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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   28 June 1870

42 Rutland Gate SW

June 28/70

My dear Darwin

Of the three things I undertook to do for you I have as yet only done 213d.1

1. Greg did write the article in Fraser. and has no objection at all,—but the contrary,—in being publickly spoken of as the author.2 He is highly gratified at your appreciation of the article.

2. I have read Duncan’s book on Fertility, which seems to me to shew unmistakeably that marriages of young women contribute enormously more to the adult population of the next generation than those of middle aged women.3

The number of children he shews to be very much greater   He also shews the weight & length of children born to young (not very young) mothers to be a maximum & therefore the probability of their being more vigorous   As a set off against this he reproduces a table published by a Cttee of the Statistical Society some years ago of which I can make nothing except that the irregularity of its figures shew no great dependance can be put upon it.

(13d) I have only seen Bartlett once out of the 3 promised times, viz: this morning and jogged his memory about the crying monkey.4 He answered just as you told me he would.

With united kind regards | Francis Galton

We transfused 4 rabbits this morning & I have 1 buck & 1 doe almost quite well after being operated on.5

CD annotations

1.1 Of the … article. 2.3] crossed pencil
5.1 (13d) … on. 7.2] crossed pencil


CD was in London from 24 June to 1 July 1870 (CD’s ‘Journal’ (Appendix II)); no letter to Galton written during this period has been found.
William Rathbone Greg had written an anonymous article, ‘On the failure of “natural selection” in the case of man’, for Fraser’s Magazine ([Greg] 1868).
Galton refers to James Matthews Duncan and Duncan 1866; there is an annotated copy of the second edition (Duncan 1871) in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 215). CD cited Duncan (but not Duncan 1866) in Descent 1: 174 and n. 19.
Galton refers to Abraham Dee Bartlett. For an earlier query from CD about crying monkeys, see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to Fritz Müller, 15 August [1867] and n. 5. In DAR 189: 138 there is a note in Francis Darwin’s hand, possibly taken down at CD’s dictation, reading in part, ‘The Macacus inornatus from Borneo certainly cries, so that the tears roll down its face when in grief or even when pitied. The woman who sold it said so. Bartlett & Sutton have both repeatedly seen it.’ Seth Sutton was a keeper at the Zoological Gardens in London; Bartlett was the superintendent.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Descent: The descent of man, and selection in relation to sex. By Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray. 1871.

Duncan, James Matthews. 1871. Fecundity, fertility, sterility and allied topics. [2d edition.] Edinburgh: Adam & Charles Black.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.


[William Rathbone] Greg is author [of "Failure of ""natural selection"" in the case of man", Fraser’s Magazine 78 (1868): 353–62].

Comments on findings in J. M. Duncan [Fecundity, fertility, sterility and allied topics (1866)].

Saw A. D. Bartlett about monkeys.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 80: B160–1
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7249,” accessed on 5 March 2021,

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