From A. R. Wallace 23 May 1862
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 shew to exist in them as by the Eye in animals or any other complicated organs..2 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 criticise 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 Owen 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?3
Trusting your health is good | I remain My dear Mr. Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace
C. Darwin Esq.
Acknowledges Orchids with its disclosures of "wonderful adaptations".
Warns that CD aids critics by overstating the difficulties.
Did Owen write the article in the Quarterly Review? [Review of Origin by Samuel Wilberforce, Q. Rev. 108 (1860): 225–64].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3568,” accessed on 21 January 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3568