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Francis Galton’s novel Kantsaywhere published for the first time
17 January 2012
UCL Library Services have recently digitised, thanks to the generous donations from UCL alumni, the surviving text of Galton’s novel Kantsaywhere. UCL decided it to make it publicly available for the first time as part of a year of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of his death.
It is a utopian novel, written by Galton towards the end of his life with the aim of bringing his theories of eugenics to a wider audience.
The novel, which is accompanied by a new introduction that considers its controversial literary and social context, was rejected for publication shortly before Galton’s death in 1911. In his introduction to the novel, writer and broadcaster Dr Matthew Sweet said: “Kantsaywhere has a plot that feels familiar, thanks to its echoes in twentieth-century science fiction such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) and John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids (1955).
After his death, parts of Kantsaywhere were destroyed by Galton's niece due to fears about the reaction to the love scenes, ideas of a 'eugenic marriage' and eugenics in general. The single copy that survived was passed to Galton’s biographer, Professor Karl Pearson (another UCL Professor), and later to UCL Special Collections.
To find out more about Kantsaywhere, please visit UCL Digital Collections.