Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Parkstone, Dorset to Violet Isabel Wallace [address not recorded] on 12 March 1900.
Re. Carter's Estates, possibility of buying a new house suitable for use as a dwelling and a school, her brother William's investigation of houses in Cranleigh, Horsham and Basingstoke; Mr Carter's purchase of a large farm near Oxford and his plans to build a model settlement or small garden city on it, including public access to wild land.
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
March 12th. 1900
My dear Violet
Will did not quite convey accurately what I said about the proposed new house. I explained to him that I had not had the slightest idea of leaving here, till you talked about wanting a real country-house for a small school; and at the same time Carter’s Estates seemed to offer the possibility of getting one with ample land around it, & within our means, if we could get one sufficiently roomy for all to live together. Before that idea came up I never thought of it as possible, and I thought Ma would not like it[.] Now however that all the land round us is taken up for building, I think she wants [] to get more in the country, though she will never say what she really likes best.
I have, for the last 6..7 years, longed for a more sunny garden & house, & more space around, & a better soil; & now that the prospect of all these seems within reach I shall not give it up, but go on seeking till I find, -- & you can join us, if you like & when you like. Such a place I feel sure would add a few years to my life.
Will has now seen 5 houses -- 2 at Cranleigh, 2 at Horsham & one near Basingstoke -- but none will do, though one, at Horshom, appeared to be almost ideal as a house, most delightful & [] convenient in fact -- but it is on clay soil, & that would not do either for me or for Carter. We have 2..3 more to be looked at, and Carter is on the look out. He has just bought the large farm 12 miles from Oxford which we talked about when you were here. It is over 700 acres, that is 2 1/2 miles long by about 1/2 mile wide, & has a stream all down one side of it. Excellent land, & several villages & small towns near, but the country around seems bare[?] & uninteresting. He is going to make a model settlement of it -- a kind of small "Garden City". He brought the plans here yesterday, & I persuaded him to make the whole [] of the borders of the stream public, as a walk & pleasure bit of nature for the settlers, -- and he has agreed! Sometimes it will be merely a pathway, but wherever there is rough ground, bikes[?], & wood, it will spread out & include it all -- perhaps 20 acres in the whole, & 2 1/2 miles long, -- full of wild flowers, rabbits &c. & to be left perfectly wild! Won’t that be fine. He says, he does not want any profit from this estate, but when he has sold enough to repay him cost & expenses he will put it all into the boards of Trustees for the benefit of all the residents perpetually! He is going to plant teas, start gas-works & propane a sewage-farm, with a square, avenues, &c. &c. I hope to see it.
Your affectionate Pa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
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