From Joseph Hooker   22 June 1858

Kew June 22d/58

Dear Dr. Mueller

I am very much obliged for your letters,1 & glad to hear of all your doings & that the gardens at Melbourne progress so well. I do not know whether my Father has written to you about the books he ordered for you — & the money which he has in hand; lest he should not have done so I may say that 1) The Flora Indica is out of print; & has been long ago. The Introductory Essay2 alone remains on sale. The E.I.C.3 having refused to patronize the work or take copies when proposed to them to subscribe Dr T.4 & I published the Fl. Indica wholly at our own cost; & printed only 250 copies — we gave away 100 of these & put a merely nominal price of 16/ on the rest. When the E.I.C. saw this they forthwith bought up 100 copies, which threw the work out of print, prevented its circulation amongst Botanists, & defeated our object altogether — The whole affair cost us upwards of £200 dead loss. We printed 250 extra copies of the Introd. Essay, which alone remain on sale. Had I a duplicate copy I would send it you with pleasure.

With regard to the "Species Filicum"5 you have all the numbers that have been published — As to the missing numbers of Icones Plantarum6 my Father intended to have given them to you himself, & neglected to do so as it appears. With regard to some other books you want we will get them if we can, but these things are not to be had for the ordering at any time; & these scientific Booksellers are perfect plagues — My Father has ordered for you a new work on Ferns,7 of which he has no presentation copies, & Harveys Phycologia Australica8 — of which two numbers came at once for you — he has still a good deal of money of yours in hand & we are on the look out for a copy of the Bot. Mag:9 &c for you.

Would you not like to join the Linnaean Society? you ought to be an F.L.S. & if so inclined we will manage it for you.10 The Entrance fee is £6 I think & the annual payment but I think one payment of £30 clears you of all future subscriptions. The publication which are given gratis to fellows are worth this money.

I have sent to L.S. in your name your papers in Acacias & Eucalypti11 Mr Bentham very kindly revised the former, & you will be surprized to hear that it took him upwards of a week's hard work; — working as you do, you have evidently no idea of the time & care it takes to turn out satisfactory Botanical works comparing specimens, & descriptions & confirming synonymy & references with proper care is much slower work than you are aware of. — We think no errors trivial or venial that can be avoided with proper care & proper materials. You have no conception of the amount of trouble & time it takes to correct an error of identification The slap-dash style of publication has brought the science into terrible confusion already.

The whole of your extensive & splendid collections are now put away, in the general Herbarium — they are truly wonderful, & the knowledge you have displayed in naming & arranging them is very great. In putting them away Mr Black12 & I found of course a good many synonyms &c &c, & of some these my Father sent you a list the other day.13

I did all your grasses myself — they are extremely difficult, & a very great many are known Indian species, of Roxburgh & Nees, but of which the Indian specimens are not satisfactorily identified in any Herbarium.

I have now just begun to work out my Indian Grasses of which I have upwards of 100 huge bundles — they when done will enable me to name yours more satisfactorily before many months are over.14

I am in some doubt about your copy of "Flora Tasmaniae".15 I sent you some numbers (uncolored, I have no colored copies allowed me) a year & a half ago — (2 I think) & I cannot make out from your letters whether you have received them — on the other hand I gather from your letters that you have, or have access to a copy. Under these circumstances I have refrained from continuing the copy I sent, lest the first-numbers should have been lost. — Will you therefore tell me how this matter stands. If you have received none, & care to have it, I will send you a complete copy.

With regard to proof sheets, they are so full of errors & corrections that I cannot trust them out of my own possession. Errors thus multiplied from proofsheets lead to irremediable confusion & can never be traced to their origin .

My Father & I drew up a report16 on your whole Botanical career in Australia for the Colonial office, but we have had no copies sent us of it nor seen it in print. Your own Report to Govt was sent to Linnaean Society, but the Col. Office would not pay for the printing of it, which was very shabby to a private Scientific Society — the Society have however printed it in its journal17 & it will be published immediately — your paper on Acacia & Eucalypti are also ordered for printing.

I am extremely obliged to you for your numerous & valuable corrections to my faulty Flora Tasmanica. You will doubtless reduce my species very much, & no one will be more glad than I am to have this done for me. Eucalyptus Risdoni is not I think a small state of another — it covers one valley near Hobarton with small trees about 10 feet high & occurs in a similar way in other parts of the Island.18

Your Echinocroton claoxyloides is certainly a Claoxylon very near C. muricatus WE Flora19 — Another of your Nov. Gen. is the old Tragia chamelaea. I forget the genus it is now referred to. A good many Australian tropical Euphorbiaceae appear to me to be slightly altered forms of Indian ones, but it will take years of study to clear these points up.

You will no doubt have heard of Brown's death,20 it was very peaceful & tranquil. He has left all his books & plants to Mr Bennett21 except the Fossil plants which are left to Brit: Mus:22

Believe me ever

humbly yours

Jos D Hooker



Claoxylon muricatus

Echinocroton claoxyloides


Eucalyptus Risdoni


Tragia chamelaea

Hooker is also responding to letters written to his father; he refers to publications sought in M to W. Hooker, 15 March 1858.
Hooker & Thomson (1855), pp. 1-280.
East India Company.
Thomas Thomson.
W. Hooker (1846-64). Hooker had resumed publication in 1858 with vol. 2, a hiatus of 12 years.
W. Hooker (1836-54).
Possibly W. Hooker (1859).
Harvey (1858-63).
Curtis (1787-1826) and W. Hooker (1827-64).
M was elected FLS on 20 January 1859 (Certificates of Fellows, Foreign Members and Associates, Linnean Society of London).
B59.02.01 and B58.11.01 respectively.
Allan Black.
List not found.
Not published until 1896 as J. Hooker (1875-97) vol. 7, fasc. 21.
J. Hooker (1855-60).
See W. & J. Hooker to H. Labouchere, 19 December 1857 (in this edition as M57-12-19).
See M to W. Hooker, 15 April 1858.
Wight (1840-53).
Robert Brown died on 10 June 1858.
John Bennett.
British Museum.

Please cite as “FVM-58-06-22,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 26 October 2021,