A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
An original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Hackett, Diana
Transcription date: August 18, 2014
Scrutiny: 18/08/2014 - Benny, Ruth;
Signed off: no
May 31st. 1906
Dear Mr. Slater2
I presume from your letter, & the fact that these are so many drawings of the Indians &c. of the Uaupes & Orinoko, that there is no doubt of your having got Spruce's3 Journals (or Note Books) of the 3 years travel in that country, -- but I will wait your statement that you really have it, & whether it is merely a rough journal or a written out narrative, before I write to Macmillan.
[] I write, however, at once to tell you that I have no thought of coming to the British Assoc[iatio]n. at York, -- nor of coming to London, which I shall probably not visit again. Though very well on the whole, I can only keep so by strict attention to diet, regularity of habits, & by means of those conveniences & remedies I can only have at home. For the last 3 years I have not been a night away, & feel it is best for me not to leave home, as I feel many of the disabilities of old [] age. If however you come to London in June I shall be very pleased if you will come here & stay a night or two on your way back. There are trains from West Bournemouth to York (by Midland via Bath) which stop here, -- or if you prefer it you can get a week-end ticket from London to this place (from Friday or Sat. to Monday) for 12/- I think. I should like you to see my garden here, & the many rare shrubs &c. I have planted.
I have now read all but [] the last chapter of the Mss. vol. of Spruce's Travels you sent me and have found it very interesting. It is curious how different his account of the same places is from Bates'4 or mine, owing firstly to his different (& superior) style of writing, & especially to more careful observation of men & manners, and his extremely interesting account of the various aspects of the vegetation. I feel sure his book will attract all lovers of nature and be a work of permanent value, -- and I hope there is a good deal more written out as fully as this part is.
Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
P.S. I enclose a page of the Sermon-paper I use for all my Mss. Will you kindly let your5 daughter use paper of the same size for any copies of Spruce's notes she makes for press.
A. B. W. [signature]
1. The number 9 is written in the top left hand corner of the page, in a hand other than Wallace's.
2. Slater, Matthew B. (1830 - 1918), botanist.
3. Spruce, Richard (1817 - 1893), botanist.
4. Bates, Henry Walter (1825 - 1892), naturalist. Friend of Wallace's, who was also part of the expedition to South America.
5. The text which runs from this point to the end of the letter is written horizontally underneath the main text of the first page, separated from the main text with a hand-drawn line.
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