Writes regarding sending £20 for William's birthday; family health; arrival of a circular from college [Finsbury Technical College]; Violet going to Liverpool to interview for a teaching position in a girl's school, salary offered, advantages of living in Liverpool; Alfred Russel Wallace's purchase of Chambers' Encyclopaedia; new stamp album; Alfred Russel Wallace's article on "Inaccessible Valleys" in the "Nineteenth Century", re-reading "Lorna Doone"; complete works of Dickens for Ma's (William's mother Annie Wallace) birthday and Scott's novels for Violet; Ponton's shilling pin-hole camera.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Vongsachang, Hurnan
Transcription date: July 8, 2010
Scrutiny: 08/07/2011 - Chen, Eric; 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
March 5th. 1893
My dear Will
I had intended making up your bank acct. to £50, for your birthday, but was short of cash at the time. I now send you £20 which you can pay into the P[ost].Office. I expect they will take the cheque at the P[ost]. Office; if not any of your tradesmen in Charlton will take it.
I enclose you a circular from the College which came the other day for you to fill up and return. I expect they mean you go to put the works address in the line [] for Address, & to give your private address separately. They have also sent a Programme for this year, but as no doubt they will have sent one also to Postheim I will keep it. There is no particular news, except that Violet is going to Liverpool on Wednesday to see a lady who wants someone to be head of the Infants department of a big girl’s school there. If she gets it, it will be first-rate for her, as Liverpool is a splendid [] place for Libraries, Museums, etc. & also with a fine country not far off. They offer £75 a year.
I have bought a Chamber’s Encyclopedia 10 vols -- full of woodcuts, maps, etc. and really firstrate. Got it at £3.15 -- (£5 less 3d. in 1s discount)1. Handsomely got up. Tells you something about everything -- the newest information by the best writers, & probably the cheapest good book ever published: so I have been poorly & Violet has been away in London & Hursh all the week. I have not yet got the stamp album but will in a day or two. [] The new Sovereigns & crowns are out I hear, but not the other silver & copper yet. If you have an opportunity of seeing the "Nineteenth Century" for this month you will see an article of mine on "Inaccessible Valleys" -- which led me to read Lorna Doone again, which I enjoyed greatly. I gave Ma as her birthday a complete set of Dicken’s works, with all the original illustrations. On Violet’s birthday I gave her all Scott’s novels -- so we have plenty to go on reading as the intervals of Library Books. I hear Mr. Ponbon has brought out a shilling pin-hole Camera with stand complete! I am betting better.
Let us know how work goes on.
Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
1. The pre-decimalisation value ARW is referring to is £3 and 15 shillings. Post decimalisation this equates to £3.75. The discount he refers to (i.e., 3 pennies in the shilling) equates to 75%.
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