Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP3287

Sent by:
William Booth
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
23 January 1910

Sent by William Booth, 2 Minto Street, Edinburgh to Alfred Russel Wallace, [Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset] on 23 January 1910.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP3287.3255)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 46442 ff. 96-97
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the William Booth Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information






23rd. Jan[uary] 1910

Dear Sir

I have read with very great interest your charming book "The World of Light".

The problem of human and animal suffering has concerned me for forty years & I am relieved to be assured that sensation in the "Brutes" is not so acute as in man. But the constant cruelty to domestic animals as horses, oxen & camels [[2]] which I have seen in every quarter of the globe the evidence that they do suffer & have no pleasure in their lives evinced by emancipation depression & working even to death, the painful diseases & deathbeds which my calling brings under my notice, the facts that the most distressing complaints attack good & bad alike & may be due to ignorance [[3]] which is not the fault of the sufferer also that this suffering has no beneficial effect on the individual or the [1 word illeg.] makes it hard to believe that it has been foreordained medicine only alleviate symptoms, we have no specific for any disease. The only drug which subdues severe pain is opium and its use has very great drawbacks --

To my mind whatever the ultimate goal of the race -- all knowledge or even eternal life does not justify the miseries endured [[4]] even in historic times & the conclusion seems inevitable that the directive mind is either not all-powerful or not all-good --

A case of a lady who for eight months has suffered agony from cancer of the spine & in whom morphia produces distressing sickness makes one wonder what it means[.]

Excuse me for bothering you | Yours truly | W. Booth [signature]


1. Written in the top left of the page in an unidentified hand is "Answ[ere]d.".

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