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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   29 [June 1871]1

6. Q. A. St.


My dear Hooker

I have only just heard from Lyell of your return. I am delighted that you have come back, & been successful in ascending the Atlas. I fear you did not find any Madeira or Canary types. But your moraine discovery pleases me much.2

We go home tomorrow & in about 3 weeks shall go away from home for a month, for I want a change.—3 That Devilish Descent of Man was rather too much for me.—

I fear there is hardly a ghost of a chance that you wd. be able to run down soon for a Sunday to Down; but if not soon, you must come before very long.—4

You must have had a splendid tour & I shd. very much to like to hear about it.—

I do not at all like the state Lyell is in: it seems to me in my ignorance rather serious.5 I suppose you will be awfully busy for a time.

Farewell | my dear old friend | Ch Darwin


The month and year are established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 July 1871.
Hooker visited Charles Lyell on 25 June 1871 on his return from a trip to Morocco between April and June 1871 (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 July 1871). Lyell evidently reported to CD that Hooker had not found any plants of the types found on the Canary Islands, but that he had been successful in getting permission to travel in the Atlas Mountains (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 19 March 1871 and n. 4). In his account of the journey (Hooker and Ball 1878, pp. 170–2), Hooker discussed the origin of boulder mounds near Tasseremout in the Atlas Mountains, arguing that they were unlikely to be glacial moraines as other observers had suggested.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), CD was at Haredene in Albury, Surrey, from 28 July to 25 August 1871.
No record of Hooker’s visiting CD in the summer of 1871 has been found.
For more on Lyell’s health, see the letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 July 1871.


Delighted to hear from Lyell of JDH’s return from successful ascent of the Atlas Mts.

Fears JDH found no Madeira or Canary types, but CD is pleased at his moraine discovery.

Thinks Lyell’s health is serious.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
London, Queen Anne St, 6
Source of text
DAR 94: 195–6
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7838,” accessed on 22 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 19