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Darwin Correspondence Project

From F. H. Hooker   22 September [1865]1


Sept. 22—

My dear Mr. Darwin

Many thanks for your letter,2 which I waited to answer until we should be here— I can now tell you that we accomplished the journey very successfully in two days, passing the first night at Derby, & arriving here yesterday— We are at present located in a boarding house, but we do not like it, & are going out this morning to look for lodgings— The noise & publicity does not suit Joseph, & he was very tired last night—3 However he is really wonderfully better, & beginning to walk about comfortably—but he is still very stiff in his joints, & can only move slowly— It is horribly cold here, but I suppose we shall get used to that in time—but it is a great contrast to Notting Hill—4

Dr. Tyndall, who was at Birmingham, told us that so far from Lady Lubbock having kept her room, she was sitting in the sections all Monday!— the accident having happened on Saturday—5

Joseph has read Phillips’ address,6 & thought it in matter extremely washy, but no doubt as delivered, was very well suited to the occasion— He was astonished at no allusion whatever being made to Sir J. Lubbock’s book.7

With Joseph’s love, | I am | Yours affectly. | F H Hooker

Have you read Geikie’s book on Scotland?8 Joseph was pleased with parts, but disappointed on the whole.


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from F. H. Hooker, 13 September [1865].
The letter from CD has not been found.
The Hookers had travelled to Buxton, Derbyshire, so that Joseph Dalton Hooker might recuperate from an attack of rheumatic fever (see letter from F. H. Hooker, 6 September [1865] and nn. 2 and 5.
On the advice of his doctor, J. D. Hooker and his wife had left their home at Kew and stayed with friends in Notting Hill, London, until Hooker was well enough to travel to Buxton (see letters from F. H. Hooker, 6 September [1865] and 13 September [1865]).
John Tyndall was a vice-president of Section A (mathematics and physics) at the 1865 meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Birmingham, from 6 to 13 September 1865 (see Report of the thirty-fifth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; held at Birmingham in September 1865, p. xxxi). Ellen Frances Lubbock had been injured in a railway accident while travelling with her husband, John Lubbock, to Birmingham (see letter from F. H. Hooker, 13 September [1865] and n. 6). Apart from the accident, there may also have been some surprise that Ellen Lubbock attended meetings as she was pregnant. She gave birth to her sixth child, Rolfe Arthur Lubbock, on 19 September 1865 (Burke’s peerage).
John Phillips delivered the presidential address to the British Association on 6 September 1865 (Phillips 1865; the address was also printed in the Reader, 9 September 1865, pp. 293–6).
In his presidential address, Phillips described the progress of science in various disciplines over the period since the British Association was founded. In discussing archaeology and palaeontology, Phillips referred to Charles Lyell’s Antiquity of man (C. Lyell 1863a), but made no reference to John Lubbock’s Pre-historic times (Lubbock 1865; see Phillips 1865, p. lxi).
The reference is to Archibald Geikie’s The scenery of Scotland viewed in connexion with its physical geology (Geikie 1865).


Burke’s peerage: A genealogical and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the United Kingdom. Burke’s peerage and baronetage. 1st– edition. London: Henry Colburn [and others]. 1826–.

Geikie, Archibald. 1865. The scenery of Scotland viewed in connexion with its physical geology. London and Cambridge: Macmillan & Co.

Phillips, John. 1865. Address of the president. Report of the thirty-fifth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science held at Birmingham, pp. li–lxvii.


J. D. Hooker is recovering from his ill health.

Letter details

Letter no.
Frances Harriet Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 237–8
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 4898,” accessed on 24 September 2021,

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