Charles Galton Darwin was the grandson of the great Charles Darwin and was born into the liberal and independent-minded intellectual family in 1887. He became an eminent physical scientist, but less respectably emerged as a proponent of eugenics - a science devoted to the desirability, even necessity, of improving human stock by selective breeding. He and most of the previous generation of Darwins were enthusiastic activists and leaders in the cause of eugenics - which was controversial when it was first proposed and today, after its association with Nazi atrocities, has become hugely distasteful to most people. The Chief Sea Lion's Inheritance: Eugenics and the Darwins is the first book to scrutinise this aspect of the Darwin inheritance - examining Charles Galton Darwin and six generations of the family. Dr. Blaney's research has placed the concept of eugenics within the context of Charles Galton Darwin's own unique family perspective. Why did a member of a family with a reputation for enlightened and humane thought pursue a concept that was reviled from its inception?
And why has this seemingly reprehensible aspect of the Darwin family been given scant attention in nearly all versions of their illustrious story?