Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 6 July 1897.
Re. visit to Lynton and Ilfracombe; her brother William's letters; visits from naturalists, socialists, a phrenologist and Mr Stead; Stead's book of photographic portraits.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: O'Hanlon, Alice
Transcription date: February 16, 2012
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
July 6th. 1897
My dear Violet
We got back Thursday evening after 15 days[‘] tour, & I find no end of work. We spent 8 days at Lynton -- a very picturesque place, but walks all hilly. We explored the Doone Valley and the lunched at the celebrated "water-side" which is about as like the "water-side" up which John[?] Ridd[?] climbed in jeopardy of his life! as, say the Sugar Loaf at Abergavenny is like the Matterhorn. Then we had six days at Ilfracombe which is, I think, the most picturesquely situated sea town in the Kingdom, and withstanding it being overbuilt with ugly houses without order or arrangement of any kind, still offers more picturesque & delightful walks & views in, & close to, the town, than in any English town I know or have heard of. There are [] also several nice & very interesting places a few miles off. We visited two of them -- Braunton Burrows & Woollacombe Sands, and at both of them found more wild flower-gardens than I think anywhere else in England. We got lodgings, with board, at both. Large sitting room with grand sea view, & large comfortable bedroom, and unlimited board -- at Lynton[.] Cream & strawberries at every meal, afternoon tea &c. & every luxury for [?]6/- a day each & no extras. At Ilfracombe the same, but with cream & strawberries only once or twice a day, - but with a palatial sitting room 30ft x 18ft with 3 large windows looking down on [the] sea and coast & harbour -- same terms. The first 3 days at Lynton were very cold & I had a fire each evening --since, unbearably hot.
[] We are very glad you are going to give us the pleasure of your company this holiday -- & also that of your friends. Although the places & the accommodation we had were everything I could wish, yet I did not very much enjoy it, & was very glad to be back. To be away from home with nothing to do but read & walk is becoming almost unbearable to me. I prefer a few day-excursions -- at intervals. We shall want to have a full account of your doings and mountain ascents when you come.
I have not sent Wills’ letter because it is simply too much trouble! It is the last straw that breaks the poor camel’s back!! I send you now the last 3. You have some before that, & be sure [to] bring these all back, with your own, as there will probably be some extra facts in them. Also [] bring Mr Mott’s Christmas & New Year [one word illeg.] &c. You had them ages ago, & I want to keep them all together. We have had visits from the Phrenological doctor, from the young Liverpudlian enthusiastic naturalists, & from 3 Socialists or social reformers.
As I have now to write all the news to Will weekly I forget how much I have told you & will give details when you come.
Mr Stead proposes coming for a talk some day so perhaps he will come while you are at home. His book of portraits is come at last, but is poor, being only bad process-prints instead of the photographs themselves.
Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
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