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Darwin Correspondence Project

From A. R. Wallace   30 September 1862

5, Westbourne Grove Terrace, W.

Septr. 30th. 1862

My dear Mr. Darwin

Many thanks for the third Ed. of the “Origin” which I found here on my return from Devonshire on Saturday.1

I have not had time yet to read more than the “Historical Sketch” which is very interesting & shews that the time had quite come for your book.2

I am now reading Herbert Spencer’s First Principles, which seems to me a truly great work, which goes to the root of everything.3

I hope you will be well enough to come to Cambridge.4

I remain | My dear Mr. Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace


The third English edition of Origin, published in 1861, was the first to include the historical preface that CD had appended to the first American and German editions; the preface was entitled ‘An historical sketch of the recent progress of opinion on the origin of species’ (Origin 3d ed., pp. xiii–xix).
Spencer 1860–2. There is a partly uncut copy of this work in the Darwin Library–CUL (Marginalia 1: 769).
In 1862, the British Association for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Cambridge during the first week of October. See also letter to W. D. Fox, 20 [September 1862], and letter to J. D. Hooker, 21 [September 1862].


Acknowledges 3d edition of Origin.

Praise of Herbert Spencer’s First Principles [1862].

Letter details

Letter no.
Alfred Russel Wallace
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, Westbourne Grove Terrace, 5
Source of text
DAR 106/7 (ser. 2): 6
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3742,” accessed on 23 April 2018,

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