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

Letter to Henry Walter Bates (S707ah: 1863/1916)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: An 1863 letter to Henry Walter Bates reprinted in Edward Clodd's book Memories in 1916. Original pagination from this source indicated within double brackets. To link directly to this page, connect with:

[[p. 64]] "5, Westbourne Grove Terrace, W.,
"Thursday [1863].

     "Dear Bates,

     "Supposing you are still in Leicester I write a few lines to tell you that I have just finished reading your book [[The Naturalist on the River Amazons --Ed.]], from which I have derived much pleasure. It has recalled to me old and familiar scenes which had almost faded away from memory like a dream.

     "I am therefore, perhaps, not well-fitted to judge of its effect on the public; as for me it has an altogether peculiar charm, but it is so thoroughly well written, the style is so easy and the matter generally so new and interesting that I am sure most persons who will read it carefully will be pleased and delighted.

     "The bits of Natural History are very good, and they too have a charm for me on account of our opinions on such topics which, perhaps, others may not feel in an equal degree. Your vindication of butterfly study at Vol. II. p. 326, is in particular most admirable. Your estimate of the character of the Indian is, I think, very just, and you have dwelt upon it so that I think it will leave a distinct impression upon any reader.

     "The most interesting part to me is the latter half of Vol. II., as it is the most novel. To others the whole book will probably be equally delightful.

     "I see no signs of labour in the style, neither do I detect any of that flowery exaggeration you had led me to expect. There is not a line nor an epithet on [[p. 65]] subjects of natural scenery, vegetable and animal life, that I cannot fully support and agree with. On the whole I must congratulate you on having produced so extremely pleasant and interesting a book, which I am sure will delight all who know you, and if the general public do not also appreciate it, it will show that they have no taste left for unadulterated and unsensational books of travel. Thanks for the kind manner in which you have mentioned my name.

"I remain, dear Bates,
"Yours very faithfully,
"Alfred R. Wallace."

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