Letter (WCP2901.2791)




Jan[uar]y 25 1908

My dear Wallace

I have been making further enquiries at the Herbarium respecting the possibility of Bentham2 having left any further mss respecting Spruce's3 collections there than you know of -: all in vain -: & when you consider the gigantic labours that Bentham was undertaking during a great part, if not all, of the time occupied by successive arrivals from Spruce you cannot wonder that he should not attempt to study them [.] There was the Flora Australiensis (7 vols).4 the HongKong Flora,5 two I think versions of De Candolle's Prodromus6, 7,8 the British Flora,9 the Genera Plantarum with me,10 the Presidentship [2] of the Linnean Society11 with its learned annual addresses & perhaps above all the Herbarium of 30000 named species, culled from that the Herbarium left to him by Seemann12 & from his own -; all systematically arranged in Genus covers — all written up with his own hand for the & gratuitously presented to Cambridge University. Lastly why should not the study of the Sprucean collections be left for Spruce himself to deal with on his return.

I do not know if you have seen the notice of Bentham's life which I drew up for the Annals of Botany.13 I have there attempted to set forth the vast amount of work taken up & carried out by Bentham — he had enough to do in receiving & distributing gratuitously Spruce's [3]14 collection & acting as his accountant purser[?] & correspondent.

Ev[er] sinc[erel]y Y[ou]r | Jos D Hooker15

Daydon Jackson16 could possibly tell you if there is any numerical estimate of the Sprucean collection.

Annotated in pencil in one or more unknown hands in the top right corner "280" and "3".
Bentham, George (1800 -1884). English botanist. In 1854 he donated his herbarium and library to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and worked there until his death.
Spruce, Richard (1817 -1893). Botanist and explorer.
Bentham, George, with the assistance of Ferdinand von Mueller (1863 -1878). Flora Australiensis: a description of the plants of the Australian Territory. 7 vols. Lovell Reeve & Co. London.
Bentham, George (1861) Flora Hongkongensis: a description of the flowering plants and ferns of the island of Hongkong. Lovell Reeve & Co. London.
Candolle, Augustin Pyrame de- and Candolle, Alphonse de — (1824 -1874). Prodromus systematis naturalis regni vegetabilis. 17 Vols. Treuttel et Würtz. Paris. George Bentham contributed to the work.
Candolle, Augustin Pyrame (also Pyramus) de- (1778 — 1841). Swiss botanist.
Candolle, Alphonse Louis Pierre Pyrame de- (1806 — 1893). French-Swiss botanist; son of Augustin Pyrame de Candolle.
Bentham, George (1858). Handbook of the British flora: a description of the flowering plants and ferns indigenous to, or naturalized in, the British Isles. Lovell Reeve. London.

Bentham, George and Hooker, Joseph Dalton. (1862 -1883). Genera plantarum ad exemplaria imprimis in Herbaris Kewensibus servata definita. A. Black.

William Pamplin. Lovell Reeve & Co. Williams & Norgate. London.

George Bentham was president of the Linnean Society of London from 1861 to 1874.
Seemann, Berthold Carl (1825 -1871). German botanist. Studied at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew. Naturalist on the HMS Herald, on the west coast of America and in the Pacific, 1847 — 1851.
Hooker, Joseph Dalton. (1898). Biographical memoir of George Bentham, F.R.S. Annals of Botany, vol. XII, pp. xi -xxx.
Annotated in pencil in an unknown hand in the top right corner "281".
Hooker, Joseph Dalton (1817 — 1911) British botanist and explorer. Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 1865 -1885, in succession to his father, William Jackson Hooker.
Jackson, Benjamin Daydon- (1846 — 1927). British botanist. Compiler of the Index Kewensis, (1893 -1895) which was rapidly accepted as a world authority on the names of flowering plants.

Please cite as “WCP2901,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 18 April 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP2901