Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP5130

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford [none given] on  ?1901.

Record created:
05 March 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • publication (1)

View item:


Wallace, Alfred Russel. (1901). [Letter to "Nunquam," re. his novel "Julie"]. The Clarion(485): 92. [p. 92]

Copyright owner:
Not in copyright

About publication

Transcription information



[[1]]1 [p. 92]

My dear Numquam,--

I write to thank you for "Julie." It is long since I have read anything so delightful and true. Every bit of Julie and Fantine and Guineagold is such charming human nature that it gave me positive joy to read it.

But now I am going to complain. Why did you bring in the succession of misfortunes--four grievous ones--one on the top of the other? To me they are like bitter aloes coming in the latter part of a feast. They all have some amount of improbability in them; but that is nothing if they improved the story, or helped in the development of character. But to me they seem quite unnecessary, and the effect of them is simply painful. Your power of delineating character, and your delight in depicting the good side of human nature are not exceeded by any living writer. O! That you would use those powers in the composition of a good big story--a three-decker, as Kipling calls it--as beautiful as "Julie"--with the variety of class and character and incident you can so well develop, but worked out to natural healthy and happy results, such as do often occur, and which leave no regrets in the reader's mind.

Excuse this perhaps crude criticism from your friend and admirer,

Alfred Russel Wallace.


1. Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the journalist "Nunquam" concerning his novel Julie; printed on page 92 of the 23 March 1901 issue of The Clarion.


This transcript originates from Charles H. Smith’s The Alfred Russel Wallace Page website (http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/index1.htm): See http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S594.htm

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