Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP312

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Violet Isabel Wallace
13 August 1898

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset, to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 13 August 1898.

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


Re. her journey to Blankenhain, with detailed questions about accommodation, people and food; news from her brother William in America re Mac, Hicks, camping and travel in a covered wagon; Vaccination Bill in House of Lords, sending copy of report in the "Chronicle"; reviews of Alfred Russel Wallace's book, letter from Ian Mclaren [John Watson]; visits from Mrs Archer and Mr Scott; the Wallace's (Violet's aunt Mary and cousin May) to visit.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP312.312)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/2/111
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset.

August 14th. 1898

My dear Violet

We were very glad to get your two letters with all your adventures between Parkstone & Blackenheim[?]. It is a wonder you were not taken before the Police Magistrate as a Spy or Nihilist or lady burglar, trying to get somebody elses luggage with no passport, no introduction, nothing to show you had not murdered Miss Violet Wallace en route in order to possess yourself of her valuable "bagages"![sic] you have had a narrow escape! Let it be a warning! But although your letters leave nothing to be desired as an exposition of your own extraordinary goings on -- and off -- they are woefully deficient in matters of far more vital importance to us, to the German Empire, perhaps even to yourself. One never knows! For [[2]] example, in the 16 closely written pages of your adventures, the honurable house of "Scholtz" is barely mentioned; the Frau Rector is just alluded to, but the Herr Rector apparently does not exist!! We are left in Stygian darkness as to the figure, altitude, features, character, and habits of the never-too-much-to-be-admired-Frau Rector -- Whether she is tall or short, fat or thin, dark or fair, severe or mild, cross or smiling, acute or lazy, pain or pretty, well-dressed or dowdy -- we are left in complete and lamentable ignorance! And as for the Herr Rector himself we know not whether he is a myth or a man, whether he is visible or invisible, whether he now adores Blackenheim or Weimar with his presence, -- and, if he is visible, whether he is tall or short, fat or thin, dark or fair, bearded or shaven, ponderous or active, polite or glum. And we also wish to learn who are the other inhabitants of the "maison Scholtz", - where is the school, [[3]] how many boys & girls there are in it, what are their ages & what are they taught. A programme of the meals would be interesting. Is there anything eatable to eat, and drinkable to drink. Is unlimited beer included, have you tried the raw ham & sausages, is there anything else for breakfast, -- &c, &c, &c, -- Then you can describe Blackenheim, -- compare it with Godalming, Parkstone, Thun[?], or Adelbodem, and you might send us a few sketches or local photographs so that we may correctly visualize it.

Here, we go on the even tenour of our way. Weather hot and melting. By last letter Will was starting for the mountains, 60 miles away on a camping out expedition with Hicks and another man and six ladies & children! for a week or two. Then he is coming back and going with Mac and two other friends, and a covered wagon, right away in the mountains about 200 miles where there are deer, bears and pumas & other wild beasts! They [[4]] expect to be away 6 weeks, & he says that will be "gol-lorious"![sic]

Your brush and comb cannot be found here. You must have left them at Miss Aruestrorys[?], or at Eisenach, or in the train. The vaccination bill has been finally accepted by the H[ouse] of Lords, with the conscience-clause. I have more reviews, good bad or abusive, & some interesting letters from sympathizers. I have had a letter from Ian[?] Medaren[?]: he has "considerable sympathy" with my views, and by "Darwinism" is near his writing table..

Mrs. Archer called yesterday with her 3 children to tea, in the summerhouse, & Mrs. Scott came at the same time. The Wallaces are coming back to London on Monday & will try and see us again before they leave for home. That is all the news from,

Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

I send Tuesdays Chronicle with final passing of Vacc[ination] Bill.

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