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Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   4 August [1873]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Aug. 4th

My dear Hooker,

I shd. so much like to see you, but we start tomorrow morning for Abinger to pay Farrer & Effie a visit of a few days (I have not done such a feat for 25 years) as they have tempted me most kindly by offering me a room to myself. Afterwards we go to William at Southampton & shall not return till 20th or 21st or 22nd;2 So that Sunday 24th is first day possible for you & Gen. Strachey. But I will not hear of a “luncheon”: you must come down to dinner on Saturday & return as early as you like on Monday.3 The common flowers to be named will keep till you come then, or soon afterwards, & if you cannot come at such time, I will most gratefully send them you.—

I am glad to hear so good an account of Huxley.4

Farewell till we meet. | Ever yours | Ch Darwin

I have been half-killing myself over Drosera, which is a never ending job, over which I could spend my life.5


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 August 1873.
CD visited Thomas Henry and Katherine Euphemia (Effie) Farrer from 5 to 9 August 1873; he visited William Erasmus Darwin from 9 to 21 August (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)). Because of his frequent bouts of illness, CD rarely visited anyone other than immediate family.
Richard Strachey and Hooker visited Down on 23 August 1873 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Hooker had accompanied Thomas Henry Huxley for part of his recuperative visit to France and Germany (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 August 1873 and n. 1).
CD had resumed his experiments on the physiology of Drosera from mid-June (see ‘Journal’ (Appendix II) and letter to J. V. Carus, 2 August [1873]).


Starts tomorrow for visit to Farrer and Effie [Euphemia Farrer, daughter of Hensleigh Wedgwood]. Has not done such a feat [i.e., staying as a guest of someone outside the immediate family?] for 25 years.

Has been half killing himself with Drosera.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 94: 268–9
Physical description
3pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9000,” accessed on 4 December 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 21