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Wallace shares amusing answers to a geography exam

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                                     Parkstone, Dorset.
                                             June 9th.1892

My dear Violet,                         

Your account of The Dell was very interesting and I quite understand all about it. No doubt Mr. Hughes put up that grand vinery as a business matter because he could so easily sell the grapes at all his London & Country wine shops. I think I mentioned to him what a splendid wall it would be for a vinery. The Pulham rocks, & dripping well must be great improvements. I do not remember Mrs. Hughes having written to me. If I had received her letter I should certainly have replied to it, & I hope you told her so.

I finished my Ex.[aminatio]n papers (1120) last Tuesday. They were rather stiff and no real good ones from our point of view! The following are samples of a few I have kept.  

Q.8. What is sideral and what is mean time?
Ans.w[er]  Mean time is that time when all the years have elapsed we count up all the numbers of days and divide by the number of weeks.

Q.3   The cause of the glow seen above volcanoes during an eruption at night.
Ans. The glow seen about it at night is the moon shining on the particles of snow and making them glow.

I hope your biology and botany answers were more brilliant than these, even if less amusing. How do you think you got on? With such an excellent teacher as you have had you ought to have got 80 or 90 marks - and 65 is enough to get a first class. If All the questions are correctly answered you get 100.

Aunt Bessie is coming tomorrow & I suppose we shall then go [on] a few excursions, - but the heat has knocked Ma up.  The Land Nat.[ionalisatio]n Meeting is on the 23rd. and I have now to write my Address which is going to be on Herbert Spencer's new book "Justice" - in which he gives up L.[and] Nat[ionalisatio]n. - and the german book "Freeland". The garden looks very nice now, as all the Irises are out& the roses coming. Mr. Marshall tells me you had Nutwood gooseberry tart, & I suppose you took home lots of flowers.    

Give my kind remembrances to Miss Macdonald, & believe me           
Your affectionate Papa
[signed]     Alfred R. Wallace

Everybody has been rushing in to see
the medals!

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

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