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Record number: WCP757

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Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch
On:
12 July ?1906

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Old Orchard, Broadstone, Dorset to Frederick R. ("Fred") Birch [none given] on 12 July ?1906.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM

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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP757.929)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-418770
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information

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Transcript

[[1]]1,2

Broads[tone,] <Dorset> [MS damaged]

July 12[th.] [MS damaged]

My dear Fred

I am very glad [MS damaged] by your last two letters (or three) [MS damaged] June 29th.) -- that you are enjoy[ing] [MS damaged] on the N[ew]. H.[ampshire]. mountains, and that you [MS damaged] beetles abundant -- at last! In such [MS damaged] locality you may get something more[?] [MS damaged] new! I wish you luck! Since le[aving][?] [MS damaged] Trinidad, however, you have not s[aid] <a> [MS damaged] word about the source of all your [MS damaged] your poor leg! Is it now quite he[aled][?] [MS damaged] as strong as before? Your sister [MS damaged] me that neither did you say [MS damaged] to them! I can hardly think [MS damaged] be quite well during after the voyage [MS damaged] first week on the mountain.

I will tell you now the fate of the [MS damaged] sent me from Trinidad. The [MS damaged] I put in a pan with a little[?] [MS damaged] for the [MS damaged] soft [MS damaged] 3,4, [[2]]5

The orchid did fairly well, and [MS damaged], but the flower was a small one, of no beauty, and not worth another [MS damaged] in my crowded little garden. [MS damaged] <Tillandsia?> has lived and grown somewhat [MS damaged] I fear will not flower. It evidently [MS damaged] more moisture, heat & ventilation combined [MS damaged] I can give it, -- & we have had an [MS damaged] <almost?> continuous dry atmosphere since [MS damaged] ! The Cypripediums have not [MS damaged] <flowered?> yet, so I suppose they have [MS damaged] <been?> delayed for a week. The only [MS damaged] thing I will ask you to get, if [MS damaged] [poss]ible is a few seeds of Magnolia [MS damaged] This I believe grows only in the [MS damaged] districts & flowers about July, so [MS damaged] you leave you may be able to [MS damaged] ripe seeds, or Mr. Thayer6 may [MS damaged] friend living where it grows [MS damaged] me, William7 [MS damaged] book8 [[3]]9 ‘Concise English Gardener’ -- and [MS damaged] to supplant the common laurel in England [MS damaged] it grows very slowly nursery trees[?] here [MS damaged] [word illeg.] or 7/- for a very small plant!

Although North American insects a[re] <I> [MS damaged] suppose, of little value in England, <it> [MS damaged] is quite possible that Monsr René <Oberthür>10 [MS damaged] may be a purchaser of a good many [MS damaged] rarer kinds, as may Mr. Schill11 of [MS damaged] favourite groups. Even at Tring12 they [MS damaged] want good specimens of the moths; [MS damaged] these exceptions I do not imagine will find many purchasers. However, [MS damaged] will soon learn from your own correspondence whether it is worth[?] [MS damaged] to collect at all largely. I suppose [MS damaged] have hardly had time yet to think [MS damaged] future proceedings, but when you [MS damaged] discussed the matter with Mr. <Thayer> [MS damaged] be glad to hear what your [MS damaged] hope you will13 [MS damaged] the14 [[4]]15,16 district so easily reached that [MS damaged] be so productive in butterflies, [MS damaged] land shells[?], than the lower slopes of [MS damaged] to which that is place is the gateway [MS damaged] [co]mmercial centre’ As you will have [MS damaged] by this time that you cannot with [MS damaged] work ‘like a nigger’, besides sleeping [MS damaged] forest, I do not see why you, with [MS damaged] strong constitution & simple habits, shall [MS damaged] <not> <be> able to thoroughly enjoy life in [MS damaged] country as well as Bates17, Spruce18 , and [MS damaged] as well as besides scores of other [MS damaged] <collectors>. I dare say, as with me after [MS damaged] <my> <return> from the Amazon, you will soon, [MS damaged] Northern Autumn arrives and insects[?] [MS damaged] scarce, be longing for the glorious perennial [MS damaged] the Upper Amazon with their glorious [MS damaged] of which you have as yet but [MS damaged]. By the bye, you have not [MS damaged] his family19 [MS damaged] T. - ?20 [[5]]21,22, 5)23 £50 - £60 to go straight to [MS damaged] and Iquitos? It seems to me [MS damaged] you would be wise to do so (if [MS damaged] <)> or you may waste your life at [MS damaged] which I doubt if B[ritish]. Guiana would [MS damaged] much better as the prices are there [MS damaged] cut down by native & amateur colle[ctors] [MS damaged] while travelling & living are also [MS damaged]

If I know that you will accept [MS damaged] an offer I will write to M. Rene <Oberthür> [MS damaged] and ask whether he or his brother [MS damaged] to advance such an amount to be repaid by the first second set of species, [MS damaged] and varieties of Butterflies at 2/- [MS damaged] & 1st. set of beetles at 1/- each till repaid [MS damaged] even moderate success you wou[ld] [MS damaged] repay this in 6 months besides [MS damaged] from Tring for Lepidoptera [MS damaged] buyers for various groups I will be your [MS damaged] strictly to[?]24 [MS damaged] only25,26 [[6]]27 [MS damaged] or disease, which they will [MS damaged] mind the risk of if they care [MS damaged] much for their collections as they seem [MS damaged] <to> do, and are wealthy men. Have [MS damaged] <you> not a nice set of beetles from [MS damaged] [T]rinidad that you could send to M. [MS damaged] <Oberthür> as a sample, and then take [MS damaged] <the> opportunity of telling them how you [MS damaged] to go to the Andes as soon as you [MS damaged] obtain the necessary funds. I think [MS damaged] <it> would interest them to have a [MS damaged] set of your best things from [MS damaged] [Tr]inidad, and to know the reason of [MS damaged] not having received anything [MS damaged]

[MS damaged] Waiting[?] for more hopeful prospects in [MS damaged] <your> <next> letter

Yours very sincerely | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

ENDNOTES

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: “11”.

3. Except for the first word, the entire bottom line of the page is destroyed by fire.

4. There is a catalogue /reference number inscribed in the bottom right-hand corner of image. It reads: “418770”.

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

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

7, Except for the final two words, the penultimate line of the page is destroyed by fire.

8. Except for the final word, the entire bottom line of the page is destroyed by fire.

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

10. Oberthür, René (1852-1944). French entomologist.

11, Schill, Charles Henry (1863-1935). British entomologist.

12, A reference to the home of 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.

13, Except for the initial three words, the penultimate line of the page is destroyed by fire.

14. Except for the first word, the bottom line of the page is destroyed by fire.

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

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

17. Bates, Henry Walter (1825-1892). British zoologist with whom Wallace travelled to Brazil in 1848.

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

19. Except for the final two words, the penultimate line of the page is destroyed by fire.

20. Except for the final word - an initial followed by a question mark - the entire bottom line of the page is destroyed by fire.

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

22. There is a catalogue/reference number inscribed in pencil in the top left-hand corner of the page. This reads: “11”. Immediately to the right of this there is a stamp. It reads: Entomology BMNH Library”.

23. Wallace has numbered the page.

24, Except for the initial two words, the penultimate line of the page is destroyed by fire.

25. Except for the initial word, the entire bottom line of the page is destroyed by fire.

26. There is a catalogue /reference number inscribed in the bottom right-hand corner of image. It reads: “418770”.

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

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