Oct. 24th 1817.
My dear Sir
It is long since I received your last letter, but I am not even now able to reply to that part of it where you ask me to let you know who is to be the publisher of the Musc. Brit. <1> This however I shall soon determine, for the last sheet has been printed some time; but I wait for two or three plates before it can be completed. The price I apprehend will be 2gs. Yet even this will not pay unless more copies are sold, that we can calculate upon. The cost of 32 plates & those very laborious ones is no trifling expense. My Humboldtian Mosses <2> will be published but in another form. I had not more than 16 Subscribers to the No already published & I have come to the resolution to incorporate them with other foreign Mosses & publish them in a cheaper form <3> & of an Octavo size, with the plates uncolored in periodical Numbers. Some of the plates are already Engraved for this purpose &
I if I can get a sufficient number of Subscribers it will be published regularly. I sometimes think of not confining it to Mosses but of including the Jungermanniæ, Lichens &c –: All this however must depend upon the success it meet with.
Mr Dawson Turner <4> has never yet published a book on the Lichens <5>, nor Mr Borrer <6> either; but they have long commenced one in conjunction. When it will appear I cannot say it having been for some time laid on the shelf.
You are now I presume in a country that is almost new to the Botanist & I hope you have occasionally leisure & inclination to devote to excursions in pursuit of Mosses. If you meet with anything new or rare I should be happy to be made a partaker of your discoveries; & the more so as I am collecting materials for the Flora Londinensis, <7> which is now going on with spirit again, after a lapse of some time. There will be two numbers of it published the first of next month; one of the old & the other of the new Series.
I am, my dear Sir,Very truly & faithfully yours
W. J. Hooker.
1. William Jackson Hooker and Thomas Taylor (d. 1848), Muscologia Britannica: containing the mosses of Great Britain and Ireland … (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1818).
2. William Jackson Hooker Friedrich Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt, Plantæ Crytogamicæ, quas in plaga orbis novi æquinoctiali collegerunt A. de Humboldt et A. Bonpland, descriptæ G. J. H. Adjectis … A. de Humboldt notationibus quibusdam plantarum geographiam spectantibus (London: 1816).
3. Musci Exotici: containing figures and descriptions of new or little known foreign mosses and other cryptogamic subjects, 2 volumes (London: 1818–1820).
4. Dawson Turner (1775–1858), botanist, author & banker.
5. Dawson Turner and William Borrer, Specimen of a Lichenographia Britannica (Yarmouth: privately printed, 1839).
6. William Borrer (1781–1862), botanist.
7. William Curtis (1746–1799), Flora Londinensis, containing a history of the plants indigenous to Great Britain… (London: G. Graves, 1817–1828), volumes 4 and 5 by William Jackson Hooker.
8. Thomas Kaye Bonney (1782–1863), Archdeacon of Leicester.
9. Readdressed in another hand.