Characterisation, especially by Letters 577
Address now to 42, Rutland Gate, S.W. August 29, 1906.
DEAR SCHUSTER, The advantage of Doubleday's work is its direct way of meeting the question whether in the long run such and such classes prevail. The fact that one class is more fertile than another in one particular generation cannot be trusted altogether. It may well be the case that the marriage rate is different in small and large families or again (for which some grounds exist) that the tendency to fertility is more or less periodic. It is astonishing how often large families have few descendants in the next generation owing to causes that may be partly social, partly physiological, whose existence we may suspect but of which we as yet know next to nothing. "The fate of large families" would be an interesting inquiry, in its way.
Tell me more precisely the use that you think might be made of Burke's Landed Gentry. I leave Ockham to-day for three nights in London and thence, first to Devonshire and afterwards to the Midlands, but letters to 42, Rutland Gate, London, will always be forwarded on.
Very sincerely yours, FRANCIS GALTON.
Galton's Reply to a request on the part of Mr Frederic Whyte to know
what he thought of Phrenology, September, 1906.
The localisation in quite modern times of the functions of the brain lends so far as I am aware no corroboration whatever, but quite the reverse, to the divisions of the phrenologist. Why capable observers should have come to such strange conclusions has to be accounted formost easily on the supposition of unconscious bias in collecting data.
Whoever may seriously re-examine the question must procure a collection of appropriate cases by persons who know well the characters of the person named, and who, if possible, should be wholly unacquainted with the purposes of the collection.
A good way would be by fixing after much consideration on some strongly contrasted characters appropriate to the inquiry, and then to obtain returns from masters, etc., of large schools of the names of those boys in whom they were notably in excess or deficiency and to photograph the heads of those boys on a uniform method for subsequent comparison.
Trustworthy conclusions might be reached; but what qualified persons will undertake the labour of what will probably end in showing phrenological bumps to be meaningless?
42, RUTLAND GATE, S.W. September 12, 1906.
MY DEAR. EVA, Will you very kindly do the following job for me, and send the results to me to Claverdon Leys, Warwick? I have traced a few of Miss Baden-Powell's silhouettes and send them herewith. Also I send a sheet made up of 15 smaller ones pasted together, all numbered. 1 want two or three of the silhouettes enlarged according to the instructions by the side of the sheet of numbers. All I want in the end is something like this on 'a very large scale. You can mess the paper with crayon as much as you please but in each case draw a thin, firm, equally thick line through all the mess, to indicate clearly the outline. Choose whichever of the silhouettes you prefer, Marconi and myself being comparatively beardless would - - do for two of them. Generalise the hair and beard as much as you can, fancying it has to he worked in tapestry. I shall be so much ohli' ed for this
I have been working hard and getting on. The Athenaeum is
shut up, and I don't care to go to its temporary substitute, but tea
and lunch and dine here. There are various little things to tell, hardly worth writing about. I got a big strong kit-bag yesterday, to replace the burnt one. Kindest remembrances to your fellow-lodger. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
Tell me your plans when you write ; I have somewhat forgotten what we arranged.
Address Malthouse, Bibury, Fairford (Glos.).
[CLAVERDON LEYS.] Sunday, September 16, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, The past week seems to me an age through change of scene, though there have been no notable events. You are barricaded, I suppose, more or less. Here at Claverdon, where I am at this moment, there are big waterworks going on. In a spare spot
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