Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Can you inform me if there is any canal you know of in your part of the country with a straight piece (without locks) five or six miles long, or any piece of water of that extent? I have undertaken (for a heavy wager) to prove by measurement the rotundity of the earth, to one of those strange phenomena who [[p. 297]] do not believe in it and who is willing to pay to be enlightened.
"Will you also give me your advice on another point? I am about to publish all my papers which bear upon Natural Selection, etc., in a volume. I should like an attractive title, but will not have a misleading one. I have at present fixed upon "Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection. A Series of Essays," as exactly expressing what the book will be. Macmillan has a dislike to the word Contributions, and wants me to call it "Essays on Natural Selection," or "On Natural Selection; a Series of Essays." But these indicate too much a complete work on a definite subject to please me.
Do you think my title will do, or can you suggest anything quite different?
Yours very faithfully,