Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 8 September 1898.
Re. fate of Ma's (Annie Wallace) letter and parcel; the Schulz's move from Blankenhain to Possneck; learning the German language; letter from her brother William (in America) re camping, hunting, and breakdown of wagon; Alfred Russel Wallace's letter on vaccination in the "Parkstone Reminder" sent by Mr Tebb to several newspapers and printed in "The Times", copies to be distributed; visits by junior and senior Dunn families; the "Clarion"; the "Daily Chronicle" on victory at Khartoum.
A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Murphy, Will
Transcription date: July 8, 2011
Scrutiny: 15/01/2013 - Catchpole, Caroline;
Signed off: no
Sept[ember] 8th. 1898
My dear Violet
Your exciting letter just arrived. About 5 days back Ma wrote last Friday with the sponge bag & contents by & garden Photo. by parcel post -- value 6 -- ! Perhaps they have stopped it at the Custom House. Did’nt[sic] I tell you, always, that all trips are for the best in this best of all possible worlds? I have the map before me. Possneck is a walled town! It is on a main line of Railway!! It has a river!!! It is much nearer the mountains than Blankenhain It looks as if it would be a more interesting & picturesque neighborhood than Blankenberghain, and, let us hope, free from slaughter & [1 word illeg.]-- houses.
I am surprised at your even thinking of going to Dresden in this interval of the flitting. Are you aware that it is nearly 150 miles from Weimar? It seems to me that there are two things you can do. First, you can [] offer Frau Rektor to stay and help her while packing and moving, of course putting up with rough and irregular meals &c. during the operation, doing any kind of work, and learning something of the inner nature and qualities of the German "hausfrau". Their suggestion that you should leave is, you may be sure, because they think you would not stand the discomforts of moving. The offer, you may be sure, they would consider to be friendly and if accepted would make you the Fraus real friend; and you would learn more of German during the process than in twice the time of ordinary living. Next,-- if you or they will not have this, why not stay somewhere between Blankenhain & Possneck? Either Jena or Rudolstadt would be interesting. The latter [is] an old city with a fine cathedral, picture-gallery, & library. It is only about 15 or 16 miles from Possneck on the line from Jena. You must have [] been quite near it on the hills above Blankenberg. At Rudolstadt you will will[sic] probably be able to get board automatically in some german family -- study art & explore the surrounding country on your bicycle, and be ready to go on to Possneck as soon as they are ready for you.
We had this morning, with yours, a letter from Will from a place about half way to their hunting destination, where they had camped on the borders of a lake in Middle Park. They had had a lot of accidents, -- waggon[sic] broke down, donkey overloaded &c &c. They have two horses a pony & a donkey, a big tent, bedding, stores, & are armed with guns, rifles, & revolvers, as there are horse-thieves about, to say nothing of a murderer at large for whom a reward is offered. So far they had seen no game but chipmunks, squirrels, [] and snakes.
My vaccination-letter to the Parkstone Reminder was so admired by Mr. Tebb that with a few verbal alterations he sent it to several newspapers, -- and to our great astonishment & delight they actually printed it in "The Times"! So Mr. Tebb has now had 1000 copies printed, headed "Reprinted from The Times" Sept. 1st[?] 1898", for general distribution.
About a week ago Mrs. Dunn & Mr. D and Mr. & Mrs. Dunn fin[?] came over to see the garden & water-lilies &c. It was the first visit Mrs. Dunn had paid for 12 years!
I have sent you a "Clarion" with some very good things in it, -- also, yesterday, two Daily Chronicles with accounts of the great Khartown Victory. We certainly have written to you once in each week, but I am afraid Mail, in the parcel, did not arrive, as I see that letters are not allowed in parcels for abroad, though how they are to tell without opening every one I do not see.
Your affect[ionate] Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
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