Letter (WCP205.205)


Parkstone, Dorset.

Novr. 28th. 1889

My dear Violet

You have not written for an age. What are you doing? I have been to Liverpool, York, Newcastle & Darlington lecturing, & on Monday went to Oxford to be made a D[octor]. [of] C[ivil].L[aw]. — just the Dublin operation over again, with another red gown & another long latin speech.

Sir Joseph1 & Lady Hooker2 are staying with Dr. Allman3 & we dined there yesterday. I have built a wooden wall & planted Peach trees & am finishing the [2] trellises front & back, & shall be busy planting pretty nearly till ‘Xmas. The house above us is finished outside & they are building another in the plot opposite us, — & that is about the worst they can do & we have no more to fear.

At Oxford, I hunted up Grant Allen’s4 room where he wrote the wonderful poem — I saw Magdalen Tower — "Th’imperial city’s queenly crest" — "The clear-cut pinnacles of Merton" — The tapering belfry of St. Marys" — and the "gloomy gargoyles’ mouldring mass" [3] from which the "drooping ivy springs" twistle "twisted & dangled." This all beautifully descriptive.

If you will send me a piece of paper the exact size of your ring finger I will try & get you a coming-of-age ring. Twist a strip of post-stamp edge round it & make a paper ring just the size you want it. Let us know how you are getting on with the teaching & neats[?] & ball-playing & singing &c. &c. &c.

In haste | Your affectionate Papa | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1817-1911). British botanist and explorer. Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1865-85. President of the Royal Society 1873-78.
Hooker, (née Symonds then Jardine) Hyacinth (1842-1921). Second wife of J. D. Hooker.  Also known as Lady Jardine from her first marriage to Sir William Jardine.
Allman, George James (1812-1898). Irish zoologist and botanist.
Allen, Charles Grant Blairfindie (1848-1899). Canadian science writer and novelist, educated in England and a public promoter of evolution.

Please cite as “WCP205,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 3 March 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP205