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Letter 2581

Darwin, C. R. to Galton, Francis

13 Dec [1859]

    Summary Add

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    Thanks FG for comments [on Origin].

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    Acknowledges error involving rhinoceros.

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    Thinks female fowls select victorious or most beautiful cock.


Down Bromley Kent

Dec. 13th

My dear Galton

Your letter addressed to Ilkley reached me only this morning. I must thank you sincerely for the pleasure which you have given me. Oddly enough your words are nearly the same as those used my Brother: I have received some very highly coloured compliments on my book, but none which have given me more pleasure than what you & my Brother have said.—

Your correction about the Rhinoceros is an important one (but too late for the Reprint) & shall be attended to: I rashly assumed (having made enquiries about the Elephant in India) that the Rhinoceros would be quite safe.—

Thank you for the other notes: till I compare all my notes, I feel very doubtful about the share males & females play in sexual selection; I suspect that the male will pair with any female, & that the females select the victorious or most beautiful cock, or him with beauty & courage combined.—

Several persons have been baulked about the ants: they do not notice that the Latin names change; but I have tried to make it clearer.—

Again let me thank you sincerely for your very kind note & with our kind remembrances to Mrs

Galton, pray believe me | Yours very sincerely | Charles Darwin

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 2581.f1
    Letter from Francis Galton, 9 December 1859.
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    f2 2581.f2
    For Erasmus Alvey Darwin's comments, see letter from E. A. Darwin, 23 November [1859].
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    f3 2581.f3
    Sexual selection was discussed in Origin, pp. 87–90. Galton's notes were presumably in the section of the letter from Francis Galton, 9 December 1859, that is now missing.
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    f4 2581.f4
    See letter from E. A. Darwin, 23 November [1859].
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    f5 2581.f5
    Louisa Jane Galton.
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