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some years had passed subsequent to the publication of this book
in 1883, its publishers, Messrs. Macmillan, informed me that the demand
for it just, but only just warranted a revised issue. I shrank from the great
trouble of bringing it up to date because it, or rather many of my memoirs
out of which it was built up, had become starting-points for elaborate
investigations both in England and in America, to which it would be
difficult and very laborious to do justice in a brief compass. So the question
of a Second Edition was then entirely dropped. Since that time the book
has by no means ceased to live, for it continues to be quoted from and
sought for, but is obtainable only with difficulty, and at much more than its
original cost, at sales of second-hand books. Moreover, it became the
starting-point of that recent movement in favour of National Eugenics (see
note p. 24 in first edition) which is recognised by the University of London,
and has its home in University College.
Having received a proposal to republish the book in its present
convenient and inexpensive form, I gladly accepted it, having first sought
and received an obliging assurance from Messrs. Macmillan that they
would waive all their claims to the contrary in my favour.
The following small changes are made in this edition. The illustrations
are for the most part reduced in size to suit the smaller form of the volume,
the lettering of the composites is rearranged, and the coloured illustration is
reproduced as closely as circumstances permit. Two chapters are omitted,
on “Theocratic Intervention” and on the “Objective Efficacy of Prayer.”
The earlier part of the latter was too much abbreviated from the original
memoir in the Fortnightly Review, 1872, and gives, as I now perceive, a
somewhat inexact impression of its object, which was to investigate certain
views then thought orthodox, but which are growing obsolete. I could not
reinsert these omissions
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