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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   23 July 1871

Royal Gardens Kew

July 23/71

Dear Darwin

The mouse, which I remember well, was the Harvest Mouse, M. Messorius, & you are right about its caudal attributes. Henslow never published about it.1

I have not read the Quarterly, I never do— I wish I had time—& cuttings up are always instructive—but what a farce it is, employing a professed opponent to review a scentific book.

I hate W. Smith.2 Charlie has taken both the Latin & Greek Prep at the International College.3

Shall I (a modest way of putting it) come down to Albury some Sunday, or would you prefer not?4

My wife goes to Berlin with Harriette about end of 1st. week of August.5

Thanks for information about Abutilon.

Have you heard anything of Lyell?—(worth communicating)   Huxley I found, as you said, took a gloomy view of the case.6

Ever yrs | J D Hooker

CD annotations

2.1 I have … case. 7.2] crossed pencil
Top of letter: ‘See Brehm about monkey tail’7pencil


See letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 July [1871] and n. 6. Mus messorius is now Micromys minutus. Hooker also refers to John Stevens Henslow.
See letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 July [1871] and n. 5. Hooker refers to St George Jackson Mivart and [Mivart] 1871c. William Smith, a famous classical scholar, was the editor of the Quarterly Review.
Charles Paget Hooker attended the International College at Isleworth, a school that emphasised science and modern languages (L. Huxley ed. 1918, 2: 182).
Hooker refers to Frances Harriet Hooker and Harriet Anne Hooker. See letter from J. D. Hooker, 22 July 1871.
Hooker refers to Charles Lyell and Thomas Henry Huxley. See letter to J. D. Hooker, 5 July [1871].
CD refers to Alfred Edmund Brehm and to Brehm et al. 1864–9, 1: 52–3. CD was concerned about the problem of prehensile tails (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 23 July [1871] and n. 6). In Origin 6th ed., p. 189, CD commented, ‘Brehm saw the young of an African monkey (Cercopithecus) clinging to the under surface of their mother by their hands, and at the same time they hooked their little tails round that of their mother.’


Origin 6th ed.: The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. 6th edition, with additions and corrections. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.


Identifies Henslow’s mouse that used tail as prehensile climbing organ as Mus messorius.

Has not seen the Quarterly Review.

Inquires after Lyell’s health.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 166: 264
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7879,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

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