Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP756

Add to My list
Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch
25 May ?1906

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Wimborne, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 25 May ?1906.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP756.928)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-418769
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Broadstone, Do[rset] [MS damaged]

May 25th. [MS damaged]

My dear Fred

I hope you are now comfortably settled in Mr. Thayer’s3 [MS damaged] home and rapidly recovering your he[alth] [MS damaged] though even after your leg-abscess is <healed> [MS damaged] it will be necessary to be very careful [MS damaged] a long time, as the least knock might cause inflammation & a renewal of the abscess. But with care you ought, <in> [MS damaged] a few months to be as well as [MS damaged] [.]

I shall be much interested in <an> [MS damaged] account of your temporary home and surroundings. It will I <am> [MS damaged] sure be a great delight to you, [MS damaged] the unfolding beauties of an Am[azon][?] [MS damaged] spring, which though not really[?] <as> [MS damaged] beautiful as ours, yet is [MS damaged] the charm of novelty [MS damaged] of [word illeg.] [MS damaged4,5 [[2]]6 [MS damaged] <I do?> not know whether you have written [MS damaged] <to any?> of your prospective purchasers of [ins]ects. I have not done so as I have [no]thing definite to say. As however you [wi]ll now have plenty of time for [wri]ting you might write to Tring7, and the French gentleman & to Poulton8, to [exp]lain the situation.

Before you again start on your voyage [MS damaged] <to> Para and Iquitos it will be well if you [MS damaged] <send> home all the heavy baggage, books &c, that [MS damaged] <you> do not absolutely require, especially [MS damaged] <as?> all land transport in the Andes, even for a few days only will be very costly. [MS damaged] <Mr.> Thayer will no doubt advise with you [MS damaged] <on> this matter, and your own experience [MS damaged] will teach you what you least [MS damaged].

[MS damaged] thinking of editing Dr Spruce’s9 [MS damaged] his travels on the Amazon [MS damaged] executor[?] [[3]]10,11 wishes me to undertake, though[?] [MS damaged] not quite certain that any [MS damaged] will take the risk & pay a [MS damaged] royalty. You will see by the <letter?> [MS damaged] of Spruce which I have printed <in> [MS damaged] my “Life”12 how full of interest [MS damaged] [.]

A few weeks back I received an advertisement circular of a new [MS damaged] book on Lepidoptera, to be published <in> [MS damaged] German & English, and to be on <such?> [MS damaged] a plan that I at once agree subscribed to a portion of it. It purports to be <a> [MS damaged] complete illustrated sSynopsis of [MS damaged] Lepidoptera of the world -- the first volume to contains those of the [MS damaged] Region only -- another vol[ume]. the But[terflies][?] [MS damaged] of the rest of the World, and a [MS damaged] Moths. It is to come out in [MS damaged] each. of quarto size, with [MS damaged] from 6 or 7 up to 30 [MS damaged] side only13 [[4]]14,15 [MS damaged] in Colours with specific name & [MS damaged] <below> each figure. A specimen of the [MS damaged] -press <(> and 2 plates) shows the plan to be to describe [MS damaged] <one> or new several species of each genus pretty [MS damaged] <fully>, and to indicate all the allied forms [MS damaged] a differential character, quite short, [MS damaged] <with> locality. Thus, all the species of the [MS damaged] [bu]tterflies, I suppose, will be recognisable. [MS damaged] volume is to be complete in itself and can [MS damaged] <be> subscribed for separately, so I have described for the Exotic butterflies only, [MS damaged] , if it comes out pretty quickly (as promised) hope [MS damaged] be able to follow & identify many [MS damaged] <of?> our captures as well as to see figures [MS damaged] of the wonderful things Mr. Rothschild [MS damaged] <has?> been getting lately from the mountains [MS damaged] <of New?> Guinea. I am sorry to say the size is so [MS damaged] (13 x 10 inches) which will make binding [MS damaged] the volume cumbersome, but [MS damaged] is excellent. No more till [MS damaged] [.]

[MS damaged] <Alfred R.> Wallace [signature]


1. There is fire damage to the top and bottom right-hand corners, and to the right-hand edge the page.

2. There is a catalogue/reference number inscribed in pencil in the top left-hand corner of the page. This reads: “9”.

3. Thayer, Abbott Handerson (1849-1921). American artist and naturalist.

4. Except for the first two words, the entire bottom line of the page is destroyed by fire.

5. There is a catalogue /reference number inscribed in the bottom right-hand corner of image. It reads: “418769”.

6. There is fire damage to the top and bottom left-hand corners, and to the left-hand edge the page.

7. A reference to Rothschild, Lionel Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild (1868-1937). British banker, politician and zoologist. Rothschild established a zoological collection at Tring which is now a division of the Natural History Museum.

8. Poulton, Edward Bagnall (1856- 1943). British evolutionary biologist.

9. Spruce, Richard (1817-1893). English botanist.

10. There is fire damage to the top and bottom right-hand corners, and to the right-hand edge the page.

11. There is a stamp in the top left-hand corner of the page. It reads: Entomology BMNH Library”.

12. Wallace, Alfred Russel. (1905). My Life; A Record of Events and Opinions. 2 volumes. Chapman & Hall, Ltd., London

13. With the exception of the first two words, the entire bottom line of the page has been destroyed by fire.

14. There is fire damage to the top and bottom left-hand corners, and to the left-hand edge the page.

15. There is a stamp in the top right-hand corner of the page. It reads: Entomology BMNH Library”.

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