Author’s draft (WCP6217.7194)



Ensbury Park,


Dec[ember]. 11th 1931.

Dear Prof[essor]. Poulton2,

I have read the proof and found no need for correction.

As regards the suggested disagreement between Bates3 & my father I feel confident there could have been no serious difference between them, at least any rate on my father’s side. It is not unlikely that they may have differed as to the regions to be explored or on other matters connected with their immediate object in life, & being self-reliant men each preferred to go his own way. There is no evidence to suggest that anything occurred to affect their friendship or the high regard in which they held each other.


I regarded Bates’ letters as interesting more for the light they threw upon his own character as shown by the and unselfishness & devotion with wh[ich] he turned to a young friend at great personal risk to himself.

[No valediction or signature]4

The page is numbered WP16/1/124 in pencil in the top LH corner.
Poulton, Edward Bagnall (1856-1943) British evolutionary biologist, friend of ARW and lifelong advocate of natural selection. He did pioneering work on warning or protective colouration in animals and became Hope Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford in 1893.
Bates, Henry Walter (1825-1892) English naturalist and explorer, who gave the first scientific account of mimicry in animals. His expedition to the rainforests of the Amazon with ARW started in 1848. ARW returned in 1852, but lost his collection on the return voyage when his ship caught fire. When Bates arrived home in 1859, he had sent back over 14,712 species (mostly of insects) of which 8,000 were new to science.
Wallace, William Greenell (1871-1951) Electrical engineer, second son and third child of ARW. (The letter is unsigned, but the author refers to his father’s association with Walter Henry Bates. The letter is clearly a reply to WCP6216, Poulton’s letter to WGW of 10 December 1931).

Please cite as “WCP6217,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 5 May 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP6217