Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP5025

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Edvard Alexander Westermarck
29 January 1890

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Corfe View, Parkstone, Dorset to Edvard Alexander Westermarck [none given] on 29 January 1890.

Record created:
21 February 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)
  • publication (1)

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LETTER (WCP5025.5574)

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

Held by:
Åbo Akademi University Library
Finding number:
Manuscript collections, Westermarck, Edvard, vol XXXII
Copyright owner:
©A. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Parkstone, Dorset, England.

Jan'. 29th. 1890


Mr Edward Westermarck2

Dear Sir

I thank you very much for sending me your excellent essay on "The Origin of Human Marriage". -- I have not studied the question myself, but I have long felt and believed that the theory of primitive promiscuity of McLennan3, Lubbock4, Tylor5 + others was untrue, and I am very much pleased at the admirable and thorough [[2]] way in which you have explored its fallacy. Your facts and your argument seem to me quite conclusive, and must, I am sure, carry conviction to most persons who have not committed themselves to the opposite view.

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


1. Handwritten text added after the letter was written by someone other than the author.

2. Westermarck, Edvard (1862-1939). Anthropologist.

3. McLennan, John Ferguson (1827-1881). Anthropologist.

4. Lubbock, Sir John (1834-1913). Naturalist and financier.

5. Tylor, Edward Burnett (1832-1917). Anthropologist.

Please note that work on this transcript is not yet complete. Users are advised to study electronic image(s) of this document, if available.