Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP4

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
William Greenell [ARW's son] Wallace
9 November 1890

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to William Greenell [ARW's son] Wallace [none given] on 9 November 1890.

Record created:
01 June 2002 by Lucas, Paula J.
Verified by:
23/01/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline (All except summary checked);


Re. house alterations; books ordered for William; Mr Sharpe's illness; William's studies.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:


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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/1/4
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
23/01/2012 - Catchpole, Caroline;

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset

Nov. 9th. 1890

My dear Willie

I have ordered the two books you want, of Macmillan, & they will be sent to you at the College. You will get them probably on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The storm did us no harm except stopping work on the home a little. This week we have made a good deal of change if not very much progress. The cesspool was emptied partially, on Wednesday night & has now been closed up again after the new drains were put in. The gentleman who superintended the building of the house, then Jennings Manager, has been here & explained all about the drainage. When the railway bridge was built it the embankment cut off the [[2]] drainage of the little valley in which our house stands, & he laid a drain to carry off the surface water into the ditch on the side of the station yard. The Railway Company also drained the water in the cutting to the same place so they are sure not to stop it up and have no right to do so. That was before the house was built. When it was built all the rain water and the sink water was taken into this drain, - and the cesspool made for the closet only, but there is an overflow from the cesspool into the water-drain and this is the reason it has gone on nine years & ever wanted emptying and it might have gone on nine more years longer and no one would have known and or objected. It is a large cesspool, and it was [[3]] almost all water in it, so that the solid matter all dissolves and goes off in the overflow. The roof at the back is now finished tiling, but the plumbers work is not quite finished. The front wall of new drawing room is broken down and the new wall half built up so we are quite open. Next week I hope that will be finished & then there will only be inside work. A new man has come to do all the inside water-pipes, bath, lavatory, & a nice intelligent man who seems to understand his business thoroughly. The roof over your balcony looks very sorry, the posts are not up yet.

When I sent the fee for the years session £15 I asked for a Programme & your registration. Mr. Dove sent it with [[4]] a letter asking me to send 6 in stamps for it. I have not done so as I had never been asked for anything before. Will you ask Meldola or Professor Thompson if this is an authorized charge, & if so give him (Mr. Dove) the 6 stamps which I enclose. I think they ought to just -- "price 6." on the Programme, if even those who pay the College fees may not have a copy free.

Mr. Sharpe is a trifle better, and I hope he may recover, but it is still uncertain, & will be very slow any how. His illness is simply a result of neglecting a wetting, & the subsequent cold. I suppose you have not begun differential calculus yet. Do practice it a little at home so as not to forget what you have learnt. Mind & give us some more "days work--."

Your affectionate Papa | Alfred R. Wallace. [signature]

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