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Wallace's note about the loss of his original Ternate paper

Wallace's note about the loss of his original Ternate paper

Catalogue number: WP7/10

Note about the loss of Wallace's original manuscript of the Ternate paper that he sent to Darwin, undated, circa 1902.

This note was written by Wallace on a brown envelope. Although undated it is probably from around 1902 when Wallace first started to sort out correspondence in preparation for his autobiography (My Life, 1905).

Wallace wrote an essay in 1858 while on an island near Ternate in the Malay Archipelago, about 'survival of the fittest' being linked to the mechanism of evolution. He sent the paper to Darwin in the hope that he might send it on to his friend, geologist Charles Lyell. This paper prompted Darwin to finally publish his own ideas on natural selection that he had worked on for some 20 years. Wallace notes that the original manuscript 'was not returned...and seems to be lost'. Unfortunately it was never found.

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Wallace Letters Online

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

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