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Record number: WCP4803

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
16 November 1893

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Wilson [none given] on 16 November 1893.

Record created:
24 October 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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LETTER (WCP4803.5195)

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

Held by:
John Greenell Wilson
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

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Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset.

Nov.[embe]r 16th. 1893.

Dear Mrs. Wilson1

I am quite sure I did not receive a letter from you but only a newspaper announcing the unexpected death of my cousin Algernon2 just after he had decided on coming to England for a holiday.

<Thank you> for sending me the extract from the reports of your Austral<asia> Association. I have had to read a great deal about Australia lately for a new edition of my volume of "Stanford's Compendium of Geography" which had to be almost rewritten & is now just published. I am glad to hear that you and your family are all living at Adelaide and are well.

[[2]] We came here five years ago to get a rather milder climate as we were much exposed at Godalming and I had a serious illness there. It is somewhat milder here but there is not so much difference as I expected. Six years ago I went to America on a lecturing tour, & <spent> nine months there, going as far as California to see my brother John3 who is living at Stockton. I had not seen him for nearly 40 years, as I left England for S[outh] America in March 1848, and he for California in 49. He has a family of six sons and one <daughter> [approx. 4 words illeg.] there. Our two children are both from home now. Violet the eldest has been trained as a Kindergarten [[3]] teacher as she is exceedingly fond of children, and she now has charge of a small kindergarten attached to a larger Girl's school at Liverpool. She has been there 6 months & will probably stay some years. She is 23, Will, the boy, is 21. He has been educated as an Electrical Engineer in the <Finsbury> Technical College for 3 years, & is now apprenticed for two years in a large Electrical Engineering firm at Newcastle-on-Tyne to learn the practical work. He has to be at <the shop at> 6 am. & works all day with the men, & he seems to take a great interest in it. The workmen at Newcastle are very intelligent, and far superior in every [[4]] way [one word illegible crossed out] to those of London & the South of England.

I did not know Mr. Burmingham was still alive. He must be an old man. I have heard nothing of them for a long time. My cousin Percival's family are also quite unknown to me, as we never <met> since he married, or ever <corresponded>. I am glad to hear that one of my cousins paints <flowers?>, <as it is> a delightful occupation. My wife also does them very nicely both in oils & watercolours. My chief amusement & relaxation is gardening, especially in cultivating all the curious and out-of-the-way plants I can get. I am now trying some of the Australian & Cape orchids, which are very difficult to grow, but I think I shall succeed at last.

Yours very truthfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]


1. Perhaps wife of Algernon Wilson, Wallace's cousin.

2. Algernon Wilson (fl. 1854), Australian cousin of Alfred Russel Wallace.

3. John Wallace (1818-1895), older brother of Alfred Russel Wallace.

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