Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP1565

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
E. Macdonald
24 December 1911

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to E. Macdonald [none given] on 24 December 1911.

Record created:
23 May 2011 by NHM


Thanks Miss Macdonald for the gift of a book by G K Chesterton; Alfred Russel Wallace's and Chesterton's appreciation of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre"; Christmas greetings.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP1565.1344)

A transcription handwritten  in English.

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP2/6/3/2/7
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Old Orchard,



Dec[ember]: 24th 1911.

My dear Miss Macdonald2

Many thanks for your kind present of G. K. Chesterton’s little book which I see, from the "Contents" that I shall read with the greatest pleasure. Taking it up this evening although somewhat tired & not very well, & with a great deal to do, [[2]] I began at the beginning & could not put it down till I had read "Charlotte Brontë". I have since I read "Jane Eyre" the second or third time come to rank her as the first (or almost the first) of the novel-writers of the 19th century: -- & I was delighted to see that Chesterton seems to agree with me, but for such deep & fantastic reasons of his own that I should never have imagined. [[3]] I shall read all the others now with equal interest, as 7 of them are my chief favourites & G.C.K. [sic] will probably tell me why?

With best wishes for the festive season | Believe me | Yours very Sincerely & affectionately | Alfred R. Wallace.

P.T.O. [[4]] The book was a collection of Essays by Chesterton but I forget the title.3 E. M.[?]. 4


1. In the upper left hand corner opposite the address "copy" is written in square brackets and in the lower left hand corner "old ref WP2/21/6" is written in square brackets, both annotationsin lead pencil in the same hand, which is not that of the transcriber.

2. The transcript is in ink, apparently in the hand of Miss Macdonald who in January 1914 sent Violet Wallace copies of some of Wallace's letters to her. See catalogue of The Natural History Museum General Library, Manscripts Section, Alfred Russel Wallace papers ref WP2/6/3/2.

3. Probably Chesterton, Gilbert Keith (1902) Twelve Types. Arthur L. Humphreys, London, or a later edition of this collection of essays reprinted from The Daily News and The Speaker.

4. Below "I forget the title..."the MS is annotated WP2/6/3/2/7" in pencil in a third unknown hand.

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.