J[oseph] D[alton] Hooker
The Camp, Sunningdale, Feb. 1. '95.My dear Mr. Muir:I have just finished p. 381 of your delightful volume, and can therefore now thank you for it with a full heart. I do not know when I have read anything that I have enjoyed more. It has brought California back to my memory with redoubled interest, and with more than redoubled knowledge. Above all It has recalled half-forgotten scientific facts, geology, geography and vegetation that I used to see when in California, and which I have often tried to formulate in vain. Most especially this refers to glacial features and to the conifers; and recalling them has recalled the scenes and surroundings in which I first heard them:[from you].I recognize a few chapters as having read them in the "Century," but as I never read that work regularly, of course I missed the great majority, for indeed I have little time for reading except what I must read.May we hope to have another volume dealing with the Alaska wanderings? If so do not forget a sketch map and index: The drawings of the conifers are very characteristic. I wish I could have shown you Libocedrus in England. I know no more unaccountable fact in tree-growing that though there are plants of it in England 30 or 40 ft. high, not one is in the least like the plant as you draw it, and as I saw it in California. It grows as a perfect cylinder, from top to bottom, with no more break in it than in a smokestack -- so ugly that I have cut down the only one I had, which was about 11 ft. high and as old. There is a firstrate photograph of the tree as it should be in the Museum, taken in Calif., and no gardener will believe that it is the same plant as that which we cultivate. But so it is with Cupressus Lawsoniana in a modified degree. I have never seen a plant in the least like what I saw in the Sacramen to Valley. It is not a matter of age with either of these plants.We are much as you left us, all well, I am thankful to say. The first part of winter was surprisingly mild, but now we have cold, snow, and N. winds.Hoping that we may meet again,Believe me,Very truly yours,J. D. HOOKER
Original letter dimensions: 17.5 x 23 cm.
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