Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP3567

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Henry Walter Bates
11 August 1878

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Waldron Edge, Duppas Hill, Croydon to Henry Walter Bates [none given] on 11 August 1878.

Record created:
13 December 2011 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP3567.3466)

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

Held by:
Royal Geographical Society
Finding number:
RGS Corr. Block CB6 1871-80 WALLACE A. RUSSEL
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Waldron Edge, Duppas Hill, Croydon.

August 11th 1878

Dear Bates1

Silk2, who is staying with me, tells me you spoke to him about my editing a book for Dr.Bennett,3 I presume DAlbertis4 travels in New Guinea. I should be very glad to do this,5 as I have just been writing a new chapter on New Guinea for Stanfords6 Book.

Please inform Dr. Bennett if you see or write to him. I7 have heard nothing from Dr. B[ennett]. Is [one word illegible] DAlbertis in London now? I should much like to see him.

Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

H. W. Bates Esq.


1. English naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates, FRS, FLS, FGS (1825 - 1892). Bates is gave the first scientific account of animal mimicry, and "Batesian mimicry" still bears his name today. Bates was also a friend and expedition companion of Wallace, one of the first supporters of the Darwin/Wallace theory of evolution by natural selection.

2. George Silk, closest childhood friend of ARW. The two met in Herford around 1828, when ARW was only about 5 years old.

3. Possibly A. W. Bennett, a fellow of the Linnean Society who was among those that nominated ARW for Fellowship.

4. Luigi Maria DAlbertis (1841 - 1901) was an Italian naturalist and explorer, and the first person to chart the Fly River of Papua New Guinea in 1876.

5. ARW did indeed publish an article discussing DAlbertis trip, entitled "New Guinea and Its Inhabitants", in the Contemporary Review in February 1879.

6. Likely Edward Stanford (1827 - 1904), founder of Stanfords Ltd which sold--and still sells--maps, charts, and later books in London (e.g., Stanfords Compendium of Geography and Travel…Australasia. Edited and Extended by A. R. Wallace).

7. The text "I have…Dr. B" written vertically up the left margin of the letter.

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