Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP284

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Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Violet Isabel Wallace
21 February 1892

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [none given] on 21 February 1892.

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


Re. the conjunction of Venus and Jupiter (diagram enclosed -see WP1/2/84); death of (Henry Walter) Bates; chess games with Miss West, Mr Pocock and Mr Linton; visit by the Sharpes and Mrs Besant; Mrs Besant's lectures; Miss Webb; plays Hamlet and Henry VIII.

Record contains:

  • enclosure (1)
  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP284.284)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/2/83
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Item notes

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset.

Feb[ruar]y. 21st. 1892

My dear Violet1

I enclose a rough diagram showing why Venus & Jupiter were in conjunction. It happens in a little less than every two years, I think. If you drew the orbits out on a large scale & marked the position of each planet each month, you would see exactly how often. Of course Venus appears to move backwards & forwards during its revolution inside our orbit. You have I suppose heard that poor Mr. Bates2 is dead. He [[2]] was 2 years younger than I am but being weakened by constant indoor London life the influenza was too much for him.

I have found one small collecting box. Is it any use to you now? It is about 5 inches x 3 inches.

I have got rid of my cough at last & shall begin gardening again next week. The chess games still go on slowly. I think I shall win one & lose one. I have been playing also with Miss West [[3]] and Mr. Pocock. Also Mr[.] Linton from Bournemouth, who is the best player of the lot.

Mrs. Besant came here for a couple of hours last Tuesday morning & Mr & Mrs. Sharpe came over to meet her. Ma & Mrs. Sharpe had been to her lecture on Monday at Bournemouth, & Ma & Miss Webb went again to Poole on Tuesday. We did not get much out of her as Mr. Sharpe was doing his metaphysical fair most of the time. [[4]] Let us know how you liked Hamlet. It is supposed to be a much grander play than Henry VIII.

Must shut up as Ma is going to post.

Your affectionate Papa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]


1. ARWs daughter, Violet Isabel Wallace (1866-1945)

2. Henry Walter Bates, English naturalist and companion to Wallace during his expedition to the Amazon 1848-1852. Died 16th February 1892

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