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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   24 September 1875

42. Rutland Gate

Sept 24th./75

My dear Darwin

We have stayed on in town another day so I have got from the Royal Society and send herewith Parts XIV & XV of the Revue Scientifique which contain the part of Claude Bernard’s lectures which you wished to see. I have put pencil x at pages 324, 325, 327, 352 (in each case on the 2nd. column of the page) These are the principal passages.1 Please send the pamphlets back, when done with, to the Royal Society, as returned by me.

Also I return the slips from “Nature” (Romanes) with many thanks.2

Overleaf I send a note about the continuation of my Pangenesis experiments.3 I see I made a great mistake about the number of generations. when we spoke yesterday. These were only 3 generations operated on, on both sides. I don’t care to claim cases in which a great grand son was matched with a grand daughter as an additional generation. Besides, the cases were few.

Very sincerely your’s | Francis Galton


The papers Galton refers to were part of Bernard’s 1874 lectures, ‘Phénomènes de la vie communs aux animaux et aux végétaux’ (Bernard 1874); specifically lectures in Revue scientifique, 3 October 1874 and 10 October 1874: ‘Sexualité de l’œuf—préfécondation’, ‘Fécondation de l’œuf—élément male’, and ‘Impregnation de l’élément femelle par l’élément male’. According to Pearson 1914–30, 2: 181 n. 1, the pencil crosses can still be seen in the Royal Society of London’s copy of Revue scientifique.
There are four letters to Nature by George John Romanes dated before September 1875 in the Darwin Archive–CUL: ‘Natural selection and dysteleology’, Nature, 12 March 1874 (G. J. Romanes 1874a; DAR 52: D15); ‘Rudimentary organs’, Nature, 9 April 1874 (G. J. Romanes 1874b; DAR 52: D16); ‘Disuse as a reducing cause in species’, Nature, 2 July 1874 (G. J. Romanes 1874c; DAR 52: D17); and ‘Sense of humour and reason in animals’, Nature, 27 May 1875 (G. J. Romanes 1875a; DAR 53.1: B43).
Galton had experimented on transfusing rabbits with other rabbits’ blood and breeding from them in an attempt to test CD’s hypothesis of pangenesis; he felt that his experiments had been inconclusive. See Correspondence vols. 18–21, Variation 2: 357–404, and Galton 1871. In his letter to G. J. Romanes, 24 September [1875], CD wrote that during a visit on 23 September, Galton seemed much less sceptical about pangenesis than he had been.


Bernard, Claude. 1874. Cours de physiologie générale au Muséum d’histoire naturelle: phénomènes de la vie communs aux animaux et aux végétaux. Revue scientifique 2d ser. 7: 289–95, 317–21, 323–28, 349–56, 377–80, 392–402, 441–53, 467–77.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Galton, Francis. 1871. Experiments in pangenesis, by breeding from rabbits of a pure variety, into whose circulation blood taken from other varieties had previously been largely transfused. [Read 30 March 1871.] Proceedings of the Royal Society of London 19 (1870–1): 393–410.

Pearson, Karl. 1914–30. The life, letters and labours of Francis Galton. 3 vols. in 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Variation: The variation of animals and plants under domestication. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1868.


Sends a lecture CD wished to see

and corrects himself about the twins.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 105: A82
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10169,” accessed on 20 September 2021,

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