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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Francis Galton   25 September 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent. | Railway Station | Orpington. S.E.R.

Sep 25./75

My dear Galton

Many thanks for yr note & for the Révue which shall be returned in yr name to the R. Soc.1 Dr Ogle tells me privately that the twins were his own sisters, & that a child of one of the twins has the bicuspid tooth misplaced. I cannot make up my mind whether this case is one of reversion like yours.2 I have a book Puvis “Sur la Dégéneration” which when I get my catalogue I can find & which from its title may be worth your looking at, tho’ I can remember nothing about its merits.3

My dear Galton | Yrs very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


Galton had sent parts of the Revue scientifique borrowed from the Royal Society of London with his letter of 24 September 1875.
William Ogle probably included this information in his letter of [23–4 September 1875], but the relevant section is now missing. Ogle’s sisters were Amelia Mozley and Caroline Johnson. Galton had asked whether the twins with crooked little fingers and misplaced bicuspid teeth described in Variation 2: 253 on Ogle’s authority were the same twins he had heard of in the course of his own research (letter from Francis Galton, 22 September 1875). The twins described by Galton (Alexandrina Cornfute McRae and Elizabeth Anne McRae) seemed to have inherited crooked little fingers from their grandmother Annabella Miller.
There is an annotated copy of Puvis 1837 in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 688–9). A handwritten catalogue of CD’s library was compiled by Thomas William Newton, the assistant librarian at the Museum of Practical Geology in London; it is dated August 1875 and is now in DAR 240.


Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.

Puvis, Marc-Antoine 1837. De la dégénération et de l’extinction des variétés de végétaux propagés par les greffes, boutures, tubercules, etc., et de la création des variétés nouvelles par les croisemens et les semis. Paris: Mme Huzard, Libraire.

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


Thanks FG for issues of Revue [Scientifique vol. 7, containing lectures by Claude Bernard].

Ogle says twins [with crooked fingers] are his sisters.

Recommends book by M. A. Puvis [De la dégénération des variétés de végétaux (1837)].

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Galton
Sent from
Source of text
UCL Library Services, Special Collections (GALTON/2/4/3/13/5)
Physical description
LS 2pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10170,” accessed on 11 August 2022,

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