Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP5292

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
William Fletcher Barrett
3 February 1882

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Nutwood Cottage, Frith Hill, Godalming to William Fletcher Barrett [none given] on 3 February 1882.

Record created:
08 May 2013 by Catchpole, Caroline


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP5292.5836)

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

Held by:
Cambridge University Library
Finding number:
SPR. MS 3/A4/140
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Frith Hill, Godalming.

Feb[ruar]y.. 3rd. 1882

My dear Barrett,2

I have just written to Mr. Moss to say I will lecture at Dublin on March 22. & 24th. I shall be at Glasgow till the 13th. a[nd] 14th. and I propose to cross over to Belfast & thence to Dublin. As I shall have a week to spare I should like to be able to give two lectures at Belfast. Do you know any one there who could arrange this? If you can suggest it to any of the Scientific Societies there I shall be obliged.

The other matter we will talk [[2]] of when we meet. There is no hurry, -- and I am sure my name will do you more harm than good because I am such a confirmed and deluded spiritualist.

The great thing is, that all observations and experiments should be published in full or in careful summaries; and that all long continued[?] researches should be in addition carefully discussed, -- their established results clearly laid down, -- & these results be used as scientific facts to be a basis for argument and a starting point for fresh researches. Hitherto none but professed Spiritualists admit [[3]]3 any thing [sic] to be established, but what they happen to have seen & investigated themselves. No science can be formed in this way.

Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

P.S. I am strongly of [the] opinion that the Society sh[oul]d. publish its own "Journal" -- at quarterly, or even irregular intervals, -- confining it to researches only, not to discussions, speculative papers or other talk. A.R.W.


1. There are a number of inscriptions and catalogue/reference numbers written on the first page of the letter. In the top right-hand corner, "WALLACE" has been written and, below this, and on separate lines are the numbers "4" and "136". In the centre of the page, below the address and above the text, there is the imprint of the stamp of the Society for Psychical Research. Finally, to the left of the stamp, there is a file or catalogue reference: "SPR.MS 3/A4/140".

2. Sir William Fletcher Barrett (1844-1925). Physicist and psychical researcher, and co-founder of the Society for Psychical Research.

3. Wallace has written the third page of his letter with the page turned on its side.

4. The stamp of the Society for Psychical Research is imprinted adjacent and to the left of Wallace’s signature.

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