Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP313

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

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset, to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 24 August 1898.

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


Re. her letter describing her journey to Blankenberg and [Keilhaus], Herr and Frau Rektor Schulz and school; visits to Parkstone by Mr and Mrs Dunn and P Cambridge who is describing and drawing spiders; "The Reminder" on vaccination laws, Alfred Russel Wallace's letter in response; first favourable reviews (of "Wonderful Century") in the "Inquirer" and the "Literary Gazette"; regards to Eleanor.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP313.313)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/2/112
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset.

August 24th. 1898

My dear Violet

Your letter of the 22nd. describing your journey to Blankenberg and Keilhaus[?] came today. Your previous letter filled a long-felt want. It was thrilling! Now we can picture to ourselves the charming home of Herr & Frau Rector Schultz, pleasantly and advantageously situated between a slaughter-house and a lunatic-asylum, with two hounds and a kitchen garden quite convenient. We are however a little in doubt whether the "flat" is on the ground floor or above, whether it has shops below it or other flats above it. Define a "German Flat" - I know not the species. Some wet day draw us a more accurate plan to scale. What a tragedy you may construct of that tunnel! The fair maiden in the arbour. The monster with the blood-stained knife. The moans! the groans!! the howls!!! the [[2]] shrieks!!!! But let us draw a veil over the too sad and harrowing tale! Turning to more pleasing and more important themes, how much it raises ones ideas of human nature and the possibilities of the fully developed social state, when we find that even now, amid such comparatively uninspiring and unpoetic surroundings as howling lunatics baying hounds and oxen or lamb calves being converted into beef and veal, yet the never-to-be-too-much-commended Frau Rector can produce weekly seven different soups, all of appetizing flavour and nourishing quality!! Evidently the resources of civilization are not yet exhausted! What a subject for an essay, a poem, or even a sermon! And to add to these daily belssings you have a Rektor who is handsome and charming, and his Frau pretty and jolly! Add And then, fruits vegetables and unlimited larger-bier! Breakfast in an arbour! Tea in a [[3]] forest! Concerts of high quality at 6[?]. Deer in the forest, kids in the school, and freedom to roam in both alike! And the beautiful German language flowing freely everywhere!

Blankenburg took you nearer the mountains but he best part of the Thuringen wald is I should think further west near Lauenau[?], which you can reach by rail.

We have not much news. Comrade P. Cambridge walked in last Sunday evening & had supper with us. He is staying at Lytchett Minster & he will come to breakfast soon He has work spider-describing & drawing for 2 years. Mr. Dunn and his wife have come. She is rather pretty, slight & with very red cheeks. She has been living at Moutreuk[?] and knows the Mussous[?] well. They are going to Buriuch[?] in October. There was a leading article in the Reminder last week on the Vaccionation Laws, -- of course all in favour of Vacc[ionatio]n. So I took the opportunity of writing a letter on the other side which will be in next week. The delicate little pea with rather large flowers must be pretty. You [[4]] can send us a few seeds when they are ripe. We have had no more letters from Will since he went on his outing with Hicks and the ladies so I suppose he has not been able to write from the wilds or is too busy hunting deer, [1 word illeg.], grizzlies &c. Down to the humble jackrabbit. Ask Herr Rektor whether there is a german translation of my new book. There was to have been one. A Review of it is in the Inquirer, a unitarian paper, is the first who has spoken favorably even of the Phrenology & Hypnotism chapter, -- of which he says -- "I should expect the temperance, logic and constant appeal to evidence, to win at least a provisional assent." The Literary Gazette is also very favourable & speaks well of the Vaccination chapter.

You can give "the assurance of my high consideration" as the deplomatists say, to Herr & Frau Rektor, if you like.

Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

[The following two sentences were written vertically up the left hand side of the current page]

Kind regards to Eleanor if she has not left. Ask her if she can come & see us for a few days on her way back.

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