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Document number: 980
Date: 10 Jun 1822
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: HOOKER William Jackson
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 8th March 2011

June 10th 1822.

My dear Sir

I am extremely obliged to you for the interesting specimens of the pyrenæan Scilla, lilio-Hyacinthum & verna; & still more for your kind intention of sending me other of the plants you gathered in the South of France. There is a tolerably good figure of the Scilla lilio-Hyac. in the Plantes Liliacées by Redouté <1> f. 205; but it is from a cultivated specimen & the corymb is too long.

I am glad to hear you, who have put the Flora Pyrenaica <2> to the test, give so favorable a character of the Author. There was an unfortunate quarrel between him & Decandolle <3>, of which I know not the origin, & which made them jealous of each other. The latter is certainly not great in his definition of species: but as a philosophical Botanist he has not an equal, except it be Brown <4>. I wish I could recommend to you a good Flora of the countries you are going to visit on your route to Italy: but I really do not know of any. Hoffmann's Flora Germanica <5> is lamentably deficient; not only in species but also in his characters of those that are included in his work. Yet I believe there is no other. As you probably read German you will probably be amused with the 1st vol of travels (the only one that has yet appeared) of Hoppe and Hornschuch <6>, through the mountains of Carniola, Tyrol, Salzburg, Bavaria &c. Botany was their main object & they have related all their discoveries.

Indeed if you go to Ratisbon you will do well to call on Dr David Henry Hoppe, or Father Hoppe, as my correspondent Hornschuch calls him. He is a man much advanced in years; but a perfect enthusiast in Botany, & making annually an excursion into the mountains. He is well acquainted with the Botany of all the South of Germany, particularly with the Mosses. You can if you please, make use of my name as an introduction, for though I am not in direct correspondence with him, yet we have exchanged publications & I am sure he would feel gratified by seeing you. At Bonn (sur Rhin) is another able Naturalist, Dr Nees von Esenbeck <7>, author of an admirable work on the Fungi &c, whom you would perhaps like to see. I am in close correspondence with him; as I am also with Dr Nestler <8> of Strasburg if you should go that way. He is deep in cryptogamic lore & author of Stirpes Cryptogamiæ Vogeso-rhenaniæ in 6 vols 4to. You are indeed going to visit many highly interesting countries & I shall be much interested in your botanical success. I hope you will attend to the plants of Italy, which have really been very much neglected by British Travellers in general: but this is not to be wondered at when we consider the great interest excited by the works of art, which can be seen no where else.

I shall be highly gratified if at your leisure you would would favor me with a few lines during your tour. I am about to visit a very different country the mountainous parts of Scotland this year - being anxious that the next edition of my Flora Scotica <9> should be much more complete than the present. I have already very great additions to make, especially in the Cryptogamiæ.

With very sincere regard, I am,
My dear Sir,
Yours most faithfully
W. J. Hooker.

Do not hurry yourself with the plants of the Pyrenées. I may add however, that in a few days Treauttel & Wurtz <10>, foreign Booksellers, Soho square, will send me a parcel in which anything can come to me.

W. H. F. Talbot Esqre
31. Sackville street


1. Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759-1840), Augustin Pyrame de Candolle et al., Les liliacées (Paris: 1802-1816).

2. Probably Philippe Picot de Lapeyrouse (1744-1818), either the Histoire abrégée des plantes des Pyrénées ... (Toulouse: l'Imprimerie de Bellegarrigue, 1813), or Figures de la flore des Pyrénées: avec des descriptions, des notes critiques et des observations... (Paris: du Pont, 1795-1801).

3. Augustin Pyramus (or Pyrame) de Candolle (1778-1841), Swiss botanist.

4. Robert Brown (1773-1858), botanist. [See Doc. No: 00264].

5. Georg Franz Hoffmann (1761-1826), Deutschlands Flora oder Botanisches Taschenbuch... (Erlangen, Palm, 1800-1804).

6. David Heinrich Hoppe (1760-1846), and Friedrich Hornschuch (1793-1850), Tagebuch einer Reise nach den Küsten des Adriatischen Meers: und den Gebürgen von Krain, Kärnthen, Tyrol, Salzburg... (Regensburg: Rotermundt, 1818).

7. Christian Gottfried Nees von Esenbeck (1776-1858), Das System der Pilze und Schwämme (Würtzburg: 1816-1817).

8. Christian Gottfried Nestler and Jean-Baptiste Mougeot and William Philippe Schimper, Stirpes cryptogamæ Vogeso-Rhenanæ...; excissata of cryptogams in 14 volumes, 1810-1858.

9. William Jackson Hooker, Flora scotica, or A description of Scottish plants... (London and Edinburgh: Hurst, Robinson, 1821).

10. Booksellers and publishers, of Paris and London. Hooker had an arrangement with them to enclose packages from other people when sending parcels of books to him.

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