From A. R. Wallace 19 November 1866
9, St. Mark’s Crescent, | Regent’s Park, N.W.
Novr. 19th. 1866
Many thanks for the 4th. Ed. of the “Origin”,1 which I am glad to see grows so vigorously at each moult, although it undergoes no metamorphosis. How curious it is that Dr. Wells should so clearly have seen the principle of Nat. Selectn. 50 years ago and that it should have struck no one that it was a great principle of universal application in Nature!2
We are going to have a discussion on “Mimicry, as producing abnormal sexual characters” at the Entomological tonight.3 I have a butterfly (a Diadema) of which the female is metallic blue, the male dusky brown contrary to the rule in all other species of the genus, & in almost all insects;—but the explanation is easy;—it mimics a metallic blue Euplœa, and so gets a protection perhaps more efficient than its allies derive from their sombre colours, & which females require much more than males. I read a paper on this at the B. Assn.4 Have you the report published at Nottingham in a volume by Dr. Robertson, if so you can tell me if my paper is printed at full?5
I suppose you have read Agassiz’ marvellous theory of the,—Gt. Amazonian Glacier! 2000 miles long!!!6 I presume that will be a little too much even for you. I have been writing a little popular paper on “Glacial Theories” for the Quarterly Journ. of Science of Jan. next in which I stick up for Glaciers in N. America and Ice bergs in the Amazon!7
I was very glad to hear from Lubbock that your health is permanently improved.8 I hope therefore you will be able to give us a volume per. annum of your “op. mag.”, with all the facts as you now have them, leaving additions to come in new editions. 9
I am working a little at another family of my butterflies & find the usual interesting & puzzling cases of variation, but no such strange phenomena as in the Papilionidæ. 10
With best wishes | Believe me | My dear Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace—
C. Darwin Esq.
Thanks CD for 4th ed. of Origin.
Discusses abnormal sexual characters produced by mimicry. ARW’s papers on the subject.
Agassiz’s "marvellous" Amazonian glacier theory.
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 5280,” accessed on 19 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-5280