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

 
 
Letter to Julia Dawson (S654: 1908)

 
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A short letter to columnist Julia Dawson, concerning the book that converted Wallace to Socialism, Looking Backward. Printed on page 9 of the 5 June 1908 issue of The Clarion (London). I have preceded Wallace's brief comments with Dawson's lead-in remarks. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S654.htm


     . . . Then look at the Grand Old Man, old enough, perhaps, to be the father of us all,

Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace.

     Look at him seriously, you younger readers who think it is time to lay down your oars and leave the pulling to others: and then you will see that it is never time to lay them down.

     Perhaps the secret of Dr. Wallace's greatness is that he has never despised the day of small things.

     This I know for certain, because from the very first he has constantly and loyally "stood by" every little suggestion made even in this Woman's Letter.

     There must have been hundreds of times when any other brain as big as his would have considered such suggestions as beneath the dignity of notice. Not so Dr. Wallace. His strengthening hand has always been held out.

     So it was quite in keeping with his past record that he should be the very first to send in his card to my request for suggestions for the best Shillingsworth of Socialist Literature to give to inquirers:

     Dear J. D. --In reply to your request in last Clarion. The book that converted me to Socialism once and for ever, and which still remains for me the best--and I have read very many, including Wells' last--is Bellamy's "Looking Backward," paper covers, 6d. It is not only delightful reading (I have read it three times), but it does what no other book in English does, answers all the difficulties as to methods, etc. which are constantly put forward. Yet it is never mentioned by Socialists!

A. R. Wallace.


*                 *                 *                 *                 *

Return to Home