest possible day on which this letter could have been written.
Hooker refers to CD’s calculations on the order Labiatae (see letter from J. D. Hooker, [6 December 1857]).
J. D. Hooker 1860. The introductory essay of the Flora Tasmaniæ (J. D. Hooker 1855[–60]) was published separately.
The ‘two tracts’ were probably Asa Gray’s review of Arthur Henfrey’s Elementary course on botany (London, 1857) and James Dwight Dana’s ‘Thoughts on species’ (Dana 1857), both of which appeared in the November issue of the American Journal of Science and Arts. Copies of both papers are in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL. For CD’s opinion of Dana 1857, see letter to J. D. Hooker, 25 December [1857].


Bentham, George. 1858. Handbook of the British flora; a description of the flowering plants and ferns indigenous to, or naturalized in, the British Isles. London: Lovell Reeve.

Candolle, Augustin Pyramus de and Candolle, Alphonse de. 1824–73. Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis, sive enumeratio contracta ordinum generum specierumque plantarum huc usque cognitarum, juxta methodi naturalis normas digesta. 19 vols. Paris: Treuttel & Würtz [and others].

Dana, James Dwight. 1857. Thoughts on species. American Journal of Science and Arts 2d ser. 24: 305–16.


Sending more Candolle volumes for survey of species with well-marked varieties.

Has begun his introduction [to Flora Tasmaniae]; will not make generalisations.

J. D. Dana’s pamphlet too metaphysical for JDH.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 194
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2188,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

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