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

Letter on Receiving the Copley Medal (S663: 1908)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: Wallace's letter to the Royal Society, read at their anniversary dinner on 30 November 1908, and later appearing in a story on the meeting printed on page 9 of The Times (London) issue of 1 December 1908. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S663.htm

     . . . The highest award in the power of the society to bestow was known as the Copley medal, which this year had been awarded to Alfred Russel Wallace (cheers), who began his scientific career 60 years ago. Mr. Wallace had sent the following letter, which he had asked him to read:--

     "Your very kind letter came upon me like a thunderbolt, for, of course, I had not the least expectation of any further honour, of which, indeed, I felt I had already had more than my share. I have always felt myself to be a mere amateur--an outsider in the ranks of science and, what is more, a great heretic on many subjects, which renders it the more extraordinary, and, of course, the more gratifying, that the greatest of all scientific societies should so pile its honours upon me. Pray convey to the council my sincere thanks for the great honour." (Cheers.)

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