366 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
Graver Illnesses. Gout, rheumatism, consumption, spitting of blood, struma (scrofula), cancer (and other forms of tumour), bronchitis, asthma, paralysis (state whether of both legs or of one side), epilepsy, insanity, heart disease, dropsy of abdomen, general dropsy (Bright's disease), diabetes, stone, goitre, fistula, the peculiar liability to bleed seriously from slight
It will be noted that Galton omits such things as the tendencies to zymotic diseases which undoubtedly run in families, or those to hereditary eye diseases such as cataract, retinitis pigmentosa, etc. He does state that malformations which are extremely hereditary should be included.
Then follows a brief but useful list of sources from which family information may be obtained and he concludes as follows
"Whatever may be the value of these results, the facts incidentally obtained during the course of the inquiry will form a separate document much prized by the family. The scientific importance of each investigation will, however, be soon appreciated by the author of it, for his researches will lay bare many far-reaching biological bonds that tie his family into a connected whole, whose existence was previously little suspected. Few, if any, have seriously studied the facts of heredity without being impressed with the conviction that no man stands on an isolated basis, but that he is a prolongation of his ancestry in no metaphorical sense, and I shall be surprised if the compilation of these registers does not extend this conviction very
widely." (p. 13.)
We now turn to the Life-History Album. The first edition appeared in 1884 and bears on the title-page the words : "Prepared by direction of the Collective Investigation Committee of the British Medical Association. Edited by Francis Galton, F.R.S., Chairman of the Life-History SubCommittee."
The original proposal seems to have been the return at fixed periods of the records in the Album to the Collective Investigation Committee. I think this proposal was not 'carried out, for I know of no publication of results from Life-History Album data ever being issued. The foreword to the owner of the book concludes with Galton's words from the Fortnightly Review article of January, 1882 (see our p. 358).
"The life-histories of our relatives are, therefore, more instructive to us than those of strangers; they are especially able to forewarn and to encourage us, for they are prophetic of our own futures."
The second edition of this work appeared in 1902 and there has recently been a reissue by the Cambridge University Press for the Galton Laboratory Publications. The second edition bears the sub-title "Tables and Charts for recording the Development of Body and Mind from Childhood upwards with Introductory Remarks. Rearranged by Francis Galton, D.C.L., F.R.S."
In the preface to the second edition Galton refers to the enthusiasm-in the production of the work of the late Dr Mahomed, who had firmly persuaded himself that a work of the kind would be favoured and promoted by medical men throughout the country ; and this idea led to its being- produced under the auspices of the Collective Investigation Committee of the British Medical Association. Dr Mahomed
"made it a further condition that my name should appear as editor, I being known at that time to be much occupied in such matters. To this I agreed with some reluctance, for I wished to bear the entire responsibility or, none at all. So a small committee of medical men was