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Record number: WCP4652

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Charles Grant Blairfindie ("Grant") Allen
22 July 1889

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Charles Grant Blairfindie ("Grant") Allen [none given] on 22 July 1889.

Record created:
14 August 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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LETTER (WCP4652.4968)

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

Held by:
Dittrick Medical History Center of Case Western Reserve University
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

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Parkstone, Dorset.

July 22nd. 1889

My dear Grant Allen

I must write a line to thank you for your kind & far too flattering notice of my "Darwinism." I feel that your opening sentence is not correct, & that I have received full recognition -- even more than full -- for all the little I have done in natural history. I accept however with satisfaction your recognition of my work for [[2]] "Land Nationalisation" since I myself consider that by far the more important of the two. I am pleased, too, with your recognition of the twofold objects of my book & I am glad to find that you think I have succeeded in both objects. With your remarks in the 3rd. Col. of you notice of course I do not agree. You are right in your hint that my spiritualism led me to my views as to man, but I deny altogether [[3]] that this is an a priori view, since the facts of spiritualism are to me just as real and certain as the facts of organic nature, and I am bound to bring the two into harmony.

But you are wrong again as to this view having had any influence in my rejection of natural sexual selection. That arose solely from the absence of evidence for it, and the to me enormously improbable assumption that the making of butterflies depends as the choice of the female & that that choice is determined by [[4]] small differences of colour!

I think you are quite wrong as to the importance of Weissman’s theory & the amount of evidence in its favour. I admit that it is not yet established, but I feel almost sure it will be. If the inheritance of all acquired characters & modifications were a law of nature I see no reason for the origin of sex.

A short time since I had a delightful & very kind & flattering letter from your father with whom I spent some very enjoyable days, and I have seldom met two more charming people that Mr & Mrs Allen of Alwington. We have removed here from Godalming to get a milder climate & more sun. Should you ever be at Bournemouth (close by) come & see us.

Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

P.S. I have just read "Looking Backward" and it has convinced me of the practicability and desirability of Socialism. It is a work of true genius.1


1. The postscript is written in the left hand margin of page 4.

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