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Record number: WCP2066

Sent by:
Vivian Brandon
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
8 January 1912

Sent by Vivian Brandon, Wesel, Zitadelle, Germany to Alfred Russel Wallace, [Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset] on 8 January 1912.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP2066.1956)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46442 f. 155
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Vivian Brandon Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




Wesel, Citadell,



Dear Dr. Wallace,

According to my German calendar, you have reached the age of 90 today. I thought that you would be 89 this year, but it is very possible that I am a year out in my reckoning. In any case, let me offer you my most hearty congratulations upon the conclusion of yet another year of your still active life, & express the hope that you are entering upon the new year as vigorous in mind & body, & as hopeful of the future, as when I last saw you.

My sister has told you how very greatly I appreciated all the trouble when you gave yourself with my attempted translation of Goethe's1 "Hermann & Dorothea". I am now engaged in revising -- largely re-writing -- this, but much fear that the new version, [[2]] although better than the old, will still be quite unworthy of publication. Nevertheless I cannot accept your view that a prose translation would be more feasible.

With this work & my correspondence, maybe all of which is in German, I do not ever find time hanging heavy on my hands, & I have plenty of good books to read between whiles. With very great interest, & with pleasure & profit, I read "the World of Life" a few months ago. In May last, there was a Doctor here as a fellow-prisoner with me for 5 days -- this expiating his challenge to a duel -- who proved to be a diligent reader & enthusiastic admirer of your works (naturally in translations). He was consequently very interested to hear all I could tell him about you personally.

Please remember me most kindly to Mrs & Miss Wallace. I hope both are well, & take this opportunity of thanking them & [[3]] you for your kind New Year's greeting. I am keeping well & fairly contented, though of course the winter here is not exactly a joyous time.

Please do not think of answering this letter. You will probably have whole piles of congratulations which really call for acknowledgement. Yet none of them, I think, can be heartier or more sincere than those of

Yours always gratefully | Vivian Brandon [signature]


1. von Goethe, Johann Wolfgang (1749-1832). German writer and statesman.

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