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Record number: WCP5513

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
William Henry Edwards
5 November 1873

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, The Dell, Grays, Essex to William Henry Edwards [none given] on 5 November 1873.

Record created:
08 April 2014 by Benny, Ruth


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LETTER (WCP5513.6259)

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

Held by:
West Virginia State Archives
Finding number:
William Henry Edwards Collection (MS 79-2), Correspondence 23, 308
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




The Dell, Grays, Essex.

Nov[embe]r 5th. 1873

My dear Mr. Edwards1

Many thanks both to yourself and to your daughter for your kindness in sending me seeds. They are just such as I want and are very acceptable to me. I presume, from you sending me so many of them named, that either Miss Edward or yourself are fond of Botany or Horticulture. I must therefore enclose a few seeds of the Eucalyptus globulus of Tasmania which will I should think grow luxuriantly in your beautiful climate & in a few years form a tall tree. As a young plant it is handsome & the foliage very fragrant. If of any interest2 [[2]] to you I could send you many Australian seeds.

Your kindness so far induces me to trespass on you further. I do not care much about seeds of Magnolias as they are of very slow growth & long[?] before they flower; but I would try the Asimina as it is rare here, also the Wistaria [sic]. [T]hat I should like best of all would be seeds of any other of your gay perennials, & any bulbs or tubers, especial[ly] those of Cypripedium or any other Orchids. If these are taken up as soon as the leaves wither, & are packed dry in fine moss or bran[?] in a small card or wood box they will come in perfect order. [word illeg.] pattern posts, done up so as to be easily examined [word illeg.] comes for 3d. (6 cents). Some time ago I [[3]] received a live hybrid from California by these means. It will be too late for Orchids this year as I believe they flower early, but perhaps next summer you could send me a few.

Your researches on the dimorphic forms of butterflies by breeding them from the egg are very interesting and valuable, -- and I hope that besides publishing the results in your mimeograph you will also make the fact the subject of a separate work or article so as to bring the m more prominently before Naturalists in general. Have you ever [word illeg.] this[?] [2 words illeg.] of[?] [[4]] Mr. T. Wood published in the Trans[actions]. & Proceedings of the Ent[tomological]. Soc[iety]. I think some years ago as to the change of colour in pupae produced by the changed colour of the surrounding objects? As you breed large numbers of the same species you could easily try the experiment of lining the cages with variously coloured gauges, & noting the different tints of the pupae attached to them. In the case of our common Pierid and Vanessa the change was most striking, being always to a tint resembling that on which the pupae was suspended & surrounded by.

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

W. H. Edwards Esq


1. Wallace's correspondent is William Henry Edwards (1822-1909). American entomologist .

2. There is a stamp at the bottom of the page. It reads: "West Virginia State Archives".

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