Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP499

Sent by:
H. A. Bulley
Sent to:
Alfred Russel Wallace
7 January 1913

Sent by H. A. Bulley, Brighton to Alfred Russel Wallace, [Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset] on 7 January 1913.

Record created:
01 June 2002 by Lucas, Paula J.


Letter in response to Alfred Russel Wallace's article in the "Daily News" of 6 Jan 1913, congratulating him on reaching his 90th birthday and his services to Spiritualism and disagreeing at length with his views on Socialism.

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  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP499.499)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/8/28
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the H. A. Bulley Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information




86, Buckingham Road, Brighton.

Jan 7. 1913

Dear Sir,

You will doubtless receive many congratulations on your Birthday tomorrow, in which I can join, as I [1 illegible word deleted] recognise your great services on behalf of [the word "on" is overwritten by of] Spiritualism, in which I am a believer -- But on the subject of Socialism, I deplore your utterances, & though a stranger to you I take the liberty of pointing out certain mistakes in your article which appeared in yesterdays Daily News. You say that the present state of things is worse than it is used to be. But only compare the condition of the wage--earning classes now with what it was some fifty or sixty years ago, & then say if you can, that things were better then! were better Why they were much worse before the passing of the Factory Acts (thanks to[?] the late Lord [[2]] Shaftsbury) as you must yourself remember. Then you look to Socialism as a panacea for all "the ills that flesh is heir to" -- But Socialism is a more visionary scheme which never can be put into practice -- mankind is not made up of angels, but of poor fallible creations, unequal in power & in character. Socialists have an abstract love of humanity -- a mere sentiment but in practice they seem to look with envy & hatred all who do not join their Brotherhood. Of course, there are Socialists who are better than this creed[?]; but that creed is built on false assumptions about human nature. It is absurd to suppose that if you could give everyone plenty of money, it would [1 illegible word deleted] make people good. What is the use of all this pampering of the people, if it does not promote the building of characters? Socialism can have no high ideals, or socialists would not say they will not fight for their country. [[3]] The aims of the Socialists seem wholly material, so it is surprising that a Spiritualist can be also a Socialist. The past history of Socialism shows that it has been nothing better than an amalgam of Atheism & Communism -- There are Christian Socialists, but they will soon find themselves marked out by revolutionaries who have no religious creed & who if they think about it at all, would say that "death is an eternal sleep" -- as was said by the French Socialists. You write as though the wealth of the rich made the poor, poorer -- but experience shows the contrary. In the United states w[h]ere Millionaires are are so numerous, wages are higher than in any other country in the world. That refutes at once the Socialist theory.

Yours Faithfully, | H.A. Bulley. [signature]

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