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Record number: WCP3282

Sent by:
Syed Ali Bilgrami
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
3 August 1905

Sent by Syed Ali Bilgrami, 6 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge to Alfred Russel Wallace, [Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset] on 3 August 1905.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


Regrets to inform Wallace he was unable to translate a letter written in Malay in Jawi script that Wallace had sent him.

Record notes

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP3282.3250)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46442 ff. 89-90
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Syed Ali Bilgrami Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




6 Huntingdon Road


3rd August 1905

Dear Sir

I regret extremely that I have to return to you the letter you had kindly sent me undeciphered. I have not found any one even among native Malays who could read it and my own efforts notwithstanding the smattering of the language I have acquired have proved unsuccessful. The reason is that the letter has been written by an illiterate person who does not form his letters properly and spells incorrectly.

I have felt it a great honour to receive an autograph letter from you and I only wish I had been of service to you. Being an old pupil of Professor Huxley's1, I have long been an admirer your work and shall never forget the pleasure I derived from the perusal of your Malay Archipelago[.] [[2]]

Recently, through Mr Sharpe2 I had the pleasure of reading your book on Spiritualism.

Hoping I may some day have the honour of meeting you.

Believe me, | Yours truly | Syed Ali Bilgrami [signature]


1. Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825-1895). English biologist.

2. Sharpe, Richard Bowdler (1847-1909). English zoologist.

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.