RECORD: Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1882.04.21. Letter to Francis Darwin. CUL-DAR215.10i. Edited by John van Wyhe (Darwin Online,

REVISION HISTORY: Transcribed by Christine Chua and edited by John van Wyhe 4.2022. With thanks to Joachim Dagg and Anne Secord. RN6

NOTE: See record in the Darwin Online manuscript catalogue, enter its Identifier here. Reproduced with permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library and William Huxley Darwin.


April 21/82

April 21/82

My dear Frank

Most reluctant as I am to intrude upon you at such a time as this, I must do so for information as to some small matters respecting your father's long history which I am asked for for "Nature." They are these. Was he not intended for the church, by his father – up to the date of his joining the Beagle? & if so would there be any objection on his family's part to this being made public. In a letter to Prof


Henslow he states as one of his Father's objections to his joining the expedition "the unfitting me to settle down as a clergyman."

For my own part I object to the insertion into biographies of details of private life that affect only the family; but in the case of so eminent a man as your father, so much interest will attach to the smallest incident of his early life, that I may be cavilled at for withholding the above if a fact; when applied to for information.

He had projected a visit to the Canary Islands, with possibly Henslow for a companion I think, before the Beagle affair turned up. Was this not so?

He suffered from palpitation of the heart when preparing the narrative of the Beagle's voyage, which led to Henslow's taking the labor of reviewing the sheets of part or all off his hands.

I cannot describe to you the gloom that has settled over us all, nor how utterly unhinged I am.

Your mother's letter touched me most deeply. I cannot express how deeply. I shall long for the time when I may go & see


you all again for I feel more than ever tied to Down.

Ever affly yrs

JD Hooker

This document has been accessed 647 times

Return to homepage

Citation: John van Wyhe, ed. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (

File last updated 16 October, 2023