Skip to page content

Handwritten notes on variation

Handwritten notes on variation

Catalogue number: WP6/5/5(6)

Manuscript notes by Wallace on variation for his book on Darwinism, undated, probably 1888.

These handwritten notes are for Wallace's book Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection with Some of its Applications, published in 1889. Entitled 'Laws of Variation', the manuscripts relate to chapter three 'The Variability of Species in a State of Nature'.

Wallace writes examples of variation in nature referring to the work of Darwin in particular. For example, he notes that the tusk of a male narwhal (a type of whale) varies in length, as do 'the horns of deer'. There were three editions of Darwinism within a few years (1888, 1889 and 1901), showing Wallace's drive to develop new theories and include new examples to expand knowledge on variation and natural selection.

Wallace was proud to be associated with Charles Darwin. He spent many years publicising natural selection as a mechanism for evolution and based his Darwinism book on the lecture notes from his tour of North America between 1886 and 1887. Wallace elaborates on natural selection, providing new theories and examples built on almost 30 years of study since Darwin and he made public the theory of the mechanism of evolution.

Search this collection
Contact us

For enquiries about the Wallace Collection please email the library

Wallace Letters Online

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

View high resolution scans and transcripts of Alfred Russel Wallace's correspondence, including all surviving letters between him and Charles Darwin.

Explore Wallace's correspondence