Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

 
 
Britain's Greatest Benefactor (S631: 1906)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Wallace's short response to an opinion survey as to whom the most important figure in British history might have been; his comments (and those by many others) were printed in The Clarion (London) issue of 28 December 1906. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S631.htm


     I doubt if any individual can be said to have conferred the greatest benefits (as ordinarily understood) on our people. King Alfred, Caxton, Cromwell, Wilberforce, Dickens, Robert Owen, William Morris, may be mentioned among great benefactors, and even William the Conqueror--perhaps greater, as having welded us into a civilised nation. But as a great, refining, elevating, and moral influence, the man who has given us most household words, the man whose name is a glory to us among the nations, the man whose works and whose memory we could least afford to lose, is

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.

Alfred R. Wallace.


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