Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4006

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Alfred Newton
19 February 1865

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, 5 Westbourne Grove Terrace, London, W. to Alfred Newton [none given] on 19 February 1865.

Record created:
29 February 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP4006.3949)

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

Held by:
Cambridge University Library
Finding number:
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




5, Westbourne Grove Terrace W.1

Feb[ruary]. 19th. 18652,3

Dear Newton4

Many thanks for your kind note, & for the first of the new brood of Ibises, which I think first rate. I detect a little of the Newtonian humour cropping out here & there, & expect the "Ibis" to be now quite a jolly bird, less dignified & stately than during the Sclaterian epoch, but equally instructive as the ornithologists literary organ.

I shall be most happy to contribute my unite to its support & will promise you that the first time I work at birds again [[2]] it shall be with the Ibis in my eye! The fact is however I have done nothing for the last six months, -- having met with that "tide" Shakespear[sic] speaks of, which I had thought to have taken at the flood & been carried on, not to fortune but to happiness, -- when a wave came & left me high & dry, -- & here I am like a fish out of water.

To descend from metaphor I have been considerably cut up. I was to have been married in December, -- everything appeared serene, -- invitations were [[3]] sent out, wedding dresses ordered & all the programme settled, when almost at the last moment without the slightest warning the whole affair was broken off.

I am now getting over it a little, but am not very bright, & cannot tell when I shall go at birds again. I am now working a little at insects, & am also preparing for moving, as I leave here in March & do not yet [[4]]5 know where I am going.6

I will let you know my new address as soon as I have one.

In the mean time | Believe me | Dear Newton | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

A.Newton Esq.


1. Text in unknown hand reads "Add.9839/IW/70"

2. Cambridge University Library stamp appears here

3. Text in unknown hand in pencil reads "186a"

4. Alfred Newton (1829 - 1907), ornithologist

5. Text in unknown hand reads "A. R. Wallace, London, Feb.19 -21/65"

6. Text in unknown hand reads "Answered Feb. 21/65"

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