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Record number: WCP4176

Sent by:
Mark Wicks
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
6 January 1913

Sent by Mark Wicks, Norman Villa, 19 Liverpool Road, Thorndon Heath to Alfred Russel Wallace, [Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset] on 6 January 1913.

Record created:
05 April 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP4176.4198)

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

Held by:
Edinburgh University Library
Finding number:
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Mark Wicks Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information



[[1]]1, 2




6th January, 1913

To Dr Alfred Russel Wallace,

Dear Sir,

Permit me, as a humble student of science, to congratulate you on attaining you ninetieth year, with full enjoyment of metal rigout.

I ask you also kindly to accept a copy of my little book, which I am sending you, entitled "To Mars via the Moon", as you will probably find therein several matters of interest. It is the result of some forty years study of a pet subject, and, in the form of a story of a scientific visit to [[2]] Mars, I have endeavoured to set out all that is known about the planet, together with my own original ideas and theories. As I have read and studied your little book "Is Mars Inhabited", I know that some of my views differ from yours, but I also know that you would be the last person to discourage original and independent thought.

I think that you may be specially interested, from a social point of view, in chapters XIX, XXV, XXVI and XXVIII.

In Chapter XXVI, you will see that, as the book was written early in 1909, I have anticipated the the[sic] coming of aerial illuminated vessels, and on a grand scale, and only quite recently you will have seen that [[3]] Graham White3, the aviator, has made a good start in that direction.

I have also confidently predicted the ultimate possibility of aerial concerts, and many forecasts of what our observers were likely to see at the last opposition of Mars have been verified.

I had hoped that the book would have attracted some attention in the scientific world, but the publishers refused to advertise it in a suitable manner, simply issuing a very few advertisements describing it as a story; so the scientific reader would pass it by as of no consequence.

I feel that if properly advertised the book would have sold well, but the publishers' neglect has resulted in so spoiling the chances that I shall never even recover my expenses. Yet reviews were numerous and very encouraging.

[[4]] I may say that I have corresponded with Dr. Lowell for several years, and from time to time he has been good enough to send me many of his small photographs of Mars.

I really envy you your vigour for, though only in my 61st year, continuous ill health has compelled me to relinquish my official work. Still I hope that release from over-strain will result in recovery of health and strength and that I may yet have many years to devote to scientific and other hobbies, for I must work no matter how much physical weakness may hinder.

Trusting you may long be spared to us, and with thankfulness for the good work you have given us in the past.

I am, with deepest respect | Sincerely yours | Mark Wicks [signature]

Author of "Organ Building for Amateurs", &c &c. &c.


1. Written in the top left of the page is "Answ[ere]d".

2. Written at the to of the page is "Croydon".

3. Grahame-White, Claude (1879-1959). English pioneer of aviation.

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