skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   5 November 1875

42 Rutland Gate

Nov 5/75

My dear Darwin

3 proofs reached me from the Contemporary Review of my “Theory of Heredity”1 so I can spare one, and as I know you like to mark what you read, do not care to return it. I hope it will make my meaning more clear. The remarks printed as a note in p 5, but which I ought to have put in the text, will meet what you wrote about the Hymenoptera.2

I am most obliged for what you tell me about Brown-Séquard; I did not know of it, & will hunt up the passage to day (Thanks for the reference, received this morning)3

I should be truly grateful for criticisms which might enable me to modify or make clear before it is too late.

Ever yrs | Francis Galton

What a nuisance this modern plan is, of sending proofs in sheet, & not in slip. One can’t amend freely.

CD annotations

Top of letter: ‘Sweet Peas’ pencil


Galton 1875b.
CD questioned Galton’s view that double parentage was essential for complex organisms, citing the Hymenoptera and Lepidoptera (see letter to Frances Galton, 4 November [1875]). Galton argued that the genetic material transmitted by asexual reproduction gradually deteriorated over many generations, whereas in sexual reproduction any deficiency of germs in one parent would be compensated for by germs from the other parent (Galton 1875b, pp. 83–5; the note is on p. 84).


Brown-Séquard, Charles Édouard. 1875. On the hereditary transmission of the effects of certain injuries to the nervous system. Lancet, 2 January 1875, pp. 6–7.


Sends a proof of his "Theory of heredity" from the Contemporary Review [27 (1875): 80–95; revised in J. Anthropol. Inst. 5 (1876): 329–48]. Welcomes CD’s help and criticism.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 105: A87
Physical description
2pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10243,” accessed on 27 July 2021,

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