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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   7 April 1868

Royal Gardens Kew

April 7/68.

Dear Darwin

I am going to North Wales with Huxley on Thursday— will you lend me the Duke’s Reign of Law: which I want to understand if I can, & would take with me.—1

Thanks for your note, I get more & more unhappy about the address as the time draws on.2 Nothing on earth would induce me to do a thing so damned indelicate as to force such a position on an unwilling soul.— Science might go to the Devil before I would do so, by an enemy even. You see I am working up myself to the starting point—

I have often thought of History of great steps in Botany, but it would take a deal of reading, & I have no time for any—& then when we come down to later years I should offend every body.—3 And after all, should a President’s address be a “Scientific thesis”. I think not.— Who ever consulted such addresses, or regarded such as authorities?

Smith will supply the Euryalias & notes— he is again very poorly with palpitations of heart &c.4

I saw Woolner yesterday— he is to let me know when he goes to Down.5

Ever Yr affec | J D Hooker


The reference is to Thomas Henry Huxley. Hooker also refers to George Douglas Campbell’s The reign of law (Campbell 1867; CD’s copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL).
In his letter of 3 April [1868], CD had suggested the history of botany as a topic for Hooker’s presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science.
Hooker refers to John Smith. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 3 April [1868] and n. 2.
Thomas Woolner visited Down in November 1868 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).


Campbell, George Douglas. 1867. The reign of law. London: Alexander Strahan.


Goes to N. Wales with Huxley.

Wishes to borrow Duke of Argyll’s Reign of law.

The BAAS Presidential Address [Rep. BAAS 38 (1868): lviii–lxxv] – his unhappiness about it; history of botany requires too much reading.

Smith will supply notes on Euryale.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 102: 208–9
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6099,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16