Saturday, July 22, 2006

Family Connections - part n   posted by DavidB @ 7/22/2006 05:34:00 AM

I have previously written on the subject of creativity apparently running in families, like the Darwins and the Huxleys, so I was intrigued to see in the UK Times book reviews this morning a rave review of a first novel by Emma Darwin. I wondered if this was indeed an addition to the illustrious lineage of Darwins, or merely a pseudonym, perhaps taken in hommage to Charles Darwin's wife Emma, a remarkable woman in her own right. But a little Googling confirmed that the budding novelist is indeed a great-great-granddaughter of Charles and Emma. It is curious that the Darwins appear to deliberately choose names for their children to emphasise their family connections, so, for example, one of the grandsons of CD was named Charles Galton Darwin (a double whammy!), one of CD's great-grandsons is named Richard Darwin Keynes, and another one is named Erasmus Darwin Barlow. It must give them a lot to live up to.
Added: I have worked out Emma Darwin's line of descent from CD.
She is the daughter of Henry Galton Darwin, former adviser to the British Government on international law.
Henry Galton Darwin is the son of Sir Charles Galton Darwin, physicist and Director of the National Physical Laboratory.
Sir Charles Galton Darwin was the son of Sir George Howard Darwin, mathematician and professor of astronomy at Cambridge. ('Howard' is another family name. It was the maiden name of CD's grandmother.)
Sir George Howard Darwin was a son of Charles and Emma Darwin.
Emma (the novelist) appears to be the first woman in the family to have had that name since her great-great-grandmother.