Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4247

Sent by:
William Greenell [ARW's son] Wallace
Sent to:
Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell
5 December 1913

Sent by William Greenell [ARW's son] Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell [none given] on 5 December 1913.

Record created:
20 April 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • enclosure (1)
  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP4247.4317)

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

Held by:
American Museum of Natural History
Finding number:
Copyright owner:
©Wallace Family

Physical description

Transcription information




Dec[ember] 5 1913

Old Orchard,



Dear Mr Cockerell1,

My mother has asked me to answer your letters and to thank you very much for your kind words.

My fathers health and mental vigour were quite normal up to within a week of his death -- of course he was, & had for a long time been, troubled by several ailments, and a severe attack of ague resulting from an old established internal trouble was the first indication of anything serious. [[2]]2

On Nov[ember] 4th, he stayed stayed in bed -- the first time in many years -- & from that time till he died on the 7th he remained in a comatose condition. He passed away in his sleep at 9-25 a.m. on the Friday.

My mother has borne the loss very bravely. She is not very well and cannot move about without help.

We have made no plans for the future yet & we are not sure whether we will stay in this house.

We shall be very glad to see [[3]] anything that you write for the American papers, & my mother has no objection to your using any of my fathers letters.

You will be interested to know that we are collecting material for a new book of Letters and Reminiscences of A. R. Wallace"3 which is to fill in the gaps in "My Life" and deal with the more personal & human side of his character -- the scientific side has been done enough.

The book will be written by Mr James Marchant who is an experienced biographer & well up in all fathers work. [[4]] I was going to ask if you would lend us any letters you may have -- or better still -- copies of them? We will gladly bear the cost of copying them. If you will do so will you mark any passages you have already published? Any reminiscences you could jot down -- amusing or characteristic -- would be greatly appreciated.

This book would be published in England first & published in [the] U.S.A. later.

We naturally wish to keep all original mattes for this book so it may be difficult to supply you with any photos -- if we have any --; all that part of the matter is in Mr Marchants hands as he is [[5]]4 responsible to the publishers (Cassel & Co.) for making a good and original book.

We are rather in Mr Marchants hands in this matter -- so I will ask him about it, & let you know.

I enclose a circular we have just received for distribution amongst our friends who may be interested.

You will like to know what is [[6]] proposed. It is an a[m]bitious scheme & I hope some of it, at any rate, will be completed.

My mother sends her kindest regards to Mrs Cockerell & yourself in which my sister and I join.

Yours very truly | W.G.Wallace [signature]


1. Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell (1866 - 1948). American zoologist.

2. William Greenell Wallace enumerates the top of this and each subsequent page with the respective page number.

3. Alfred Russel Wallace : Letters and Reminiscences, by James Marchant, published in two volumes by Cassell, 1916.

4. For the fifth page William Wallace uses a sheet of paper with the embossed Old Orchard letterhead. The letterhead is striked-out by ARWs son.

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