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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Francis Galton   22 September 1875

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Sep 22nd. 75

My dear Galton

I am particularly obliged for your letter, & will write to Dr Ogle.1 I think his case is different, and if you do not hear from me again, you will understand this to be the case.

I enclose a letter which when read kindly return to me.—2 With respect to the sweet peas if you have time I think you had better come down & sleep here & see them. They are grown to a tremendous height & will be very difficult to separate. The ought to have been planted much further apart. They are covered with innumerable pods. The middle rows are now the tallest. Three of the plants are very sickly & one is dead. The row from the smallest peas are still the smallest plants.3 See what I say in Var under Dom Vol II p 347 about the peculiar properties of plants raised from the small terminal peas of the pods.4

I am surprised & very much pleased at your liking my “Insectivorous Plants.” I hope that your tour has done you much good—5

My dear Galton | Yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin


See letter from Francis Galton, 22 September 1875, and letter to William Ogle, 22 September 1875. Galton had queried whether a case of twin girls with deformed fingers given in Variation 2: 253 on Ogle’s authority was the same as one he had heard of from Scotland.
The enclosed letter has not been identified.
For Galton’s sweetpea experiments, see also the letters from Francis Galton, 14 April 1875, 2 June 1875, and 22 September 1875. He published on the experiments in Galton 1877a, 1877b, and 1889, pp. 79–82 and 225–6.
In Variation 2: 347, CD described William Masters’s observation that Blue Imperial peas tended to revert to the smaller Blue Prussian pea variety that they were derived from, and that they did so more often if they were grown from the terminal pea in the pod, which was smaller than the others.
Galton and his wife, Louisa Jane, had been in France (Pearson 1914–30, 2: 180).


Pearson, Karl. 1914–30. The life, letters and labours of Francis Galton. 3 vols. in 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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


Agrees to write to William Ogle [about twins with crooked fingers].

Describes growth of sweetpeas for experiment.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Francis Galton
Sent from
Source of text
UCL Library Services, Special Collections (GALTON/1/1/9/5/7/16)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10164,” accessed on 17 September 2021,

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