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Letter 7032

Darwin, C. R. to Galton, Francis

23 Dec [1869]

Summary

Praises FG’s book [Hereditary genius (1869)]. CD is converted by its argument. Previously CD believed men did not differ much in intellect, but only in zeal and hard work.

Transcription

Down. | Beckenham | Kent. S.E.

Dec. 23d

My dear Galton

I have only read about 50 pages of your Book (to the Judges) but Imust exhale myself, else something will go wrong in my inside.f2 I donot think I ever in all my life read anything more interesting &original. And how well & clearly you put every point! George,f3 whohas finished the Book, & who expressed himself just in the same terms,tells me the earlier chapters are nothing in interest to the latterones! It will take me some time to get to these latter chapters,, asit is read aloud to me by my wife, who is also much interested.—You have made a convert of an opponent in one sense, for I have alwaysmaintained that, excepting fools, men did not differ much inintellect, only in zeal & hard work; & I still think there is aneminently important difference.

I congratulate you on producing what I am convinced willprove a memorable work.—

I look forward with intense interest to each reading, butit sets me thinking so much that I find it very hard work;but that is wholly the fault of my brain & not of yourbeautifully clear style.—

Yours most sincerely | Ch. Darwin

University College London, Library Services, SpecialCollections, The Galton Papers (39E)

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Footnotes

f1
The year is established by the reference to Galton’s Hereditarygenius (Galton 1869).
f2
CD was reading Hereditary genius: an inquiry into itslaws and consequences (Galton 1869).
f3
George Howard Darwin.
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