Wallace Letters Online

Share this:

Record number: WCP795

Sent by:
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent to:
Edward Percival Wright
6 December 1879

Sent by Alfred Russel Wallace, Waldron Edge, Duppas Hill, Croydon to Edward Percival Wright [none given] on 6 December 1879.

Record created:
18 March 2011 by NHM


No summary available at this time.

Record contains:

  • letter (1)

View item:

LETTER (WCP795.967)

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

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM Catkey-395805
Copyright owner:
ŠA. R. Wallace Literary Estate

Physical description

Transcription information




Waldron Edge, Duppas Hill, Croydon

Dec[embe]r 6th 1879

My dear Wright

I have had your "Animal Life" sent me to review for "Nature". You will see that I have said what I could for it, but I was obliged to criticise some of the figures. I suppose you had a lot of illustrations to work in. Most of them are good but some very bad, and I send you the following list of wrongly named figures.

Macacus cynomolgus1. The figure is certainly not this species. I think it is Presbytis Entellus

Saiga tartarica2 [sic]. The figure is of Oryx leucoryx3

Accentor modularis. The figure is a finch not a warbler.

Sun-birds. The figure represents two humming birds!

[[2]] Java sparrow -- Some other bird; -- quite unrecognisable.

Parra jacana4 -- Is the Hydrophasianus sinensis5


Others of the small birds are not recognisable such as the Stone-Chat, Dipper & Chaffinch. Perhaps the publishers will get better figures of these, as the book is really worth it, and birds always attract attention.

I am obliged to send the book back to "Nature" -- I suppose Lockyer wants it for his children, -- so if Mess[e]rs. Cassell think my review worth it they can send me a copy.

It must have cost you an immense deal of labour.

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

[[3]] Note [one word illegible]

Tailor bird-- culled Shotonues[?] it sh[oul]d be Orthotonuis[?]


1. Macacus cynomolgus is a species of long-tailed ape

2. Siga tatarica is a species of antelope

3. Oryx leucoryx is the binomial name for the Arabian Oryx

4. Parra jacana is a species of bird

5. Hydrophasianus sinensis is now known as Hydrophasianus chirurgus and is the binomial name for the Pheasant-tailed jacana.

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