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Darwin Correspondence Project

To A. R. Wallace   5 March [1869]1

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

March 5th

My dear Wallace

I was delighted at receiving your Book this morning. Its whole appearance & the illustrations, with which it so profusely ornamented, are quite beautiful. Blessings on you & your publisher for having the pages cut & gilded.—2 As for the Dedication, putting quite aside how far I deserve what you say, it seems to me decidedly the best expressed dedication, which I have ever met.3

The reading will probably last me a month, for I dare not have it read aloud, as I know that it will set me thinking. I see that many points will interest me greatly.— When I have finished, if I have anything particular to say, I will write again. Accept my cordial thanks. The dedication is a thing for my children’s children to be proud of.—

Yours most sincerely | Ch. Darwin


The year is established by the reference to Wallace’s book (see nn. 2 and 3, below).
CD refers to The Malay Archipelago (Wallace 1869a), published at the beginning of March 1869 (Publishers’ Circular, 15 March 1869, p. 171). CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Library–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 840–2). CD was a strong advocate of producing books with the pages already cut (see Correspondence vol. 15, letter to Athenæum, 1 January 1867).


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.


Reception of ARW’s book, Malay Archipelago.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Alfred Russel Wallace
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library (Add MS 46434)
Physical description
ALS 3pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6642,” accessed on 28 May 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17