Artefact of the Month - December 2011
Letter from Joseph Hooker to Brian Hodgson, 1849.
The Library has forty letters written by Joseph Hooker to Brian Houghton Hodgson, British Resident in Nepal in the 1840s. They contain detailed accounts of the tribulations suffered by Hooker during a plant collection expedition in Nepal, Bhutan and Sikhim in 1848 and 1849. He 'breathes a sigh of relief' when he leaves the latter. He complains of 'starvation' because his porters do not consider it their duty to provide him with food. Hodgson eventually sends him supplies. On one occasion the runner taking a letter to Hodgson loses it when he slips crossing a river. Hooker was even briefly imprisoned by the Dewan of Sikkim during his travels.
Joseph Hooker later went on to be Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, for twenty years. He named one of his sons after Brian Hodgson. He died on 10 December 1911.
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