WCP4095

Letter (WCP4095.4042)

[1]

5, Westbourne Grove Terrace, W.

Friday May 23rd. 1862

My dear Mr. Darwin

Many thanks for your most interesting book on the Orchids.1 I have read it through most attentively & have really have been quite as much staggered by the wonderful adaptations you shew2 to exist in them as by the Eye in animals or any other complicated organs.. I long to get into the country & have a look at [2] some Orchids guided by your new lights —, but I have been now for 10 days confined to my room with what is disagreeable though far from dangerous; — boils.

I have been reading several of the Reviews on the "Origin"3, & it seems to me that you have assisted those who want to criticise you by your overstating the difficulties & objections— Several of them quote your own words as the strongest arguments against you.

[3] I think you told me Owen4 wrote the article in the "Quarterly"5. This seems to me hardly credible as he speaks so much of Owen quotes him as such a great authority & I believe even calls him a profound philosopher. &c. &c.. Would Owen thus speak of himself?

Trusting your health is good | I remain My dear Mr. Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace [signature]

C. Darwin Esq.

Darwin, C. 1862. On the various contrivances by which British and foreign orchids are fertilised by insects, and on the good effects of intercrossing. London, UK: John Murray.
Archaic form of show.
Darwin, C. R. 1861. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. 3rd edition. London, UK: John Murray.
Owen, Richard (1804-1892). British biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist.
The anonymous article is by Samuel Wilberforce, see [Wilberforce, S.]. 1860. [Review of] On the origin of species, by means of natural selection by Charles Darwin. Quarterly Review, 108. London, UK: John Murray. pp.225-264.

Transcription (WCP4095.4533)

[1]

To C. Darwin.) 5, Westbourne Grove Terrace, W. Friday May 23rd. 1862

My dear Mr Darwin

Many thanks for your most interesting book on the Orchids1. I have read it through most attentively & have really have been quite as much staggered by the wonderful adaptions you shew to exist in them as by the Eye in animals or any other implicated organs. I long to get into the country & have a look at some Orchids guided by your new lights, but I have been now for 10 days confined to my room with what is disagreeable though far from dangerous;— boils.

I have been reading several of the Reviews on the "Origin", & it seems to me that you have assisted those who want to criticize you by your overstating the difficulties & objections. Several of them quote your own words as the strongest arguments against you.

I think you told me Owen2 wrote the article in the "Quarterly". This seems to me hardly credible as he speaks so much of Owen, quotes him as such a great authority & I believe even calls him a profound philosopher, &c, &c. Would Owen thus speak of himself?

Trusting your health is good

I remain | My dear Mr Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace.

Refers to Darwin’s book Fertilisation of Orchids, published 1862
Richard Owen, biologist, lived 1804 — 1892

Transcription (WCP4095.5006)

[1]

To C. Darwin.) 5, Westbourne Grove Terrace, W. Friday May 23rd. 1862

My dear Mr Darwin

Many thanks for your most interesting book on the Orchids1. I have read it through most attentively & have really have been quite as much staggered by the wonderful adaptions you shew[sic] to exist in them as by the Eye in animals or any other implicated organs. I long to get into the country & have a look at some Orchids guided by your new lights, but I have been now for 10 days confined to my room with what is disagreeable though far from dangerous;— boils.

I have been reading several of the Reviews on the "Origin", & it seems to me that you have assisted those who want to criticize you by your overstating the difficulties & objections. Several of them quote your own words as the strongest arguments against you.

I think you told me Owen2 wrote the article in the "Quarterly". This seems to me hardly credible as he speaks so much of Owen, quotes him as such a great authority & I believe even calls him a profound philosopher, &c, &c. Would Owen thus speak of himself?

Trusting your health is good

I remain| My dear Mr Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace. [signature]

Refers to Darwin’s book Fertilisation of Orchids, published 1862
Richard Owen, biologist, lived 1804 — 1892

Published letter (WCP4095.5931)

[1] [p. 143]

5 Westbourne Grove Terrace, W.

May 23, 1862.

My dear Mr. Darwin,—Many thanks for your most interesting book on the Orchids. I have read through most [2] [p. 144] attentively, and have already been quite as much staggered by the wonderful adaptions you show to exist in them as by the Eye in animals or any other complicated organs. I long to get into the country and have a look at some orchids guided by your new lights, but I have been now for ten days confined to my room with what is disagreeable though far from dangerous—boils.

I have been reading several of the Reviews on the "Origin," and it seems to me that you have assisted those who want to criticise you by your overstating the difficulties and objections. Several of them quote your own words as the strongest arguments against you.

I think you told me Owen1 wrote the article in the Quarterly. This seems to me hardly credible, as he speaks so much of Owen, quotes him as such a great authority, and I believe even calls him a profound philosopher, etc. etc. Would Owen thus speak of himself?

Trusting your health is good, I remain, my dear Mr. Darwin, yours very faithfully,

Alfred R. Wallace

Owen, Richard (1804-1892). British comparative anatomist and vertebrate palaeontologist. Instrumental in establishing the British Museum (Natural History) in South Kensington. Outspoken opponent of natural selection.

Please cite as “WCP4095,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 2 July 2022, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP4095