skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To J. D. Hooker   6 January [1875]1

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Jan 6th

My dear Hooker.

Many thanks for note from Athenæum.2 As I am an interested party, I can form no judgment on point in question.— I do not feel inclined myself, under altogether different circumstances to refrain from expressing my opinion clearly to Mr Mivart & thus coming to a dead cut.—3 Ever yours affecty | C. Darwin

I have just read the few first general chapters of Lubbock’s book & am pleased to find that I like them very much, & I really think that they are well adapted for his object of arousing attention.—4 I am very glad indeed that I speak to L. in favourable terms.—

By the Lord what an article that is of Huxley’s in the Academy. I do not believe there is any body in Grt. Britain who can write like him.—5

Many thanks about Drosophyllum: which will be extremely useful.6

Gentisea has proved a wonderful creature7


The year is established by the relationship between this letter and the letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1875]. It is possible that CD had not received Hooker’s letter of 5 January 1875 when he wrote this letter.
Hooker may have sent a cutting of the Athenæum review of John William Draper’s History of the conflict between religion and science (Draper 1875; Athenaeum, 2 January 1875, pp. 21–2). Draper had given a paper offering a Darwinian view of the development of Western civilisation at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in Oxford in 1860. It was in his reply to this paper that Samuel Wilberforce, the bishop of Oxford, had made his famous attack on CD. See Correspondence vol. 8, pp. xx–xxi, letter from J. D. Hooker, 2 July 1860, and letter to Asa Gray, 3 July [1860].
In his letter of 3 January [1875], Hooker had written to CD that he was going to consult Thomas Henry Huxley about what action he should take over St George Jackson Mivart’s anonymous attack on George Howard Darwin in the Quarterly Review ([Mivart] 1874, p. 70).
John Lubbock’s book was on British wild flowers (Lubbock 1875).
In his review of Ernst Haeckel’s Anthropogenie (Haeckel 1874) in the Academy, 2 January 1875, pp. 16–17, Thomas Henry Huxley had criticised the insinuations of the ‘anonymous reviewer’ against G. H. Darwin (see n. 3, above). See also letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1875].
Hooker had offered to try to acquire another specimen of Drosophyllum lusitanicum (Portuguese sundew or dewy pine) for CD from Edinburgh (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 3 January [1875] and n. 4).
CD had been working on specimens of the carnivorous plant Genlisea (the corkscrew plant) sent from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (see letter from Daniel Oliver, 2 January 1875). CD’s notes on G. ornata, G. filiformis, G. africana, and G. aurea are in DAR 60.2: 98–102.


Athenæum. 1844. A few words by way of comment on Miss Martineau’s statement. No. 896 (28 December): 1198–9.

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

Draper, John William. 1875. History of the conflict between religion and science. London: Henry S. King.

[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.


Is not inclined to restrain himself from expressing his opinion of Mivart. Huxley’s article in Academy.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Joseph Dalton Hooker
Sent from
Source of text
DAR 95: 365–6
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9805,” accessed on 25 September 2021,

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