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Record number: WCP4741

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
William Henry Flower
30 January 1873

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, The Dell, Grays, Essex to William Henry Flower [none given] on 30 January 1873.

Record created:
25 September 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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LETTER (WCP4741.5097)

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

Held by:
American Philosophical Society
Finding number:
Alfred Russel Wallace Collection Mss.B.W15a
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




The Dell, Grays, Essex.

Jan[uar]y 30th. 1873

Dear Flower1

Thanks for the title of Leidy’s2 work, which I have got from the Zool[ogical] Soc[iety].

I should be much obliged if you will tell me also the title of Gaudry’s3 Memoir on the Pikermi fossils4. It is not at the Zool[ogical] Soc[iety] unless it is in some periodical.

Is there any book or paper giving an account of the Tertiary Vertebrate fossils of Germany & Switzerland, -- or any good summary account of European extinct vertebrates besides Pictet5 & Owen6, the former [word illeg.] old, the latter too fragmentary. I have got "Gervais’7 "Zool[ogie] et Palæont[ologie] Francais" but that is only for French species.

There is I believe a "Palæontologie Suisse" by Pictet8 - can you refer me to where [[2]] to find it.

Do you know if Peter’s9 monograph of Bats, announced as in[?] papers several years ago is finished or likely to be published soon.

When I can find no good recent monograph or revision of a group of Mammals, is "Carus and Gerstaeckers’ "Handbuch der Zoologie"10, 11, 12 a pretty good authority for the genera to be adopted & the families they are placed in?

I am preparing a book on the "Geographical Distribution of Animals"13 -- which I wish to do as well as the [[3]] published material will allow of, & the first essential is a tolerably natural classification, -- not so much of the higher groups as of the families & genera.

Has any good account been given of Lund’s Brazilian Collection14? They are constantly quoted, but I only find a reference to his paper in "Am. Sc. Nat."15 about 20 years ago, which seems very imperfect.

Hoping you can give me the information I want without much trouble.

I remain | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Prof. Flower


1. William Henry Flower (1831 - 1899). Comparative anatomist and surgeon. In 1884 he succeeded Richard Owen as Director of the Natural History department (now the Natural History Museum) of the British Museum.

2. Joseph Leidy (1823 - 1891). American palaeontologist.

3. Jean Albet Gaudry (1827 - 1908). French geologist and palaeontologist.

4. A rich deposit of Miocene fossil vertebrata at Pikermi, Greece, reported and researched by Gaudry.

5. François Jules Pictet de la Rive (1809 - 1872). Swiss zoologist and palaeontologist.

6. Richard Owen (1804 - 1892). English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.

7. Paul Gervais (1816 - 1879). French palaeontologist and entomologist. The book to which Wallace refers was published, in parts, between 1848 and 1852.

8. Wallace is probably referring to “Materiaux pour la Paléontogique Suisse, ou Recueil de Monographies sur les Fossils du Jura et des Alpes,” (1854 - 1873)

9. Wallace may be referring to Wilhelm Peters (1815 - 1883). German naturalist and explorer.

10. Julius Victor Carus (1823 - 1903). German zoologist, comparative anatomist and entomologist.

11. Carl Eduard Adolph Gerstaecker (1828 - 1895). German zoologist and entomologist.

12. Handbuch der Zoologie (published between 1863 and 1875, Leipzig), co-authored by Carus, Gerstaecker and Wilhelm Peters.

13. Wallace is referring to the Geographical Distribution of Animals, eventually published in 1876.

14. Peter Wilhelm Lund (1801 -1880). Danish zoologist and botanist renowned for his collection of extinct and extant fauna, particularly from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

15. Annales des Sciences Naturelles.

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