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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Francis Galton   7 November 1872

42 Rutland Gate

Nov 7/72

My dear Darwin

Accept very best thanks for ‘Expression’ which I have been devouring1   You will, I am sure, receive numberless letters of hints corroborative of the points you make,—even I could & will send some—2 But I write especially to say that if you care to send any more printed circulars of queries I can dispose of three this very month most excellently for you   One by an expedition up the Congo, another by a man from the Zanzibar side into Africa and a third by a very intelligent German (English speaking) head of a missionary college, on his way to my old county in Africa.3

Would you have a short note sent me,—pray do not write yourself—about the rabbits.4

Ever sincerely yours | Francis Galton

PS. You do not I think mention in Expression what I thought was universal among blubbering children (when not trying to see if harm or help was coming out of the corner of one eye) of pressing the knuckles against the eyeballs; thereby reinforcing the orbicularis.5

What a curious custom hand-shaking is & how rapidly savages take to it, in their intercourse with Europeans.

I have a pamphlet of yours to send back


Galton’s name appears on CD’s presentation list for Expression (Appendix V).
No further comments by Galton on Expression have been found.
Two expeditions set out to support David Livingstone’s expedition in Africa in late 1872; the Livingstone Congo expedition led by William John Grandy and the Zanzibar expedition led by Verney Lovett Cameron (Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society 17 (1872–3): 12–14; meeting of 11 November 1872). Galton had travelled in south-west Africa in 1850 (ODNB).
CD was looking after rabbits on which Galton had made transfusion experiments (see letters to Francis Galton, 23 January [1872] and 8 November [1872]).
In Expression, pp. 158–62, CD recounted the view of Charles Bell and Frans Cornelis Donders that in weeping the orbicularis muscle around the eye was contracted in order to protect the eye from the effects of increased blood pressure in the area.


Expression: The expression of the emotions in man and animals. By Charles Darwin. London: John Murray. 1872.

ODNB: Oxford dictionary of national biography: from the earliest times to the year 2000. (Revised edition.) Edited by H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. 60 vols. and index. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2004.


Sends thanks for Expression; offers some additions, and will send printed queries abroad if CD wishes.

Letter details

Letter no.
Francis Galton
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Rutland Gate, 42
Source of text
DAR 105: A67–8
Physical description
ALS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 8607,” accessed on 21 July 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 20