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Record number: WCP4095

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Charles Robert Darwin
23 May 1862

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, 5 Westbourne Grove Terrace, London, W. to Charles Robert Darwin [none given] on 23 May 1862.

Record created:
24 August 2012 by Chillingworth, Nancy
Verified by:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine (All except summary checked);


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (3)
  • publication (1)

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LETTER (WCP4095.5006)

A transcription typewritten  in English.

Held by:
British Library, The
Finding number:
Add.46434 f. 24
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine;

Physical description

Transcription information




To C. Darwin.) 5, Westbourne Grove Terrace, W. Friday May 23rd. 1862

My dear Mr Darwin

Many thanks for your most interesting book on the Orchids1. I have read it through most attentively & have really have been quite as much staggered by the wonderful adaptions you shew[sic] to exist in them as by the Eye in animals or any other implicated organs. I long to get into the country & have a look at some Orchids guided by your new lights, but I have been now for 10 days confined to my room with what is disagreeable though far from dangerous;-- boils.

I have been reading several of the Reviews on the "Origin", & it seems to me that you have assisted those who want to criticize you by your overstating the difficulties & objections. Several of them quote your own words as the strongest arguments against you.

I think you told me Owen2 wrote the article in the "Quarterly". This seems to me hardly credible as he speaks so much of Owen, quotes him as such a great authority & I believe even calls him a profound philosopher, &c, &c. Would Owen thus speak of himself?

Trusting your health is good

I remain| My dear Mr Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace. [signature]


1. Refers to Darwins book Fertilisation of Orchids, published 1862

2. Richard Owen, biologist, lived 1804 – 1892

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