Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP4891

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Charles Lyell
[not recorded]

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, 9 St Mark's Crescent, Regent's Park, London, N.W. to Charles Lyell [none given] on  .

Record created:
16 November 2012 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record notes

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP4891.5291)

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

Held by:
American Philosophical Society
Finding number:
The Darwin-Lyell Collection
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




9, St Mark’s Crescent, N.W.


Dear Sir Charles1

I am sorry I was out when you called. I send, over leaf, a note of the number of hours I was occupied at your work.

What a clever simile that is of Huxley2’s in the "Academy", of the Death watch in the kitchen clock. I should like to ask him if he thinks there was an intelligence who could and did foresee the state of the British Fauna in 1869 when the Solar system was a "cosmic vapour"; -- and if it is not as legitimate to reason from our intelligence to a preexisting3 [[2]] intelligence, as from the existing material universe to a "cosmic vapour".

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


1. Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Baronet (1797 - 1875), British lawyer and geologist

2. Thomas Henry Huxley (1825 - 1895), English biologist

3. Text in unknown hand reads "47" at the bottom right of the page

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