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Darwin Correspondence Project

From George Bentham   23 November 1869

25. Wilton Place. | S.W.

Nov 23 /69

My dear Mr Darwin

I understand that you have passed an indulgent judgement on my last Address but at the same time you have met in it with some points on which I am wrong—or what amounts to the same thing—on which you differ from me1   I do not like encroaching upon your time yet I should feel very much obliged if you could in a few words point out to me what these errors or mistaken views are in order that I may reconsider them and stand corrected. All questions bearing on Geographical distribution have long had a peculiar interest for me and now more particularly since a better acquaintance with the African and Australian floras seem to have placed many things in a different light from that in which they previously appeared, and I am very anxious not to go astray in considering them2

What do you think of Galton’s Hereditary Genius?3

Yours very sincerely | George Bentham


Joseph Dalton Hooker evidently mentioned to Bentham CD’s comments on Bentham’s anniversary address to the Linnean Society of London (Bentham 1869b); see the letter to J. D. Hooker, 13 November [1869].
Bentham’s address was on the subject of ‘Geographical Biology’ (Bentham 1869b, p. lxv); he considered the Australian and African floras on pp. lxxxvi–lxxxviii; see also pp. lxxiv–lxxv.
The reference is to Francis Galton’s Hereditary genius: an inquiry into its laws and consequences (Galton 1869).


Galton, Francis. 1869. Hereditary genius: an inquiry into its laws and consequences. London: Macmillan.


Has heard that CD thinks GB is wrong on some points in his [Presidential] Address [to Linnean Society, see 6793]. Asks CD to point out where he is wrong.

Letter details

Letter no.
George Bentham
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Wilton Place, 25
Source of text
DAR 160: 164
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7005,” accessed on 3 April 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17