A typical letter handwritten by author in English and signed by author.
A photocopy of original MS
Pages with text: 4
Transcriber: Cooper, Rod
Transcription date: April 24, 2014
Scrutiny: 25/04/2014 - Benny, Ruth;
Signed off: no
The Dell, Grays, Essex.
Feb[ruar]y 15th. 1873
Mr. H. Edwards Esq.1
I must apologize for being so long delayed acknowledging the receipt of Part 9 of your beautiful work on the Butterflies of N[orth]. America2, but the fact is that I only heard of it being at the British Museum a few months ago, and I now seldom go there & only received it a few weeks back.
It is an exceedingly interesting number, and goes far I think to elucidate one mode at least in which species are formed; for if the conditions were such that a certain variety could only produce a brood at the season when it reproduces its like, it would become a fixed species.3 []
The varieties of Grapta interrogationis are even more interesting, as they are most easily recognised; and as they are of a character very common among Nymphalidae, they will no doubt lead to many more cases of dimorphism being discovered.
I have now almost given up attending to butterflies but am none the less interested in such careful observations as you are making and which are a real advance in Entomology.
I am now amusing myself in making a garden out of a bit of wild ground, and am trying to establish in it as many interesting or ornamental plants as I can. If you have any botanists [] in your neighbourhood who would get me a small selection of seeds of your prettiest wild perennial flowers, small shrubs, or creepers -- especially such as grow in elevated & exposed situations & on the mountains[,] I should be very much obliged.
A dozen seeds of half a dozen sorts would go in an envelope for letter postage. If interested in horticulture I could send some Australian seeds in Exchange.
Believe me | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]
I enclose a carte. I ought to have sent the "Address" before but I laid by your letter thinking to have your book in a few days & it quite passed out of my mind. I now [] post it with this & hope you may find the ideas on Nomenclature &c such as you may be disposed to follow.
1. Wallace's correspondent is William Henry Edwards (1822-1909). American entomologist .
2. Initially published by the American Entomological Society, Philadelphia, between 1868 and 1877.
3. There is a stamp at the bottom of the page. It reads: West Virginia State Archives".
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