The Kew Letters refer to a series of correspondence exchanged between Charles Darwin, the renowned naturalist, and Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
These letters are of great scientific significance as they offer insights into Darwin’s research, ideas, and the development of his theory of evolution.
The correspondence between Darwin and Hooker began in 1843 and continued for several decades. They discussed numerous scientific topics, including botanical observations, plant distribution, and the implications of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection.
The letters became particularly crucial during the publication of Darwin’s groundbreaking work, “On the Origin of Species,” in 1859. Hooker provided significant support to Darwin, offering advice, sharing his own observations, and defending Darwin’s theories against criticism from other scientists.
The Kew Letters are valuable historical documents that shed light on the intellectual exchange and collaboration between two prominent figures in the field of biology. They offer a glimpse into the scientific community of the time and the challenges faced by Darwin as he developed and defended his revolutionary ideas.
Today, the Kew Letters are preserved and archived at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the United Kingdom. They continue to be studied by researchers and historians interested in the history of science and the development of evolutionary theory.