THE EARLY STUYD OF HEREDITY: CORRESPONDENCE WITH
ALPHONSE DE CANDOLLE AND CHARLES DARWIN
"There is a vast difference between an intellectual belief in any subject and a living belief which becomes ingrained, sometimes quite suddenly, into the character." FRANCIS GALTON, Hereditary Improvement, p. 123.
A. DE CANDOLLE AND ENGLISH MEN OF SCIENCE
As I have already indicated, Galton's writings of 1865-1875 on social topics met with a very mixed reception. The paper on the " Efficacy of Prayer" had been refused by Grove and Knowles for their respective journals before it found a place in the Fortnightly'. His views on race-betterment met with a variety of remonstrances from the mediocrity which Galton would efface, and which is still the blindest opponent of his ideas. Mrs Grundy-whom Galton desired to raise two 'grades' in intelligence-was naturally outrageously shocked. She is still shocked but, while dumb herself, has a capacious petticoat pocket whence she extracts ample sweetmeats for her expostulatory and filial scribes. Galton throughout his life rarely permitted himself to be drawn into controversy, and, as Mrs Galton records, his work was approved by men of note. We may add by some women of note too, although they took a line of their own, with which I am far from certain. Francis Galton fully sympathised. While advanced in many ways far beyond his contemporaries, he never struck me as fully recognising the need for the oncoming change in the status of women. He invariably treated them with an old-fashioned courtesy, which had an irresistible and undefinable charm ; but the gradual entry of highly trained women, even into his own statistical studies, seemed to some extent to find him unprepared and puzzle him. He would accept the ability, but hardly appreciated it fully, if it were not accompanied by personal presence and a reciprocating charm. s He could rejoice in the able woman of the salon, but I am less certain that be sympathised as fully with the equally able, but more highly trained modern academic woman. But the men who did in 1870 could be almost counted on the fingers of one hand ! I cannot refrain from citing (by permission) the following fine letters from Miss Emily Shirreff, a woman of much
' "I am afraid," wrote Knowles, "that after all. my courage is not greater than Grove's. You will think that editors are a 'feeble folk,' and so perhaps they are, but it is certain that our constituents (who are largely clergymen) must not be tried much further just now by proposals following Tyndall's friend's on prayer-and of a similar bold, or as you yourself say `audacious character'.