Alfred Russel Wallace: Evolution
of an Evolutionist

by Charles H. Smith


    For the past few years I have been slowly working up an extended treatment of subjects introduced in my monographic essay Alfred Russel Wallace on Spiritualism, Man, and Evolution: An Analytical Essay. That work was completed in 1992 (as something of a "companion study" to my anthology Alfred Russel Wallace: An Anthology of His Shorter Writings, published the year before) and a few copies circulated privately at that time; in 1999 I made a few slight revisions to the text when I adapted it for online access. The new work develops similar themes but provides a good deal more in the way of historical research and analysis.

    Although most of the text of the book is already at an advanced stage of completion as of the date of activation of this page (10 November 2003), I have decided to serialize the results as they are finished, most likely over the next year or so. I might have done differently and sought a commercial publisher (and still do not entirely rule this out as a possible option), but this would have delayed the material's delivery another couple of years or more. It is also an advantage to have the rest of the site in immediate electronic proximity to support this particular text. Further, there are some elements of the approach--stressing example rather than biographical or sociological context--that some publishers might not have cared for. It is less my object here to identify societal forces influencing Wallace's evolution than it is to attempt to elucidate a model of his thought, and to do this I feel I need to stay close to the source.

    Footnotes and other references within the text can be referred to the 'Wallace Bibliography' and 'Writings on Wallace' features of my "The Alfred Russel Wallace Page" site for full bibliographic citations.

Table of Contents


Chapter One. Belief and Spiritualism.

Chapter Two. Wallace's Evolutionary Views: Introduction.

Chapter Three. Utility, Adaptation, and Evolution.

Chapter Four. "On the Tendency...": An Interpretation.

Chapter Five. The Completion of a Theory of Evolution.

Chapter Six. A Change of Mind?

Chapter Seven. Epilogue: Where Do We Go From Here?


keywords: evolution, human evolution, evolutionary studies, natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, spiritualism

link to "The Alfred Russel Wallace Page"

Copyright 2003-2006 by Charles H. Smith. All rights reserved.