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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Alfred Russel Wallace   22 January 1870

9, St Mark’s Crescent. N.W.

Jan. 22nd. 1870

Dear Darwin

My paper on Geolog. Time having been in type nearly two months, & not knowing when it will appear, I have asked for a proof to send you, Huxley & Lyell.1 The latter part only, contains what I think is new, & I shall be anxious to hear if it at all helps to get over your difficulties.2 I have been lately revising & adding to my various papers bearing on the “Origin of Species” &c. and am going to print them in a volume immediately, under the title of — “Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection: A series of Essays.”

In the last, I put forth my heterodox opinions as to Man, & even venture to attack the Huxleyian philosophy!3

Hoping you are quite well & are getting on with your “Man” book,4

Believe me Dr. Darwin | Yours very faithfully | Alfred R. Wallace

Charles Darwin Esq.

P.S. When you have read the proof & done with it, may I beg you to return it to me. | ARW.


Wallace refers to Wallace 1870b, Thomas Henry Huxley, and Charles Lyell.
Wallace 1870b, ‘The measurement of geological time’, was published in two parts in Nature, on 17 February and 3 March 1870. In the second part, Wallace argued that species change had proceeded much more rapidly in the period before 60,000 years ago than it had since, owing to the stabilising of the climate in the recent period, and set the beginning of the Cambrian period at 24,000,000 years before the present; this was well within the 100,000,000 years before the present that William Thomson estimated that the earth had been habitable.
In the last chapter of his Contributions to the theory of natural selection, Wallace criticised Thomas Henry Huxley’s views on the emergence of consciousness from matter (Wallace 1870a, p. 362).


Plans for his new book, Contributions to the theory of natural selection (1870), which will contain his papers on the subject.

Letter details

Letter no.
Alfred Russel Wallace
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, St Mark’s Crescent, 9
Source of text
DAR 106: B90–1
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 7085,” accessed on 9 March 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 18