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Record number: WCP2032

Sent by:
Edward Richard Alston
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
13 April 1880

Sent by Edward Richard Alston, [Zoological Society of London,] 14 Maddox Street, W.1 to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on 13 April 1880.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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LETTER (WCP2032.1922)

A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46436 ff. 101-102
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Edward Richard Alston Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information



[[1]]1, 2

14 Maddox St. W.

13th April '80

Dear Mr. Wallace,

I have read the proofs with much interest. I need hardly say that I shall be most happy if I can help you in any way. The following suggestions you must take for what they are worth: --

p. 13. 1. To range of Chamois add the Caucasus.

2. The varying Hare of N. America is now generally accepted as identifying with S. variabilis[.]

p. 14 3. I think your observations as to species common to both hemispheres require modification. [[2]] It is true that all the American representatives of European forms have been separated by some writer or another, but it appears to me that the identity of many of them is now accepted by every "therologist" who has studied the point. This applies not only to the Moose[,] Reindeer & Arctic Fox, but also to the Comm[on]. Wolf, the Brown and Barren-Ground Bears (I leave out the Grizzly as doubtful), the Wolverine and the Ermine.*

4. As to widest range you must exclude the Bats -- for Dobson has shown that the Serotine is formed in all the Regions, except for the Australian. Is not the range [[3]]3 of the Leopard, thro'out the Ethiop[ian]. Orient. & East. Palearctic Regions greater than that of the species you instance[?]? I don't know how to calculate it, but I sh[oul]d think it was.

4[sic?]. Restricted ranges. A second Ibex from the Sierra Nevada is described as C. hispanica, but these races of goats are so closely allied that I hardly think they are good cases. They seem rather instances of slight changes in a species which has been stranded on distant mountain-ranges. Sorex alpinus is found throughout the Alpine range, in Savoy & the Tyrol as well as in Switzerland (of Blasius, & Fatio)[.] Is not Chlamylo-[[4]]-phorus[sic?] truncatus a better instance of a species with a very restricted habitat?

Hoping to hear from you

ere long I am | Yours very truly | Edward R. Alston[signature]4

*to these I myself w[oul]d add the Beaver, but that is not yet so generally conceeded[sic].5


1. The page bears the stamp of the Zoological Society of London.

2. 101 is written in the page's upper right hand corner.

3. 102 is written in the page's upper right hand corner.

4. Below the signature is a stamp depicting a crown encircled by the words 'British Museum'.

5. This footnote originally appears on the second page of the letter.

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