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Darwin Correspondence Project

To H. E. Litchfield   16 February [1874?]

The transcript of this letter is not yet available online.

Summary

On the "doubtful & obscure" subject of marriage of cousins, CD believes, that judging from the analogy of animals, no direct evil would follow from their marriage. He would, however, expect the offspring of unrelated parents to be somewhat superior in size and vigour. The injury from the increase of any bad tendency common to the family seems to CD more to be feared than mere consanguinity; "the good effects of crossing distinct families I look at as great & undoubted".

Summary

On the "doubtful & obscure" subject of marriage of cousins, CD believes, that judging from the analogy of animals, no direct evil would follow from their marriage. He would, however, expect the offspring of unrelated parents to be somewhat superior in size and vigour. The injury from the increase of any bad tendency common to the family seems to CD more to be feared than mere consanguinity; "the good effects of crossing distinct families I look at as great & undoubted".

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8207,” accessed on 27 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-8207

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22

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