Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred
Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell
The Most Important People
in Wallace's Intellectual Life
From the "Index of Personal Names"
I have created a 'total number of referrals' index value by adding up all
the weighted referrals (i.e., regular font=1, bold font=2, bold & underlined=3)
reported for particular individuals. (Thus, a person mentioned in four Wallace
works, represented in the item list with two items in bold font and two
in bold + underlined, produces an index value of 2+2+3+3=10.) In other words,
the numbers reported below are statistics, not the actual total number
of referrals; I believe the system used here is more fairly reflective
of the relative attention given each person overall in Wallace's writings
because it doesn't put undue weight on long works that contain a very large
number of mentions of a particular person. The following individuals scored
a '20' or higher on this scale, ranked in order.
[English naturalist 1809-1882]. This total clearly indicates what a tremendous
debt Wallace's work owed to Darwin, whether Wallace agreed with him
all the time or not.
Herbert [English philosopher and sociologist 1820-1903]. Wallace
had genuine admiration for Spencer's abilities as a thinker, though
later on in their careers he came to feel that Spencer had lost his
Henry Walter [English entomologist 1825-1892]. Wallace's friend
Bates, best known for his contributions to the study of protective
mimicry, introduced Wallace to the joys of insect collecting and later
accompanied him to the Amazon.
Charles [English geologist 1797-1875]. Lyell's views on the conservative
and gradual nature of environmental change strongly informed Wallace's
ideas on process in biology and physical- and bio-geography.
Thomas H. [English biologist and philosopher 1825-1895]. Wallace
often cited and quoted Huxley--whose command of his subjects he much
respected--but actually made relatively little use of his ideas.
William B. [English physiologist 1813-1885]. Carpenter's summary
dismissal of spiritualism led him to a long spar with Wallace over
Joseph D. [English botanist 1817-1911]. The writings of Hooker,
pre-eminent botanist of his time, furnished Wallace with numerous examples
for his ideas, especially when it came to biogeography.
August [German biologist 1834-1914]. Weismann became well known for
his important theory of the germ plasm, and in turn as a vocal anti-Neo-Lamarckian.
[English sociologist 1822-1911]. Galton, whose studies on heredity and
a number of other subjects Wallace much admired, was also a founder
of the science of eugenics (which Wallace detested).
Philip Lutley [English ornithologist 1829-1913]. Sclater, Secretary
of the Zoological Society and editor of the journal Ibis,
shared many of Wallace's natural history interests.
Jean Baptiste [French naturalist 1744-1829]. Wallace continued to
campaign against Lamarckianism--the notion that acquired characters might
be inheritable--through to the end of his life.
John Stuart [English economist and philosopher 1806-1873]. Wallace
was particularly intrigued by this major figure's ideas on land reform
and social economy.
Carl [Swedish botanist 1707-1778]. Wallace makes reference to Linnæus
in no fewer than thirty of his writings.
William [English physicist and chemist 1832-1919]. Crookes, a famous
physical scientist, spent a good deal of time attempting to test the phenomena
of spiritualism, and Wallace often cited and supported him in that context.
Henry [American economist and reformer 1839-1897]. George's efforts
on behalf of land reform made him better known (and more influential)
on the subject than Wallace, even in England.
George R. [English zoologist 1808-1872]. Gray, who worked at the British
Museum, was often referred to by Wallace in his writings on the systematics
of insects and birds.
John [English financier and naturalist 1834-1913]. Wallace fairly
frequently referred to and/or commented on the rather socially conservative
Lubbock's researches in anthropology, entomology, and animal behavior.
Richard [English botanist 1817-1893]. Spruce collected in the Amazon
at the same time Wallace was there, and the two remained friends and in
contact until Spruce's death.
Thomas [English naturalist and writer 1832-1878]. Wallace considered
Belt one of the most astute field observers of his time, and often referred
to his researches to help him make particular points.
James [Scottish astronomer and geologist 1821-1890]. Wallace was particularly
interested in Croll's attempts to link the onset of glacial periods to
periodic astronomical forces.
Isaac [English physicist 1642-1727]. The frequency with which Newton's
name comes up in Wallace's writings is a bit surprising, though several
sources have noted how Wallace treated natural selection as a virtual
"law of nature" akin to gravitation.
Alexander von [German geographer 1769-1859]. Humboldt visited South
America about fifty years before Wallace did, setting a high example
for all scientist-explorers who followed.
Louis [Swiss-American naturalist 1807-1873]. Anti-evolutionist Agassiz,
especially celebrated for his working out of the theory of continental
glaciation, became one of America's best known naturalists.
Prince Charles Lucien [French ornithologist 1803-1857]. Bonaparte,
the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, produced a compilation of the bird
species of the world that was Wallace's "constant companion" as he roamed
through the wilds of Indonesia.
George J. [English biologist 1848-1894]. A pioneer in studies on
the evolution of the mind, Romanes proposed a theory he called "physiological
selection" which Wallace would have no part of.
Richard [English zoologist and anatomist 1804-1892]. Wallace often
cited Owen as an authority when it came to anatomy and morphology, regardless
of the fact that Owen never accepted Darwinism.
Grant [Canadian-English writer and naturalist 1848-1899]. Wallace
thought very highly of Allen's literary talents (though not always his
ideas), reviewing three of his popular science books in the journal Nature.
C. Lloyd [English biologist and psychologist 1852-1936]. Morgan, a
college professor at Bristol, is sometimes referred to as the father of
Alfred [English ornithologist 1829-1907]. Newton, a professor at
Cambridge, was instrumental in steering Wallace in a direction ultimately
leading to his publication of The Geographical Distribution of
Daniel D. [Scottish spiritualist medium 1833-1886]. Wallace often referred
in passing to Home, history's most famous and spectacular medium.
John [Irish-English physicist 1820-1893]. Wallace frequently referred
to the various researches of this very prominent scientist in passing.
St. George [English zoologist 1827-1900]. Like Wallace, Mivart, though
an evolutionist, differed with Darwin on the matter of the evolution
of humankind's "higher attributes."
Robert Dale [Scottish-American writer and reformer 1801-1877]. Owen
carved out a multi-faceted reputation almost equal in sum to that of his
father's (Robert Owen).
26.5----Allen, Charles [Wallace's Malay Archipelago field assistant].
Relatively little is known about Charles Allen, but he was Wallace's field
assistant for two periods during his Malay Archipelago expeditions, and
became a remembered collector in his own right.
John [English flat-earth advocate d. 1891].
Wallace's attempt to win a wager with this flat-earther brought him twenty
years of persecution.
Robert [Welsh utopian socialist 1771-1858]. Considering Wallace's apparent
debt to Owen's example, it is somewhat strange that Owen's name appears
only once in Wallace's writings before 1891.
Edward B. [English anthropologist 1832-1917]. Tylor, though like Wallace
very little schooled formally, became the most prominent anthropologist
of his time.
Duke of [Scottish statesman and writer 1823-1900]. The Duke of Argyll's
amateur status as a naturalist did not prevent him from entering into
various scientific debates, including that over the origin of species.
Andrew C. [Scottish geologist 1814-1891]. Ramsay's theory of the glacial
origin of alpine lake basins so interested Wallace that he put considerable
effort into strengthening the argument.
William [English historian and writer 1792-1879]. Wallace commented
on Howitt's writings in a variety of contexts, ranging from spiritualism
and philosophy to travel, economics, and social conditions.
Albert C. L. G. [German-English naturalist 1830-1914]. Wallace often
used Günther as an authority when he discussed fishes, reptiles,
and amphibians, groups with which he was not expertly familiar.
Robert [English socialist and newspaperman 1851-1943]. Wallace often
commented on Blatchford's socialistic ideas, especially via the newspaper
Blatchford edited for over thirty-five years, The Clarion.
Edward [American socialist author and utopian 1850-1898]. Bellamy
is most famous for his utopian novel set in the year 2000, Looking
J. O. [English entomologist 1805-1893]. Westwood was one of the more
prominent entomologists of his time, and also a superb zoological illustrator.
Comte de [French naturalist 1707-1788]. The proto-evolutionary ideas
of this great figure are discussed or mentioned by Wallace in sixteen
of his writings.
William [Scottish chemist 1803-1858]. Gregory was one of many prominent
scientists in the mid- and late-nineteenth century who considered paranormal
subjects; his special interest was mesmerism.
Edward Bagnall [English biologist 1856-1943]. Poulton was especially
associated with animal coloration studies, one of Wallace's favorite subjects.
John [English astronomer 1792-1871]. Herschel, one of the founders
of the Royal Astronomical Society, was one of the most prominent astronomers
of his time.
Edward Drinker [American paleontologist 1840-1897]. Cope, well known
for his work on dinosaurs, was also the leader of the American school
William C. [English zoologist and illustrator 1806-1878]. Hewitson
not only accumulated one of the largest collections of butterflies of
his time, but stood unrivalled as a zoological illustrator.
Alfred, Lord [English poet 1809-1892]. Wallace had met Tennyson, was
familiar with his writings, and mentioned him from time to time in his
Sir James [English
soldier and colonial administrator 1803-1868]. The first White Rajah
of Sarawak was a controversial figure and made many enemies over
his career, but Wallace was not among them.
21----Carpenter, William [English flat-earth advocate 1830-1896].
Wallace's attempt to prove the rotundity of the earth's surface brought
him into contact with Carpenter several times.
Robert [Scottish publisher and writer 1802-1871]. Chambers, author
of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, was also a publishing
magnate and, perhaps most interestingly, a spiritualist.
William (Lord Kelvin) [Irish-English physicist 1824-1907]. This famous
physicist created a dilemma for Darwinists when he calculated (incorrectly,
as it turned out) that the Sun had to be no more than one hundred million
Raphael [English chemist and entomologist 1849-1915]. Meldola's expertise
in the study of color was of especial interest to Wallace.
Baron Karl von [German chemist and natural philosopher
Reichenbach was one of Germany's best known physical scientists in the
middle of the nineteenth century, sometimes taking his researches
in esoteric directions.
John [English ornithologist 1804-1881]. Wallace often referred to
Gould's studies on birds.