Letter (WCP6399.7397)





27. III.1930

Dear Mr Wallace2,

Kindly excuse my delay in replying to your letter of 10 Mar[ch]. It came just at the end of Term when I had so much to do in preparation for my departure to St. Helens3 and to arrange for working in our absence.

Prof[essor]. H. F. Osborn4 of New York has bought and presented the Darwin5 letters to Fritz Müller6, to the Brit[ish]. Assoc[iatio]n7, to be left in Down House8. I do not think that Bernard Darwin9 would be particularly interested in this most [2] important subject. I rather think that Prof[essor]. Charles Darwin10 would be more so, altho[ugh] it is of course out of his line. Still he is a scientific man. I will if you like try to ascertain where the letters are, in the first instance writing to him. They ought to have been returned I think, although legally they are the property of the recipient.

You are quite right about the risk of fire & this applies to the letters of Fritz Müller also. If you like I will write to the Hon[orable]. Sec[retary]. of [the] Brit[ish]. Assoc[iation]. & point out the necessity for a fire-proof room & in the first instance, at any rate a good safe.


No doubt the M[anu].S[cript]S. & letters you write of would be worth a god good deal but I am afraid I do not know how or where it would be best to find a purchaser.

I am so sorry to hear that your sister12 is still troubled with rheumatism & trust that it may be better in the summer.

I have not seen Sir James Marchant13 for many years.

On the 10th Jan[uary]. last we had our 13th grandchild born — 8 boys, 5 girls, in three families. I am thankful to [4] say that they are a very healthy lot & very varied in their interests.

We have always believed in Rugby14 where both our boys were at school & our eldest son has put down the names of his 3, the eldest being there now & very much enjoying it.

With kindest remembrances, | Yours sincerely, | E. B. Poulton15 [signature]

The page is numbered [WP16/1/58] [f1 of 2] in pencil in the top RH corner.
Wallace, William Greenell (1871-1951) Electrical engineer, second son and third child of ARW.
Village on the eastern side of the Isle of Wight, close to the coast.
Osborn, Henry Fairfield Sr. (1857-1935) American geologist, palaeontologist and eugenist, and president of the American Museum of Natural History, New York 1891-1916.
Darwin, Charles Robert (1809-1882) English naturalist and geologist, jointly with ARW originator of the theory of evolution by natural selection and author of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.
Müller, Johann Friedrich Theodor (known as Fritz Müller, and also as Müller-Desterro) (1821-1897) German biologist who emigrated to southern Brazil, where he lived in and near the German community of Blumenau, Santa Catarina. There he studied the natural history of the Atlantic forest south of São Paulo, and was an early advocate of Darwinism (see Endnote 5).
The British Association for the Advancement of Science (founded 1831) is a learned society promoting science, directing general attention to scientific matters and facilitating interaction between scientific workers.
The former home of the English naturalist Charles Darwin (see Endnote 5) and his family, in the village of Downe, Kent. It was in this house and garden that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection.
Darwin, Bernard Richard Meirion (1876-1961) a grandson of the British naturalist Charles Darwin (see Endnote 5) and his wife Emma, (son of Francis Darwin), and was brought up by them at their home, Down House (see Endnote 8). He was a golf writer and high-standard amateur golfer.
Darwin, Charles Galton (1887-1962) a grandson of the British naturalist Charles Darwin (see Endnote 5) and his wife Emma, (son of George Howard Darwin) and was brought up by them at their home, Down House (see Endnote 8). He was a noted physicist and Director of the National Physics Laboratory.
The page is numbered 2 (encircled) in ink in the top centre and [WP16/1/58] [f2 of 2] in pencil in the top RH corner.
Wallace, Violet Isabel (1869-1945) Daughter and second child of ARW, and sister of William Greenell Wallace.
Marchant, James (1857-1956) Free Church minister, social activist and philanthropist. Soon after ARW’s death the three close friends, Edward Bagnall Poulton, Ralph Meldola and James Marchant set up a Committee (later Memorial Fund) to raise money to pay for memorials.
Rugby School, in Rugby, Warwickshire, is one of the original ten English public schools defined by the Public Schools Act 1868 and one of the most famous schools in the country.
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.

Envelope (WCP6399.7398)

Envelope addressed to "W. G. Wallace Esqre | Doveshill Cottage, Ensbury Park | Bournemouth", with stamp, postmarked "ST HELENS I. OF WIGHT | [?] PM | 27MR | 30". A note is written in W. G. Wallace hand on front of envelope " Ansd. near 30/30 | Glad to know what has to be done with ARW letter to C.D. | I think B.A. shd provide against fire risk". [Envelope (WCP6399.7398)]

Please cite as “WCP6399,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 5 May 2021, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP6399