Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 357 pages of information about Alfred Russel Wallace.


Ilkley.  November 13, 1859.

My dear Sir,—­I have told Murray to send you by post (if possible) a copy of my book, and I hope that you will receive it at nearly the same time with this note. (N.B.—­I have got a bad finger, which makes me write extra badly.) If you are so inclined, I should very much like to hear your general impression of the book, as you have thought so profoundly on the subject and in so nearly the same channel with myself.  I hope there will be some little new to you, but I fear not much.  Remember, it is only an abstract, and very much condensed.  God knows what the public will think.  No one has read it, except Lyell, with whom I have had much correspondence.  Hooker thinks him a complete convert, but he does not seem so in his letters to me.  But he is evidently deeply interested in the subject.  I do not think your share in the theory will be overlooked by the real judges, as Hooker, Lyell, Asa Gray, etc.

I have heard from Mr. Sclater that your paper on the Malay Archipelago has been read at the Linnean Society, and that he was extremely much interested by it.

I have not seen one naturalist for six or nine months owing to the state of my health, and therefore I really have no news to tell you.  I am writing this at Ilkley Wells, where I have been with my family for the last six weeks, and shall stay for some few weeks longer.  As yet I have profited very little.  God knows when I shall have strength for my bigger book.

I sincerely hope that you keep your health:  I suppose that you will be thinking of returning soon with your magnificent collection and still grander mental materials.  You will be puzzled how to publish.  The Royal Society Fund will be worth your consideration.—­With every good wish, pray believe me yours very sincerely,


I think that I told you before that Hooker is a complete convert.  If I can convert Huxley I shall be content.

* * * * *



Down, Bromley, Kent, S.E.  March 7, 1860.

My dear Wallace,—­The addresses which you have sent me are capital, especially that to the Rajah; and I have dispatched two sets of queries.  I now enclose a copy to you, and should be very glad of any answers; you must not suppose the P.S. about memory has lately been inserted; please return these queries, as it is my standard copy.  The subject is a curious one; I fancy I shall make a rather interesting appendix to my Essay on Man.

I fully admit the probability of “protective adaptation” having come into play with female butterflies as well as with female birds.  I have a good many facts which make me believe in sexual selection as applied to man, but whether I shall convince anyone else is very doubtful.—­Dear Wallace, yours very sincerely,

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Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences, Vol. 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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