Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP2620

Sent by:
Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
8 May 1901

Sent by Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford, Lochlomond, Sandown, I[sle] of W[ight]/42 Deronda Road, Herne Hill, London, S.E. to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on 8 May 1901.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP2620.2510)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46439 ff. 319-320
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




Loch Lomond


I[sle]. of W[ight].

8th May 1901

Dear Dr. Wallace

I met your son at our Bakewell meet2 and he told me you said I might call upon you sometime. I have been wishing for a talk with you for years, and I am the more anxious to meet you now because I have been reading your book on Darwinism3 and your defence of Spiritualism4.

Moreover I have been [[2]] looking up the subject of heredity of late, and should be glad of your advice.

Your defence of Spiritualism was a surprise to me and I said as much in the Clarion5. Of course I am not a spiritualist, but I want to look into the case for myself, and I should very much value a few hints from you.

I leave here for London on Saturday and I shall be glad to run down to Parkstone some day during this month or June, if [[3]]6 it will not be too much trouble to you. The inquiry into Spiritualism seems to one important, and of deep interest: indeed if there is another life there is no subject of such importance to us all. The whole race has been trying for ages to peep behind the veil we call death. If spiritualists can show us that there is anything behind that veil they will have done more than any other discover[er]s ever did yet.

I shall be glad if you can find time to draft [[4]] me a line saying whether you can spare me an hour some day.

My address after Saturday will be

42 Deronda R[oa]d.

Herne Hill

London S.E

With best wishes and many thanks for the pleasure and profit of your books

I remain | Yours Sincerely | R. Blatchford7 [signature]


1. Page numbered 319 in pencil in top RH corner and "Answ[ere]d" written in ink across top LH corner.

2. Bakewell meet of the Clarion Cycling Club. The club was formed in 1895 by a group of like-minded individuals in Birmingham, taking its name from Robert Blatchford's socialist newspaper (see Endnote 5). The National Clarion Cycling Club grew during the early 1900s as working class people gained freedom on bikes in the countryside.

3. Wallace, A. R. (1889) Darwinism: an exposition of the theory of natural selection, with some of its applications, Macmillan & Co., London.

4. Wallace, A. R. (1896) Miracles and Modern Spiritualism. Revised (Third) Edition, George Redway, London.

5. Weekly newspaper founded by Robert Blatchford and Alexander M. Thompson in Manchester in 1891. It was a socialist publication, adopting a British-focused perspective on political affairs.

6. Page numbered 320 in pencil in top RH corner

7. Blatchford, Robert Peel Glanville (1851-1943) English socialist campaigner, journalist, author and English patriot. He was a prominent atheist and opponent of eugenics. In the early 1920s, after the death of his wife, he turned towards spiritualism.

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