The Life, Letters and Labours of Francis Galton

Karl Pearson
1914, 1924, 1930 (Cambridge University Press, London)
[Facsimile by http://galton.org]

"It may be said that a shorter and less elaborate work would have supplied all that was needful.  I do not think so ... I have written my account because I loved my friend and had sufficient knowledge to understand his aims and the meaning of his life for the science of the future. I have had to give up much of my time in the last twenty years to labour which lay outside my proper field, and that very fact induced me from the start to say, that if I spent my heritage in writing a biography it shall be done to satisfy myself and without regard to traditional standards, to the needs of publishers or to the tastes of the reading public."     -- Karl Pearson


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Facsimiles of the volumes are provided here. All volumes are now available in high-quality 300 dpi scans, with grayscale photographs.  Note that these files are quite large.  The facsimiles can also be browsed by screen-resolution page image, which is much faster.

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Karl Pearson, biographer of Galton.

Pearson was an eminent mathematical statistician (Third Wrangler in his year at Cambridge) and a friend and associate of Galton. A socialist, he pointedly refused several honours, including a knighthood.

Pearson's monumental biography of Galton took several decades to complete. Publication was difficult because of the expense that Pearson's lavish treatment incurred, but wealthy benefactors were found. Pearson's son Egon went on to become an accomplished statistician in his own right.