Wallace Letters Online

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Record number: WCP718

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch
16 August ?1904

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 16 August ?1904.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM


Is pleased that Birch has started collecting at last and suggests looking for beetles in fallen trees. Visited South Wales a fortnight ago and mentions the Upper Vale of Neath and the Brecon Beacons; also the recent drought in England.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP718.890)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-418598
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Broadstone, Wimborne

August 16h. 1904

My dear Fred

I was very glad to get yours of July 28th, which I see here Aug. 11th. only 14 days from house to house or 12 for the voyage.

Im glad to hear you are at last collecting something, though m[MS burned] are but a poor standby. But the B. M. will no doubt take pretty ne[MS burned] a complete set, and perhaps one or two private collectors. Have you tr[MS burned] any fallen trees for beetles yet? O<r> rotten fruit laid in the forest? and surely you can use your traps for mammals now, and if you now p[MS burned] all your moths (except the new sp<ecies> for identification) into papers or p<ill> boxes you will have plenty of [MS burned] them.

I am expecting shortly to [MS burned] something about Guanaco [MS burned] [[2]] if you go there to look at it. Again I say do not be frightened at individual cases of fever and death. Many men would have got fever and died with your experiences on your first arrival. Find out from men who have known the place for years what is the general condition of the European & native residents. If you go, there will almost certainly be a doctor there, & you can get fairly trustworthy information from him. I have never found swamps unhealthy in the tropics. It was the cleared or open grounds that caused fever when they got dried after the rains. So long as I was near to, or in, virgin forest [MS burned] or dry, plain or hillside [[3]] seemed equally healthy.

Mosquitoes &c. may be very bad in places, but I almost always found the clear-water streams to be free from them, - but there were exceptions. By this time the people at Guanaco must know of if there are "mosquito-less" places within a mile or two, & you can then get a hut put up there, or get a really good roomy mosquito net.

A fortnight ago I went for a week to my favorite district in S. Wales, the Upper Vale of Neath, <&> saw some of the old scenes. My wife & son went with me, & a friend lent us a Motor-Car & h[MS burned] son to drive it & we went o<ne> day nearly to Brecon to [MS burned] [[4]] good photos of the Brecknock Becons, which I wanted for my new book. We have had a long drought here, nearly two months with hardly any rain - Now we have had some there is a great deal to do in the garden.

With best wishes | Yours very truly | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

P.S. My daughter is now at Borth, near Aberystwith[sic], looking after some children during the holidays.

A.R.W. [signature]

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