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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   2 February [1865]1


Feby 2d.

My dear Hooker

I heard this morning of Falconer’s death.2 Poor fellow   I am much grieved; It will be a great loss to science. What a lot of knowledge of all kinds has perished with him. He was always a most kind friend to me. So the world goes.—

But I write to ask you to write me ever so short a note to tell me when you are well.—3 I got pretty well on Monday & had bad day again yesterday.— Whenever you can come here for a Sunday do pray come. I must take my chance of being well or ill; for I can rarely tell even a day before hand; but last week I had an extra bad time.—4 I hope you have got over that horrid influenza, which makes a man feel so wretchedly ill.

Farewell | Yours affectionately | C. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Hugh Falconer’s death (see n. 2, below).
After a short illness, Falconer died of heart-failure on 31 January 1865 (see letter from F. H. Hooker, [27 January 1865], and DNB).
Hooker was recovering from an attack of influenza; before becoming ill, he had planned to visit Down House (see letter from F. H. Hooker, [27 January 1865]).
Emma Darwin reported CD’s sickness in her diary on 24, 25, and 27 January (DAR 242).


DNB: Dictionary of national biography. Edited by Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee. 63 vols. and 2 supplements (6 vols.). London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1912. Dictionary of national biography 1912–90. Edited by H. W. C. Davis et al. 9 vols. London: Oxford University Press. 1927–96.


Hugh Falconer’s death great loss to science.

His own health has been especially bad this last week.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 115: 259
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4762,” accessed on 12 August 2022,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 13