Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP270

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Violet Isabel Wallace
18 March 1896

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [none given] on 18 March 1896.

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


Re. Galton's work on visualisation; Violet's preference for snails over orchids; her Literary Society; Tolstoy's letter in the previous day's "Chronicle"; books, recommends J Muir and Besant; visiting poet (Doveton).

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP270.270)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/2/69
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset

March 18. 1896

My dear Violet1

You ask why I don’t write, when I wrote last & was wanting for you to write. I enclosed P.O. for 2/- for the bacon, and asked you for the address so that could send for more myself, & you say nothing about it & do not answer my question!! But I will answer yours. I have not got Mr. Galton’s2 book on visualisation, and I think I only saw what he wrote either in "Nature" or in some magazine. I quite forget where. I will remember next time that you prefer snails to orchids and I suppose also figs to [[2]] pearls! I will look at beetles, bugs, earwigs, snails, slugs, spiders &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. and put some in the next box I send you. I am glad you are going to read some sensible books at your reading -- no Literary Society. By that means you may in time learn something about your Pa’s books! Did you read that splendid letter of Tolstoy’s in the "Chronicle" yesterday. I have cut it out. It was magnificent. Did you also read the story of the old Scotch preacher preaching on "Humiliation", illustrated by [[3]] the "Science of Anatomy[?]" and the "Puddus[?] of ó a Soo"!!

You should get "The Mountains of California" by J. Muir3 -- to read at your Society. I have just read Besants4 "Armorel of Lyonesse" & like it very much, though it is not perhaps quite up to his highest mark.

I think I told you in my last about the Poet who had called upon us, & was "hurt" because I did not admire him enough! He is not a bad fellow, for & he is really a poet, as he has sent me two of his poems, one of which [[4]] is quite as good as most of our new Poet laureate’s -- perhaps better. We have not heard from Will for more than a fortnight, but suppose he is still very busy at Hull. You had better write & tell him you are not coming home at Easter -- if you are not, -- as he may possibly, if his job is finished about then, come for his holiday.

Ma says would you like to have her new green cloak -- you know it.

Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]


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

2. Sir Francis Galton, (1822 - 1911), Charles Darwin’s cousin, English Victorian polymath, anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician.

3. John Muir, (1838 - 1914), Scottish-born American naturalist.

4. Sir Walter Besant, (1836-1901).

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