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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   8 December 1874


Dec. 8/74.

Dear Darwin

I hoped to have seen you in town ere this, but what with a cold & cough, & much to do, I have been prevented.

I am extremely obliged for Farrer’s great kindness, & the charming note he has written. Helps has spoken also to Sir Stafford, who has promised to look himself into the matter. I have heard nothing from Lord Henry, but he is coming to the Gardens next week,— at least he says so.1

I am getting on very well, with intervals of great depression, & a feeling of utter desolation which sometimes overmasters me: it comes on like a whirlwind— tho’ I hope will grow less severe as it wanes with time.2

I am still in a sort of trance, living much on long bygone years & overleaping the interval.

Harriet is getting on remarkably well.3

I shall go to the Royal on Thursday4

Ever yours affec | J D Hooker.


CD was supporting Hooker’s effort to have an assistant appointed to him at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (see letter to J. D. Hooker, 2 December [1874]). He had asked Thomas Henry Farrer to intercede with Stafford Northcote, the chancellor of the Exchequer. Arthur Helps was clerk of the Privy Council. Henry Gordon-Lennox was the first commissioner of public works, thus Hooker’s immediate superior.
Frances Harriet Hooker, Hooker’s wife, died on 13 November 1874 (Allan 1967, p. 225).
Harriet Anne Hooker was the Hookers’ eldest daughter.
Hooker chaired the meeting of the Royal Society of London on 10 December 1874 (Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 23 (1874–5): 93).


Allan, Mea. 1967. The Hookers of Kew, 1785–1911. London: Michael Joseph.


Delighted with Farrer’s assistance. A. Helps has also spoken to Sir S. Northcote.

JDH is getting on well but has periods of great depression.

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 103: 232–3
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9750,” accessed on 26 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22