I’m not a psychoanalyst, but in the case of Francis Galton I’ll have a look. Grandson of Erasmus Darwin (erstwhile Lunar Society member, poet, naturalist, and inventor of the PA system), and hence cousin of Charles who was 13 years his senior, he devoted most of his life to promoting the idea that genius was hereditary. His other grandfather was Samuel ‘John; Galton, from Duddeston and also a Lunar Society member, who was a prominent Quaker and arms manufacturer who seems to have excelled in many things. Except ‘getting interesting nicknames’ and the pacifist bit of Quakerism. Francis’s dad, known as Samuel Tertius Galton, wrote papers on economics and his older brother Darwin Galton became High Sheriff of Warwickshire. Can you feel the familial pressure to succeed yet?

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