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Record number: WCP272

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Violet Isabel Wallace
26 May 1896

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [none given] on 26 May 1896.

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


Re. Violet's proposed trip to Switzerland, relative merits of chalets, hotels and possible itineraries; flowers in garden; sending Zoo tickets; regards to Eleanor.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP272.272)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/2/71
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset

May 26th 1896

My dear Violet1

I have finished the Exam. Papers to day, & have now lots to do with a box of Orchids which a kind but unknown friend (to whom I wrote asking for some!) sent me.

Now as to your proposed Swiss tour. I am surprised at your preferring a hotel to the Chalet! You have always been raving about a Chalet. I think 4 would be ample for enjoyment.

Argentiere2 is on the route from Chamounix3 to Martigny4, and in August will be one continued stream of tourists, the hotels crammed, & neither quiet nor [[2]] comfort I should think. It may be finer or grander scenery than Kandersteg5, but it will certainly be not so varied. When I first went to Switzerland with G. Silk6 we walked from Chamounix to Martiguy, & must have passed through Argentiere. My recollection is that the country was bare, & not nearly so beautiful & varied as that around Kandersteg.

From Lausanne7 you would have 40 miles of trail to Martiguy & then a carriage or mules to Argentiere, a lay [[3]] days walk, though a fine one the Tete Noir -- and you would probably have to sleep somewhere on the way unless you could manage to reach Lausanne in the morning. So it would probably come to £6 -- for with the two journeys additional?.

Then in August all the Hotels are clear and I shall be greatly surprised if you can be taken for less than 6 or 7 francs a day. Best write & enquire. Of course Ma can come with you when you have arranged it all, but I think she would prefer Meyruigen[?]. If you want a cheap place [[4]] the nearest & cheapest in Ormontes Dessus, near Oigle at head of Lake Senosa and about 30 miles beyond Lausanne. My guidebook says there are Pensions there at 4 and 5 francs. It is a grand & beautiful valley, with splendid precipices &c. As it is not for beyond Moutreux the Mussons would know all about it, & you might write to them.

The garden is looking pretty now with Irises, Azaleas, Roses, poppies, lupins &c. &c..

Let us know where you went with Will.

Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

I send 6 zoo tickets for any day -- Kind regards to Eleanor.


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

2. Argentière, a village in the French Alps

3. Chamounix, commonly spelled Chamonix, is a valley in South-eastern France

4. Martigny, a French-speaking district in Switzerland

5. Kandersteg is a district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland

6. George Silk, Wallace’s lifelong friend, (1840 - 1892)

7. Lausanne, a city in Romandy, a French-speaking area in Switzerland

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