Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4101

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Charles Robert Darwin
20 January 1865

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, 5 Westbourne Grove Terrace, London, W. to Charles Robert Darwin [none given] on 20 January 1865.

Record created:
14 March 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline
Verified by:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine (All except summary checked);


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP4101.4048)

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

Held by:
Cambridge University Library
Finding number:
MS Dar. 106: B20-21
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate
Record scrutiny:
05/12/2012 - Szentgyorgyi, Katherine;

Physical description

Transcription information




5 Westbourne Grove Terrace W.

January 20th. 1865

My dear Darwin

I was pleased to hear a few weeks since that you were a little better in health & were again working, & I sincerely hope you are now getting over your severe illness.

For the last six months I have been doing absolutely nothing, & fear I shall not be inclined for work for some time to come. The reason is that I have suffered one of those severe disappointments few men have to endure. I was engaged to be married at Xmas, & had every reason to look forward to happiness, [[2]] when at the last moment, when every thing was arranged, & even the invitations sent out by the ladys father, all was suddenly broken off! No cause has been given me except mysterious statements of the impossibility of our being happy, although her affection for me remains unchanged.

Of course I can only impute it to some delusion on her part as to the state of her health. You may imagine how this has upset me [[3]] when I tell you that I never in my life before had met with a woman I could love, & in this case I firmly believe I was most truly loved in return.

Scarcely any of my acquaintances know of this, but though we have met so little yet I look upon you as a friend, & as such hope you will pardon my boring you with my private affairs.

I send you two papers of mine of which I have lately got copies, & with best [[4]] wishes for your speedy restoration to perfect health

Believe me | Dear Darwin | Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Charles Darwin Esq


This transcript is based on that produced by The Darwin Correspondence Project (http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/): see http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-4750

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