Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP3354

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
[not recorded]
20 December 1874

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, The Dell, Grays, Essex to ?[addressee not recorded] [address not recorded] on 20 December 1874.

Record created:
30 November 2011 by Mayer, Anna


Testimonial on behalf of R B Sharpe

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP3354.3322)

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

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
BL Add. 42181 ff. 71-72
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




I have much pleasure in hearing testimony to the high qualification of Mr. R.B. Sharpe2 as an Ornithologist.

His "Monograph of Alcedinidae3,4" and his "Catalogue of Raptorial Birds in the British Museum5" are very valuable works. They show that Mr. Sharpe not only possesses an extensive knowledge of his subject, but is also an experienced writer; and above all that he possesses great industry and energy [[2]] and spares no pains in acquiring information from every possible source for the benefit of his readers.

Few men that I am acquainted with are better qualified to bring an extensive ornithological museum into a state of order and usefulness.

Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Grays, Essex

Dec.[embe]r 20th. 1874.


1. This letter remains unaddressed and is a letter of recommendation for Richard Sharpe.

2. Richard Bowdler Sharpe (1847 - 1909) an ornithologist

3. Alcedinidae are river kingfishers, a brightly plumaged compact bird with short tails, large heads, and long bills.

4. A Monograph of the Alcedinidae: or family of kingfishers was published in 1868.

5. Dr. Sharpe composed a catalogue on the birds of prey in the British Museum in 1874.

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