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Darwin Correspondence Project

From J. D. Hooker   3 January [1875]1


Jany 3/74.

Dear Darwin

I have no intention of consulting Allman—but must Huxley, after his letter.2 I have seen the Academy, & do not like it— It is not quite right to make the Review of Haeckel little else but an attack on the Quarterly—3 It is not as if he had brought the Quarterly in incidentally. Further I do not think that it will be quite understood by any outsider.— No doubt it is amazingly able trenchant & drastic.

I am writing for your Drosophyllum now it is mild.4

Every one (White tells me) is glad of the Address.5

Ever yrs aff | J D Hooker


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 29 December 1874 (Correspondence vol. 22). Hooker wrote ‘74’ in error.
CD, Hooker, and Thomas Henry Huxley had been debating what action to take about an anonymous attack on George Howard Darwin by St George Jackson Mivart in the Quarterly Review ([Mivart] 1874, p. 70). In his letter of 29 December 1874 (Correspondence vol. 22), Hooker had suggested that Mivart should be removed from his post as secretary of the Linnean Society, and that George James Allman, the president, would have to be informed before any steps were taken. Hooker may refer to Huxley’s letter to CD of 23 December 1874 (ibid.), in which Huxley said that he hoped neither CD nor Hooker would do anything unless Mivart took the initiative; CD had fowarded the letter to Hooker with his letter of 24 December [1874] (ibid.).
Huxley had lambasted ‘the anonymous Reviewer’ in a passage of his review of Ernst Haeckel’s book Anthropogenie (Haeckel 1874) in the Academy, 2 January 1875, pp. 16 and 17: Possessed by a blind animosity against all things Darwinian, the writer of this paper [[Mivart] 1874] outrages decency by insinuations against Mr. George Darwin, well calculated to damage a little-known man with the public, though they sound droll enough to those who are acquainted with my able and excellent friend’s somewhat ascetic habits. … What is not doubtful is the fact that misrepresentation and falsification are the favourite weapons of Jesuitical Rome.
Hooker had offered to send CD a specimen of the insectivorous plant Drosophyllum lusitanicum (Portuguese sundew or dewy pine) from Edinburgh (Correspondence vol. 22, letter from J. D. Hooker, 21 December 1874).
Hooker’s presidential address to the Royal Society of London was delivered on 30 November 1874 (J. D. Hooker 1874c); extracts from it were reprinted in Nature, 31 December 1874, pp. 175–8, and 7 January 1875, pp. 196–9, under the heading ‘The present condition of the Royal Society’. White: Walter White, assistant secretary and librarian of the society.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

[Mivart, St George Jackson.] 1874b. Primitive man: Tylor and Lubbock. [Essay review of the works of John Lubbock and Edward Burnett Tylor.] Quarterly Review 137 (1874): 40–77.


Disapproves of Huxley’s article [review of Ernst Haeckel’s Anthropogenie] in Academy [7 (1875): 16–18].

Letter details

Letter no.
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 104: 1
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9797,” accessed on 4 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23