Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP267

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Violet Isabel Wallace
24 November 1895

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [none given] on 24 November 1895.

Record created:
01 June 2002 by Lucas, Paula J.


Re. improvements to the orchid house; chess; correspondence; local gossip about Mrs Travers; details from a book on diet and life-style by an "inspired crank"; returning photos; returning coral named by Dr Allman.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP267.267)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/2/66
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset

Nov. 24th. 1895

My Dear Violet1

I return you the plates. also the coral-stuff which Dr. Allman has named.

I am still occupied with numerous last touches & improvements. &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. to the Orchid-house-- chess too has set in violently; & more people than ever write to me to ask why dogs wag their tails & things of that sort, or send me books to read & give my opinion on, or are going to Java2 or the Amazons & want my advice &c. &c. &c.

[[2]] I cannot tell you what Parkstone thinks about Mrs. Travers’ projected alliance but they say that she is very fortunate, & as she seems quite satisfied herself all is as it should be.

We have a book, by one of the inspired cranks, which will teach you how to get rid of your indigestion. He died! He was a martyr to it! Now he isn’t!! You must have no cooked food of any kind. No meat, no bread, no puddings, no pies, but live on crushed oatmeal, nuts, fruits, (fresh or dried) salads & other [[3]] uncooked vegetables. No tea! No coffee!! No cocoa!!! No butter!!!! No milk!!!!! Only water, cold & very little of it. He says, with this diet you are never thirsty and never ill! Then, no woollen clothing of any kind -- only cellular or open cotton clothing. No blankets! & he hints that the ideal state of perfection & health is to wear no clothes at all, winter or summer!!!!!!

There! think of all that, & mend your ways! I am too old & too hardened [[4]] in sin to give up my tea & my bacon & my jam.

But you are young & can adopt the healthy methods of nature & of science!

When you come home you shall study the book & practice its lessons of wisdom & virtue!

That will do for one sermon, so Adieu!

Your affectionate & unregenerate Papa | Alfred R Wallace [signature]


1. ARW’s daughter Violet Isabel (1869 - 1945)

2. Java is an Indonesian island.

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.