Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4772

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Epes Sargent
13 December 1880

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Pen-y-bryn, St Peter's Road, Croydon to Epes Sargent [none given] on 13 December 1880.

Record created:
16 October 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP4772.5148)

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




[words illeg.]

Pen-y-bryn, St. Peter’s Road, Croydon.

Dec[embe]r. 13th. 1880

My dear Mr. Sergeant1

Many thanks for the copy of your book on "The Scientific Basis of Spiritualism", which you have been so good as to instruct your publisher to send me. I have just finished reading it, and have been exceedingly pleased with it. I may congratulate you on having produced the most judicious, thoughtful, and complete work on the subject in its latest developments, and one which I [[2]] am sure will produce a great effect on every thoughtful person who carefully reads it. Your chapter replying to Wundt2 is one of the most thorough and crushing pieces of criticism I have ever read, and that on J. L. Stephen is equally good; while your various remarks on the use and abuse of Spiritualism, on Trance Speakers, on impostures, & on every other subject, are calculated to remove[?] many prejudices and [[3]] misconceptions even among spiritualists.

I shall strongly recommend your book to all who wish to know something of the weight of evidence for the phenomena of Spiritualism and the nature of the vast[?] issues it involves; and it will further serve to show to such persons how it is that the numerous alleged exposures & impostures produce no effect whatsoever on those who have satisfied themselves by independent investigation of the reality and [[4]] importance of the fact.

Wishing your book a very large circulation, and yourself many years and good health to further the great Cause we both have so much at heart, --

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

Epes Sergeant Esq.

P.S.I enclose one of my last cartes -- which I think I sent you before.



1. Epes Sergeant (1813 - 1880). American editor, poet and playwright. Author of "The Scientific Basis of Spiritualism" (1880) and "The Proof Palpable of Immortality" (1875).

2. Wallace is probably referring to Wilhelm Wundt (1832 - 1920). German physician and philosopher, and a founding figure of modern psychology.

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