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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. R. Wallace   24 [May 1862]1

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.


My dear Mr Wallace

I write one line to thank you for your note & to say that the B. of Oxford wrote the Quarterly R (paid £60), aided by Owen. In the Edinburgh Owen no doubt praised himself.2 Mr. Maw’s Review in Zoologist is one of the best; & staggered me in part, for I did not see the sophistry of parts—3 I could lend you any which you might wish to see; but you would soon be tired. Hopkins in Fraser & Pictet are two of the best.—4

I am glad you approve of my little Orchid Book; but it has not been worth, I fear, the 10 months it has cost me: it was a hobby horse & so beguiled me.—5

I am sorry to hear that you are suffering from Boils; I have often had fearful crops: I hope that the Doctors are right in saying that they are serviceable.—6

How puzzled you must be to know what to begin at.7 You will do grand work, I do not doubt.— My health is, & always will be, very poor: I am that miserable animal a regular valetudinarian.—

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


Dated by the relationship to the letter from A. R. Wallace, 23 May 1862.
[Wilberforce] 1860 and [R. Owen] 1860b. See letter from A. R. Wallace, 23 May 1862 and n. 3.
Maw 1861. Soon after the review’s publication, CD had corresponded with George Maw about some of the points it raised (see Correspondence vol. 9, letter to George Maw, 19 July [1861], and letter from George Maw, 27 August [1861]).
Hopkins 1860 and Pictet de la Rive 1860. For CD’s correspondence about these reviews, see Correspondence vol. 8.
CD had sent Wallace a presentation copy of Orchids (see letter from A. R. Wallace, 23 May 1862, and Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix IV). According to his journal, CD began work on Orchids in July 1861 and completed it at the end of April 1862 (see Correspondence vol. 9, Appendix II, and this volume, Correspondence vol. 10, Appendix II).
Henry Holland, one of the physicians consulted by the Darwin family, believed that abscesses or other ‘affections of the skin’ heralded the end of a disease, giving ‘relief to the system’ (see Holland 1855, p. 143).
Wallace had recently returned to England having spent eight years in south-east Asia (Wallace 1905, 1: 385).


Quarterly Review piece written by Bishop Wilberforce with aid of Owen.

Other reviews mentioned.


Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent from
Source of text
British Library (Add 46434: 25)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3570,” accessed on 22 April 2018,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 10