WCP2020

Letter (WCP2020.1910)

[1]

64 Avenue Road

Regents Park

London N.W.

Sept. 28, 18951

Dear Mr Wallace

As I cannot get you to deal with Lord Salisbury I have decided to do it myself, having been finally exasperated into doing it by this honour paid to his address in France— the presentation of a translation to the French Academy. The impression produced upon some millions of people in England cannot be allowed to be thus further confirmed without protest.

[2] One of the points which I propose to take up is the absurd concept Lord Salisbury set forth of the process of Natural Selection2. When you wrote you said you had dealt with it yourself in your volume on Darwinism. I have no doubt that it is also in some measure dealt with by Darwin himself, by implication or incidentally. You of course know Darwin by heart & perhaps you would be kind enough to save me the trouble of searching by [3] indicating the relevant passages both in his books & in your own. My reading power is very small & it tires me to find the parts I want by much reading.

Truly yours | Herbert Spencer [signature]

[4]3

Darwin Origins

P. 39[?] — 40 — 41 — 42 — 43

70. 71. both[?]

75. End of the paper[?]

[Line across page]

Darwinism. P.62. & All Chap. III.

P.127, 2nd par.

(Chap. VI first 2 pages)

P.142 Swamping effects of intercrossing

The '5' has been crossed through and '?4' has been written in another hand. It is most likely the year is actually 1894 as the matters Spencer is discussing in the letter are the same topics he discussed with Wallace in WCP2018 and WCP20219, both of which were written in 1894.
Lord Salisbury at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in August 1894, whilst acting as President, questioned that animal life was purely the result of natural selection and argued natural selection alone was insufficient to account for all the facts of biological evolution.
Draft notes by ARW on verso of f. 377. Herbert Spencer asked ARW for refs in his Darwinism, and in Darwin's own writings, to refute Lord Salisbury critique of the evidence for natural selection. ARW provided a list of citations probably sent to Spencer in a letter no longer extant.

Published letter (WCP2020.6938)

[1]

"As I cannot [2] [p. 244] get you to deal with Lord Salisbury1, I have decided to do it myself, having been finally exasperated into doing it by this honour paid to his address in France — the presentation of a translation to the French Academy. The impression produced upon some millions of people in England cannot be allowed to be thus further confirmed without protest."

Gascoyne-Cecil, Robert Arthur Talbot (1830-1903). Lord Salisbury. British Conservative politician and Prime Minister three times between 1885 and 1902.

Please cite as “WCP2020,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 3 March 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP2020