Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4848

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Charles Edwin Anson ("Edwin") Markham
10 January 1907

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Charles Edwin Anson ("Edwin") Markham [none given] on 10 January 1907.

Record created:
13 November 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


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LETTER (WCP4848.5247)

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

Held by:
Horrmann Library, Wagner College
Finding number:
Markham Manuscript Collection
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Broadstone, Wimborne,


Jan[uar]y 10th. 1907

Edwin Markham Esq.

Dear Mr. Markham1

Many thanks for your very kind present, & inscription in your volume of Poems. I appreciate it most highly, and I find very much in it to admire and enjoy.

Although I am keenly sensible of the charm of poetry when merely a simple story or idea is expressed in a rhythm. Flow of well-chosen words, yet this soon palls-- and I only really [[2]] love poetry when it combines grand ideas & language with high moral teaching, all expressed in imaginative phrases and a perfection of rhyme & rhythm.

What most appeals to me now is the demand for Justice, for economic & social Equality, resulting in a true Brotherhood a Socialism. hence among much that is beautiful and ennobling, the two poems in this volume I like best, & can read again & again - [[3]] and yet again - are "The Muse of Labour" and "The Muse of Brotherhood". If the former stood alone, it would deserve a place among the highest & best examples of Socialistic poems,- but the latter so much surpasses it that I know nothing in the English language to equal it. Every verse - every line - every ​word - is perfect, harmonious full of deep uncanny and the true spirit of prophecy.

One other poem of yours [[4]] "The Jews" which I cut out of "Wiltshires May" is its equal in grandeur & poetic beauty, and so far as I know is the finest poetic demand for "Justice" in the English language.

Our William Watson2 approaches nearest you in poetic qualities but I have

unfortunately not read enough of his poems to form a judgment, and think it probably that you may be about in an equality in the characteristics which most appeal to me.

With very best wishes for your health, and that you may long continue to teach and elevate the Nations.

Believe me | Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]


1. Charles Edwin Anson markham (1852 - 1940), American poet.

2. William Watson (1858 - 1935), English poet.

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