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Wallace's advice to Bates on writing a book

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                                Ceram, Nov. 25th. 1859

Dear Bates

                 Allow me to congratulate you <…>on your safe arrival home with all  your treasures; a good fortune which i Trust is this time reserved for me.   i hope you will write to me & tell Me your projects. Stevens hinted at  Your undertaking a "fauna of the Amazon valley". It would be a noble Work,- but one requiring years of labour As of course you would wish to Incorporate all existing materials & Would have to spend months in Berlin vienna & milan & paris to Study the collections of spix, natterer Oscolati castituan & others, as well


As most of the chief private coll[ectio]ns.. of Europe. I hope you may undertake it & bring it to a glorious conclusion.    I have long been contemplating such a work for this Archipelago,- but am convinced that the plan must be very limited to be capable of completion. It sh[oul]d. be little more than a synopsis on a uniform scale & plan, - descriptions in Latin only for brevity, but with copious introductions & remarks on families & genera. My idea also is that in such a work, it is the duty of an Entomologist to follow the arrangement of Lacordaire for the Coleoptera,- even when we differ from him,- as we sh[oul]d. thus so much facilitate reference & study, his work being in every ones hands - Excuse these remarks but the subject interests me - I suppose you have now your collection pretty well arranged, & I shall be anxious to hear what is now the total amount of species in the chief families & orders of insects -   You can tell me also what you think of any collections as far  as you can judge in their packed away & perhaps dirty state. I now keep more duplicates than I first & hope you will reserve for me a set of your spare Longicornis, Bupresti, Cicindelae Cleri & Brenthi & some types of Genera of Carabidae & Curculios - Also in Butterflies, Papilios
& Pieridae. To these groups I intend to confine my general collections.   I have sent a paper lately to the Linnaean Soc. which gives my views of the  principals of Geog.[raphical] Distribution in the Archipelago,- of which I hope some day to work out the details.    To judge of any coll[ectio]n. of other orders but Col.[eoptera] & Butt.[erflies] you must see Mr Saunders collections as he possesses my complete series, & the Orthoptera Hymenoptera & Diptera must be now very extensive.   Your brother Frederick began a correspond[en]ce.. with me, but does not go on. Please write soon - Remain dear Bates                         

Yours very sincerely

[signed]                       Alfred R. Wallace

[to] H.W. Bates Esq.



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