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Record number: WCP278

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Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Violet Isabel Wallace
On:
27 November 1896

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 27 November 1896.

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

Summary

Re. his voluminous correspondence, Percy Burell; lime tree blight; gas leak in house; new patent fire mantel; Professor Poulton and proposed statue of Darwin in Oxford; Violet's salary.

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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP278.278)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/2/77
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information

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Transcript

[[1]]

Parkstone, Dorset.

Novr. 27th. 1896

My dear Violet

If you had letters almost every day about Darwinism, Spiritualism, Vaccination, Socialism, Travelling, Dogs tails, Cats-whiskers, Glaciers, Orchids, etc -- & had books sent you on all these subjects to acknowledge & read, & requests for information on other subjects, & other subjects, and other subjects -- and a book to write, and a garden to attend to, & 4 orchid houses, and chess to play, & visitors to see, & calls to make, and plants to name, -- and -- and, and, and, &c. &c. &c. &c. &c. perhaps you would be a "miserable" [[2]] letter-writer too! Perhaps also, not! Yesterday, for instance, I had a long letter from Percy Burrell, who is going next week to manage a Lime juice manufactory in Montserrat (W. Indies -- in case your geography is weak) & to cure the "blight" that is destroying the trees, -- & of course he writes to me, to tell him how to destroy the "blight", and I write him 4 pages of wise advice! How to find out what the blight is, what causes it, how to cure it, &c. &c. &c. about all of which things I know nothing - except general principles, & these go a long way with the ignorant. [[3]] Then we have had a double gas bill on account of a leak; & had Sellers man three times to find it, & 2 times he said there was no leak, except in the water; & then the gas company put a new meter, & told us the leak was as bad as ever, and at last the leak was discovered, in the roof where no leak ought to be. Then we have tried a new patent "Incandescent Fire Mantel," warranted to give double the heat with half the coal or coke, & got it fixed in the Drawing Room with the result that the fire burns rather worse than before! Such are the varieties of human expectations! [[4]] And then you say I am a miserable correspondent! And then, yesterday, Professor Poulton writes begging me on his knees -- (metaphorically) -- to promise to go to Oxford next year, to make a speech on the putting up of a statue to Darwin! And to him also I have to write, a kind, careful, but positive refusal, -- requiring much thought, & an additional gray hair or two to my already totally gray head! And still I am a miserable sinner -- no -- correspondent!

Now its your turn to write a firm demand for an increase of Salary, showing your Governors or Directors that you will stand no nonsense. You must shed tears -- also metaphorically.

Your affectionate, much abused Pa | A.R.Wallace [signature]

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