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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Robert Swinhoe   2 February 1870

33 Oakley Square. SW.

2 Feby. 1870.

My dear Mr. Darwin,

You told me the other day that Mr. Galton had received no replies to his circular in China on Hereditary Genius.1 I have turned up one in “Notes & Queries”.2 I send you separately the copy of “N. & Q.” in which it occurs. Perhaps Mr. Galton would like to see it. Kindly return me the Pamphlet when finished with.

I sent you copies of my Paper on the Formosan Rat.3

I was greatly refreshed by my visit to Down and have really felt much better ever since.4

With kind regards to all, | I remain, | Your’s very sincerely. | Robert Swinhoe


Francis Galton’s Hereditary genius was published in 1869 (Galton 1869). Swinhoe had visited Down from 22 to 24 January 1870 (Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242)).
Galton enquired in Notes and Queries on China and Japan 2 (1868): 120 whether the history of public competition in China tended to show that certain families were ‘eminently endowed with scholastic ability’. A reply appeared in the issue for October 1868, and Galton cited it in Galton 1869, p. 335. No other reply has been found.
Swinhoe refers to his paper, ‘On a new rat from Formosa’, first published in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London for 1864 (Swinhoe 1864). There are no offprints of the paper in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
According to Emma Darwin’s diary (DAR 242), Albert Günther, Alfred Newton, and Swinhoe came to Down on 22 January 1870.


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


Sends a copy of Notes and Queries for Francis Galton, as it contains a reply to Galton’s circular on hereditary genius.

RS much refreshed by his trip to Down.

Letter details

Letter no.
Robert Swinhoe
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Oakley Square, 33
Source of text
DAR 177: 333
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7095,” accessed on 13 August 2020,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18