To William Thiselton-Dyer   20 October 1885



It needs not my assurance, dear Mr Dyer, that I was delighted, to meet a son of such a distinguished man as Sir Joseph Hooker; and it was particularly gratifying to me to notice, that young Mr Hooker2 is as accomplished as he is amiable. From the enclosed letter,3 received from him this morning, you will perceive, that he has already obtained a professional engagement; through a Gentleman, with whom young Hooker got acquainted, through myself) and doubtless his talents and experience will obtain in course of time here ampler scope. But we all know, professional work is the most labourious and generally the least lucrative in the world; it may therefore be well, to bear in mind, that the most promising path in Australia to fortune is in pastoral pursuits, and if your brother in law could be joined by some young English4 friends with a little capital, to start a station on a new ground far inland, they would be sure to become independent in less time than likely in any other way. This needs not take young Hooker from mining work, as he might take up with his companions some pastoral ground near ranges richin ores and minerals. I intended to have taken him this evening to a splendid Concert of the young pupils of Mr Russells school of Music,5 as he is versed in the musical art also; but he had to go to Sydney.

We went to a Concert last week in the Presbyterian Church of West-Melbourne,6 one of those, in which I am Patron of the Young Gentlemens Christian Association, and where I have to speak to morrow evening after a lecture by one of the Clergy.7 Kindly tell Sir Joseph, that anything, I can do for his son here, will be done with the utmost pleasure. In Sydney I recommended him particularly to Mr Wilkinson, Gov Geologist (originally from Melbourne) the one after whom I named some pleiocene fossils.8

The book-form of wood specimens is much lauded here and in many other places, as the portion corresponding to the leaves of the imitation-book is left unvarnished. The piece of Sandalwood, thus formed and sent to you, was too freshly varnished, and should have been kept back for an other mail.9 It was a duplicate which I took out of the imitation-library, under preparation for the London-Exhibition. You can, of course, get the book cut back and planed into a mere simple piece of wood by your Kew Carpenter, if you prefer that.

Macrozamia Dyeri10 is hundreds of miles from K.G. Sound11 only to be got; but I will try to secure a living stem. For the photogram you must give credit to the hon. the Minister of the Lands Department here; the atelier-work was done for all the photograms hitherto forwarded, by Mr Noon.12

Your seeds of industrial plants are always prized. The Manihot Glazio[ui]i13 from Kew-seeds has grown marvellously at Port Darwin under the able care of Herr Moritz Holtze.14

Regardfully your

Ferd von Mueller.15


Macrozamia Dyeri

Manihot Glaziouii

Annotated by Thiselton-Dyer in purple pencil to left of date:And | 20.12.85. Letter not found.
Brian Hooker.
Letter not found.
English interlined.
Charles William Russell.
The Melbourne premier of the 1882 cantata “Holy City” by Alfred Gaul was performed in aid of choir funds on 15 October (North Melbourne advertiser, 16 October 1885, p. 2, col. g).
Not identified.
In Sydney . . . fossils' is written in the central margin f 161 front to f 160 back with intended position indicated by *.M named Ochthodocaryon wilkinsonii in B77.13.01, p. 178.
See M to W. Thiselton-Dyer, 8 July 1885.
Described by M as Encephalartos Dyeri in B85.06.02, p. 12 and B85.13.11, p. 225.
John Noone.
M used the spelling ‘glaziouii’ in his published works; the plant was named Manihot glaziovii,after its collector, the French botanist, Auguste François Marie Glazioui (1828-1906) (J. Müller [1874], pp. 446–7).
The 1885 edition of Select extra-tropical plants (B85.13.26), and subsequent ones, include the following statement about Manihot glaziouii(sic): ‘Mr Holtze, at Port Darwin, had the first grand success with this plant in Australia, seeds from Kew-Gardens having been placed by the author at his disposal; his plants attained a height of 12 feet in little more that a year.’
Valediction in LH margin, f 161 back.

Please cite as “FVM-85-10-20,” in Ɛpsilon: The Ferdinand von Mueller Collection accessed on 16 October 2021,