Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 25 November 1894.
Re. recovery of his eyesight, one still inflamed, lost opportunity to view Mars with his telescope, accumulation of reading, writing and chess playing; discovery of a doctor (Turner) at Poole, who is a fellow orchid enthusiast; request for any spare plants if Violet should visit (orchid house) at Liverpool; purchase of educational books for her; unsuitability of Parkstone house for children, but Eleanor and her child may visit; sending two annotated numbers of the "Vaccination Enquirer", impossibility of trusting doctors or officials on the subject.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: O'Hanlon, Alice
Transcription date: February 15, 2012
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
Nov[ember] 25th. 1894
My dear Violet
Only one month to ‘Xmas day! How dreadfully fast time goes, but winter will be sooner gone, that’s one comfort. My eyes are pretty well again but the inflamed one is, I think, a little dimmer. Unfortunately it got bad just as I was going to observe Mars at opposition!1 Now I shall wait till you come as it is too much trouble getting the tel[escope] out by myself, & I have also lots of chess playing besides more reading & writing than I can get through. I have found [] a doctor at Poole (Mr. Turner) who has two nice orchid houses which he attends to entirely himself, & as I can thus get advice & sympathy from a fellow maniac (though he is [a] public vaccinator!) my love of orchids is again aroused to fever-heat and I have made some alterations in the greenhouse which will better adapt it for orchid-growing & have bought a few handsome kinds very cheap & these give me lots of extra work and amusement. So if you should chance to be taken to see any orchids -- there are lots in Liverpool -- you can just mention that your Pa will be glad of [] a few spare ones.
If you will send me the exact titles of the educational books you want, with the name of the publisher, I will get them for you, otherwise there will be some difficulty or mistake.
I do not think it will do to bring kids here. You will have lots of invitations, & visiting, & work, & they would be dreadfully in the way. Bring Eleanor & her kid if you like. I have found no more animals suitable to send you. The "Huck" has not come yet.
[] As I did not send you much on Vaccination I now send 2 numbers of the "Vaccination Enquirer". Lend to Mr. Lund.2 Read the parts I have marked in blue pencil, & you will see the utter impossibility of trusting to doctors’ or officials’ statements about it. Every month we have such examples; & there is not a single statement or argument on the subject by vaccinationists but what can be proved to be either false or absurd!
Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
1. This refers to Mars being in an opposite position to the Sun in the sky.
2. Written in pencil in the left-hand margin of the fourth page.
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