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Darwin Correspondence Project

To G. H. Darwin   [19 August 1875]

If your Review is published & you have alluded to the Rabbit case, I think that you ought to send a supplement. Indeed in any case this seems worth doing. I will try & get the book where Mr Legrain is exposed, & you can see it when here. I shd. like the letter returned, but it had better perhaps be first sent to Mr Huth, for whom I am sorry1

C. D

What an extraordinary piece of good luck it was that I wrote to Van Beneden.2


In his book on consanguineous marriage, Alfred Henry Huth gave a detailed account of experiments by Jean Baptiste Legrain that purported to show that interbreeding rabbits for several generations produced no ill effects (Huth 1875, pp. 297–302). Following an enquiry from CD, Edouard van Beneden confirmed that Legrain’s claims had been discredited (see letter from Edouard van Beneden, 18 August 1875 and n. 2). George’s review of Huth 1875 appeared in the Academy, 28 August 1875, pp. 226–7.
See letter from Edouard van Beneden, 18 August 1875. CD’s letter to Beneden has not been found.


Huth, Alfred Henry. 1875. The marriage of near kin considered with respect to the laws of nations, the results of experience, and the teachings of biology. London: J. & A. Churchill.


Suggests GHD write a supplement to his review [of A. H. Huth’s The marriage of near kin (1875)]. Feels sorry Huth was taken in by the Legrain fraud. [See Autobiography (1958), pp. 143–4.]

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
George Howard Darwin
Sent from
AU 19 75
Source of text
DAR 210.1: 46
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10128,” accessed on 23 September 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 23