Hooker, Sir Joseph Dalton
The Camp, Sunningdale, Berkshire, United Kingdom
JDH/2/16 f.138
Thiselton-Dyer, Sir William Turner
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
© Descendants of Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker
Letters to Thiselton-Dyer
The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Original MS
3 page letter over 1 folio

JDH thanks Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer for sending him a letter from [Odoardo] Beccari, whom he is encouraged to hear will be publishing his work. JDH has been working on the difficult genus Poa [for the FLORA OF BRITISH INDIA], the best specimens he has studied are those collected by [John Firminger] Duthie. [George] King is sending JDH further specimens, including some from Burma, which JDH hopes he & [Otto] Stapf will work on in the spring, though he is not looking forward to tackling Andropognium [Andropogoneae?] again. JDH is also labouring over the classification of Andropogoneae with reference to the work of Hackel & [George] Bentham. JDH is staying indoors during the bad weather. JDH needs to see Harriet [Thiselton-Dyer née Hooker] about some illustrations for the BOTANICAL MAGAZINE.


This is indeed terrible weather -- & I keep indoors as much as possible.
With love to Harriet*8 (who I must see about these Bot[anical] Mag[azine] drawings as soon as I get to Kew) & the children.
Ever aff[ectionate]ly your | Jos. D. Hooker[signature]

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Feb[ruar]y 9th [18]95*2
My dear Dyer*3
Thanks for sending me on Beccari's*4 letter -- I am indeed glad that he will publish & I fancy there will be no difficulty in finding a publisher; but nothing can be done till the mss [manuscript] is in hand.
I am incessantly at Poa here for the last fortnight -- it is the most detestable Genus in India; it has not a single good specific character -- not one -- all are comparative & vacillating. I shall have to make several new

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new[sic] ones, against which I struggle. Duthie's*5 are by far the best collection, very rich & well selected specimens.
King*6 is sending me two more lots! One of Burmese & of which we have hardly any -- these, with the huge supplement already accumulated & not touched, will be work for me & Stapf in spring I hope. I especially dread the Andropognium[sic] [Andropogoneae?] again.
I am also laboring over the classification. Hackel has improved a little on Bentham*7, but has not gone far, or attempted much beyond Andropogs. Bentham had justly a very high opinion of his work.

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This is indeed terrible weather -- & I keep indoors as much as possible.
With love to Harriet*8 (who I must see about these Bot[anical] Mag[azine] drawings as soon as I get to Kew) & the children.
Ever aff[ectionate]ly your | Jos. D. Hooker[signature]


1. Joseph Hooker had a residence built in Sunningdale, Berkshire called 'The Camp'. Completed in 1882 he lived there full time, with his second wife Hyacinth and their family, after retiring from RBG Kew in 1885.
2. This letter was also stamped as received at Kew on 11th February 1895.
3. Sir William Turner Thiselton-Dyer (1843 -- 1928). British botanist and third Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (1885 -- 1905). He succeeded Joseph Hooker in the role after serving as his Assistant Director for ten years. He previously held professorships at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Royal College of Science for Ireland and the Royal Horticultural Society. He married Hooker's eldest daughter Harriet in 1877.
4. Odoardo Beccari (1843--1820). Italian naturalist who spent a large amount of time in Indonesia and the Far East. After graduation he spent a few months at the Royal Gardens, Kew, where he met Charles Dickens, William and Joseph Hooker and James Brookes, the first Rajah of Sarawak.
5. John Firminger Duthie (1845--1922). English botanist and explorer who was Superintendent of Saharanpur Botanical Gardens from 1875--1903.
6. Sir George King (1840--1909). Superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta and Cinchona cultivation in Bengal, 1871--1898. First Director of the Botanical Survey of India, 1890--1898. King was awarded the Linnean Medal in 1901. He was recognized for his work in the cultivation of Cinchona and for setting up a system for the inexpensive distribution of quinine throughout India through the postal system.
7. George Bentham (1800--1884). British botanist who donated his herbarium of more than 100,000 specimens to Kew. He spent 27 years with Joseph Hooker in research and examination of specimens for the work Genera Plantarum, an influential work on plant taxonomy which is the foundation of many modern systems of classification.
8. Harriet Anne Thiselton--Dyer née Hooker (1854--1945). Oldest child of Joseph Hooker and his first wife Frances. Harriet was a botanical illustrator. She married William Turner Thiselton--Dyer who was Assistant Director of RBG Kew (1875--1885) and later Director (1885--1905), succeeding Harriet's father.

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