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This collection includes all suriving letters to and from Wallace during this period. They include a surprising number of humorous moments and offer wonderful insights into the mind of one of the Victorian era's most accomplished scientists. He was second to no one, the mighty Darwin included. (Geographical, Jon Wright)
As Sir David Attenborough says in his foreword, Wallace is one who deserves every credit. When he took his great step forward for mankind, he did it at the risk of his life. (Northern Echo, Steve Craggs 21/09/2015)
The letters give a unique insight into one of the great natural history journey's of the 19th century (Network Reviews)
This heartwarming anthology regales us with the day-to-day adventures that led to his independent arrival at the theory of evolution by natural selection, in missives so fresh they could come from Facebook... If Wallace has been overlooked by history, these letters suggest he wouldn't give a damn. (BBC Wildlife Magazine, Amy-Jane Beer)
This volume brings together the letters of the great Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) during his famous travels of 1854-62 in the Malay Archipelago (now Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia). it was these travels which led him to come independently to the same conclusion as Charles Darwin: that evolution occurs through natural selection. Beautifully written, the letters are filled with lavish descriptions of the remote regions he explored, the peoples, and fascinating details of the many new species of mammals, birds, and insects he discovered during his time there.
John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaaker present new transcriptions of each of the letters, including recently discovered letters that shed light on the voyage and on questions such as Wallace's reluctance to publish on evolution, and why he famously chose to write to Darwin rather than to send his work to a journal directly. A revised account of Wallace's itinerary based on new research by the editors forms part of an introduction that sets the context of the voyage, and the volume includes full notes to all letters.
Together the letters form a remarkable and vivid document of one of the most important journeys of the 19th century by a great Victorian naturalist.
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