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Proof illustration of the birds of the Malay forest

Proof illustration of the birds of the Malay forest

Catalogue number: WP6/3/1/5

Proof illustration entitled A Malay Forest with Characteristic Birds for Wallace's book The Geographical Distribution of Animals, dated 1876.

This proof illustration of A Malay Forest with Characteristic Birds was for Wallace's two-volume book published in 1876, called The Geographical Distribution of Animals, with a Study of the Relations of Living and Extinct Faunas and Elucidating the Past Changes of the Earth's Surface.

The illustration, originally drawn by J.B. Zwecker, is on a cardboard mount, labelled by Wallace with the common names of the animals shown. These include a rhinoceros hornbill, Argus pheasant, broad-bills, long tailed drongo shrike and gibbons. In the published book, the title was changed to A Malacca Forest with some of its Peculiar Birds, appearing as Plate IX in volume 1.

The Geographical Distribution of Animals was first inspired by Wallace's travels around the Malay Archipelago (1854-1862). He formulated the main idea of animal distribution in the concluding pages of his paper on the Zoological Geography of the Malay Archipelago (Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society, 1860).

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Letter to Alfred Russel Wallace from the Royal Society, about his Darwin Medal award

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