Letter (WCP6365.7360)



November 12th 1933.

Eugen Hornung2

Karlsruhe am Rhein


Kriegs — Str[asse].133.

Dear Mister Wallace3,

I am very grateful heartily [sic], that I received a letter form you, the son of the celebrated and honoured naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. I can not say you [sic], as I am delighted to carry on a correspondence with you. Your advice with regards to the work, published by Sir James Marchant4 "Letters and Reminiscences"5 of Alfred Russel Wallace I will observe, but I can not [sic] obtain that work not only from any German libraries but also from one of the greatest booksellers in Germany, who has endeavoured to find it also in England. I have taken care of getting it a year ago to day [sic] and also recently again, yet to no purpose. It is the only book, which I do not know and which treats [sic] about Alfred Russel Wallace. Therefore, you would greatly oblige me, if you had success in these direktions [sic] to be able to secure a copy for me.

Perhaps it is interesting for you to learn, that Mr Professor Edward B. Poulton6 F[ellow] [of the]. R[oyal]. S[ociety]. has written me a very kind postcard and sent me the obituary notice of your father, our all-honourable Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 — 1913) with a dedication from the author, Professor E. B. Poulton.

If you do not feel bored with that, so I will tell you from my work that I write about your father [sic], which is [en]titled

Alfred Russel Wallace

Sein Leben und sein Werk

Die Geschichte und Lehre eines großen Naturforschers7.

The book is divided into three parts and contains probable [sic] about 500 — 600 pages with portrait (which is the best of him) and facsimile of the hand-writing of Alfred Russel Wallace.


In the first part I treat [sic] his life and refer to his ancestors and relatives. The second part is devoted [to] his own work and I gives a short statement of contents of his single books.

1) Some essays

2) Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro

3) Malay Archipelago

4) Contributions of the theorie [sic] of natural history

5) Geographical distribution of animals and plants

6) The tropics

7) Darwinism

8) About Spiritualism

("Island Life"8 by your reverend [sic] father I can not [sic] obtain any nowhere [sic] in Germany, notwithstanding it were [sic] interesting for me).

If I have not recourse to you, so I might beg you to answer the following question[s]: Are allied in some[?] some way with your family or with your ancestors? [sic]

1) William Wallace, born 1768 at Dysart (Fifeshire) died 1843 at (?) (mathematician and astronomer)

2) William Wallace, born 1814 at Waterford (Ireland) died 1865 at (?) (musician and composer of music)

3) Sir Richard Wallace, born 1818 in London, died 1890 in Paris (art-collector and philanthropist)

4) Lewis Wallace, born 1827 at Brooksville (U. S. A) died 1905 at (?) (romancer [sic] and author of the famous book "Ben Hur")

5) Sir Donald Mackenzie Wallace, born 1841 at Paisley (Scotland) died 1919 at Lymington (Hampshire) (journalist and writer)

6) Edgar Wallace born 1875 at (?) died 1932 at (?) (romancer [sic] of criminal novels)

On my book I work since nearly 1¾ years [sic] and I shall be ready with it in about ¼ year.


Besides that, it is worth knowing for me to learn, the first name and birthday of your mother, Mrs. Wallace, maiden name Mitten10, when and where she is [sic] died (churchyard) and buried (family grave?)

For all the informations [sic] and for sending me the work of Sir James Marchant (for all costs I am coming in [sic] with pleasure) by you I am very grateful.

I remain with best compliments and beg you to make my kind regards to your good lady11 and children12 and allow me to thank [you] heartily for sending the books by Sir James Marchant.

Yours faithfully and sincerely | Eugen Hornung [signature]

N[ota]. B[ene]. I should have written [to] you, but I was taken to grip while for two weeks [sic]; excuse me, dear Sir, in consequence of my illness, that I was so long silent.


With that letter to you I write to Mr. Professor E. B. Poulton and in some days, I shall write also to Miss Violet Wallace13 at Hurstpierpoint in Sussex.

I have forgotten to mention the third part of my work. It is an appendix and contains a very short sketch of the life of Thomas Robert Malthus14 and the points of his book "On Population"15 [sic] which has inspired your father — in his own words — and Darwin16, the congenial[?] naturalist and an exact list of the essays, books and papers of Alfred Russel Wallace.


The page is numbered [WP16/1/21] [f1 of 2] in pencil in the top RH corner.
Hornung, Eugen of Karlsruhe-am-Rhein, Germany. No dates or biographical details found, nor of a biography of ARW by him having been published.
Wallace, William Greenell (1871-1951) Electrical engineer, second son and third child of ARW.
Marchant, James (1857-1956) Free Church minister, social activist and philanthropist and close friend of ARW.

Marchant, J. (1916) Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters and Reminiscences

London, Cassell & Co. 2 vols.

Poulton, Edward Bagnall (1856-1943) British evolutionary biologist, friend of ARW and lifelong advocate of natural selection. He became Hope Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford in 1893.
His Life and Work, the History and Teachings of a Great Investigator of Nature. (Ger.)
Wallace, A. R. (1880) Island Life: Or, The Phenomena and Causes of Insular Faunas and Floras, Including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geological Climates. London, Macmillan & Co.
The page is numbered [WP16/1/21] [f2 of 2] in pencil in the top RH corner.
Wallace, Annie (née Mitten) (1846-1914), Mother of William Greenell Wallace.
Wallace, Elizabeth Carr (née Whittle) (1888-1976), Wife of William Greenell Wallace.
Wallace, Alfred John Russel (1922- ); Wallace, Richard Russel (1924-), children of William Greenell Wallace.
Wallace, Violet Isabel (1869-1945) Daughter and second child of ARW, sister of William Greenell Wallace.
Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766-1834) English cleric and scholar, influential in the fields of political economy and demography.
Malthus, T. R (1798) An Essay on the Principle of Population London, J. Johnson.
Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882). English naturalist and writer, originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection.

Please cite as “WCP6365,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 24 June 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP6365