Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP3138

Sent by:
Arthur John Bell
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
18 November 1891

Sent by Arthur John Bell, Easton Court, Chagford, South Devon to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on 18 November 1891.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


No summary available at this time.

Record notes

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP3138.3106)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46441 f. 112-113
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Arthur John Bell Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




Eastern Court,


S. Devon

Nov[ember] 18th. 1891

Dear Mr Wallace,

I feel quite unable to express my thanks for your most generous estimate of my books. It gave me a pleasure so great that it was largely mingled with pain. My thought about them has been that there are two thinkers whose judgement about them would for me would carry more weight than that of all other men put together. The one of them is Mr. Huxley, the other is yourself. Such being the case you may imagine how I felt as I read your letter. It was some time before I could get beyond the first page. You can well understand that though I believed I had worked out my [[2]] theories satisfactorily, [1 word crossed out illeg.], still -- considering what an ignorant person I am -- the thought would arise -- It only seems all right to you because your knowledge is not extensive enough to enable you to see where you are in error; wait till you hear what the great scientist will say. -- And then to have such a letter from one of the two whom I had mentally constituted my final judges. It was almost more than I could bear. I can only say that with all my heart & mind I thank you.

I enclose the principal portion of such reviews of "Why does man exist?" as have come under my notice. Not all of them, for some of them are in the possession of friends [[3]] who have so far failed to return them, also a lesson on "Why does man exist?" by the Rev.[erend] C. Voysey[?] & a couple of letters on the sermon from members of his congregation. I had some more, but have returned them to them. With them, I send some my notes by myself on the sermon.

Not being acquainted in any way with my other "judge", Mr. Huxley, & having in my books commented on some of his utterances, I have not felt myself [?] to send them to him. From what I have said above you can guess how much I desire to have the benefit of his judgement upon my books. If you could in any way help me to what I so much desire you would confer [[4]] upon me an additional favour.

I dont know how to conclude in such a way as to show how I feel towards you for what you have done for me. You may be able to see how grateful I am, but only by sympathy can you understand the much deeper feeling than gratitude which moves me to the very bottom of my heart.

I am | Yours very faithfully | Arthur J. Bell [signature]


Bell, Arthur John

British museum stamp lower right corner.

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