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Record number: WCP3207

Sent by:
Jane Barlow
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
29 December [?1901]

Sent by Jane Barlow, The Cottage, Raheny, Co. Dublin, Ireland to Alfred Russel Wallace [none given] on 29 December [?1901].

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP3207.3175)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46441 ff. 230-231
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Jane Barlow Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




The Cottage,


Co. Dublin.

Dec.[ember] 29th [1901]1

Dear Dr Wallace,

It was very kind of you indeed to write about the little books, and your appreciation of my Father’s1 romance gives me the greatest pleasure. I was almost sure that it would interest you if you read it, but of course I was doubtful whether you would have leisure or inclination to do so. My Father is very much gratified by your letter, and with regard to your two criticisms wishes me to say that he has no doubt the Hesperian scientists soon found their hypothesis of a storm-causing satellite quite untenable, and that he agrees with you about the impossibility of so extensive a circle of [[2]] acquaintances for people possessing merely human memory, but thinks it would be hard to fix limits for the development of the faculty among the Hesperians.

My stories have, I fear, all the defects you mention, and many more. I often wish I could do something that was not what Browning3 calls ‘patchy and scrappy’ but I am afraid that the limits of my faculties are very easy to determine.

The conclusion you sketch for a ‘witch’s will’ is certainly much more complete and dramatic than mine, but it is more tragical [sic] too. For I meant the last stanza to convey -- though I failed to make it do so -- that the old woman died suddenly just after her return, from over-exertion, perhaps, added to the grief of parting with her treasure; and as we might hope that she passed into a world where she would find a happier object in life than hoarding [[3]] money, her kind action would in reality have been rewarded. But more probably her neighbours would have, as you say, made her end less peaceful.

I will read the Amber Witch at once. I have read many horrible accounts of witch-persecutions in Europe and America. They are a dreadful chapter of history, and must tend materially to increase the difficulties of apologist for Christianity.

With all good wishes for 1902, I am | yours very sincerely | Jane Barlow [signature]


1. The year is written in a different hand and enclosed in square brackets.

2. Barlow, Reverend James William (1826-1913). Professor of History and vice-provost of Trinity College, Dublin.

3. Browning, Robert (1812-1889). English poet.

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