WCP2038

Letter (WCP2038.1928)

[1]

Aug 2/[18]80

My dear Wallace

I think you have made an immense advance to our knowledge of the ways & means of Distribution, & bridged many great gaps. Your reasoning seems to me to be sound throughout, though I am not prepared to <believe?> it in all its details.

I am disposed to regard the Western Australian Flora as the latest in point[?] of Origin, & I hope to prove it by development & <by> the absence[?] of various types. If West Australia <does> have an older older flora I am inclined to suppose that it has [2] been destroyed by the invasion of Eastern types after the union with East Australia.— My idea is that the types worked round by the South & altered rapidly as they proceeded westward, increasing in species.

Nor can I conceive the Western Island[?], when surrounded by sea, harbouring a flora like its present one.

I have been disposed to regard New Caledonia & the New Hebrides as the parent country of many New Zealand & Australia forms of vegetation, but we do not know enough[?] of the vegetation of the former to warrant the conclusion: [illeg.] it would be but a slight modification [3] of your views.

I very much like th your whole working[?] of the problem of the isolation & countries[?] of N.Z. & Australia inter se & with the countries N. of these, and the whole[?] treatment of that respecting N. & S. migration over the globe is admirable.

p488. will you tell me where [2 words illeg.] is described as 12000 ft high.

I think the reference to fossil plants is not worth while — your evidences from recent ones are so strong. & Ettinghausen's conclusions are I think singularly wanting in probability. These "fossil Botanists[?]" have no conception of the difficulty of identifying living plants, & they [4] point at any similarity of form or [illeg.], upon which to establish the wildest conjectures as to generic & even specific affinities. A most eminent one made 2 genera (one of them tropical) out of the 3 leaflets of one species of <Rubens?>!

[illeg.] | J.D. Hooker [signature]

I send my last [illeg.] in the [illeg.] of Geograph. Bot.y

Published letter (WCP2038.6395)

[1] [p. 32]

SIR J. HOOKER1 TO A. R. WALLACE

Royal Gardens, Kew. August 2, 1880.

My dear Wallace, — I think you have made an immense advance to our knowledge of the ways and means of distribution, and bridged many great gaps.2 Your reasoning seems to me to be sound throughout, though I am not prepared to receive it in all its details.

I am disposed to regard the Western Australian flora as the latest in point of origin, and I hope to prove it by development, and by the absence of various types. If Western Australia ever had an old flora, I am inclined to suppose that it has been destroyed by the invasion of Eastern types after the union with East Australia. My idea is that these types worked round by the south, and altered rapidly as [2] [p. 33] they proceeded westward, increasing in species. Nor can I conceive the Western Island, when surrounded by sea, harbouring a flora like its present one.

I have been disposed to regard New Caledonia and the New Hebrides as the parent country of many New Zealand and Australian forms of vegetation, but we do not know enough of the vegetation of the former to warrant the conclusion; and after all it would be but a slight modification of your views.

I very much like your whole working of the problem of the isolation and connection of New Zealand and Australia inter se and with the countries north of them, and the whole treatment of that respecting north and south migration over the globe is admirable.... — Ever most truly yours,

J.D. HOOKER.

Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1817 — 1911). British botanist and explorer. Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 1865 — 1885.
The book referred to is Wallace's "Island Life," published in 1880. [Footnote in the original publication, p. 32]

Please cite as “WCP2038,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 25 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP2038