The following is a list of good-sized Wallace obituaries that appeared
after his death. From some of these I have drawn short quotations that
give some indication of the kind of esteem felt for Wallace at the end
of his life.
Museum Journal 13 (Dec. 1913): 330-333 'A great naturalist; Alfred
Russel Wallace, 1823-1913' (Henry Fairfield Osborn).
- The Argus (Melbourne, Australia) No. 20996 (8 Nov. 1913): 19b 'Distinguished scientist. Dr. Russel Wallace dead.' (anon.).
- Athenæum no. 4490 (15 Nov. 1913):
564a-564b 'Alfred Russel Wallace' (anon.). "Wallace's
contributions to science could scarcely be over-estimated; and they
are considerable even without the results of what has been called
the creative vividness with which the idea of natural selection
came to him after reading Malthus's 'Principles of Population.'"
- Auk 31(1) (Jan. 1914): 138-141
(anon.). "Wallace, while standing in the highest rank among ornithologists,
entomologists and botanists is best known in the broader field of
philosophy and evolutionary thought."
- Berliner Morgenpost 8 Nov. 1913 (anon.).
- British Medical Journal (London) no. 2759
(15 Nov. 1913): 1338-1339 (anon.). "A life
so long, so active, and so varied, cannot be dealt with in a small compass.
Simple and unostentatious, he was a great man in the truest sense of
of the American Geographical Society 46(1) (1914): 54 (anon.).
- The Christian Commonwealth 12 Nov. 1913:
112d-112e 'The last of the Victorians; Death of Dr. Alfred Russel
Wallace' (anon.). "Long ago Mr. G.
K. Chesterton remarked that if he was asked what great man would
be regarded as the most important and significant figure in the
nineteenth century he would hesitate between Walt Whitman and Alfred
Russel Wallace. And Mr. Chesterton went on to make it clear that
he regarded the great scientist as one of the giants of the wonderful
century because he was the leader of a revolution and a counter
revolution; the first was the Darwinian movement, the other the
movement of psychical research."
- The Church Times (London) 14 Nov. 1913: 663d (anon.).
- Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, New South Wales) 18 Nov. 1913: 6c-6e 'Alfred Russel Wallace' (T. J. H.). "he can ever be held up to our youth as one who worked and thought 'until his eyelids would no longer wag,' not for himself but for all, and will remain among the purest and noblest and most picturesque figures in the long roll of the illustrious dead."
- The Clarion (London) no. 1145 (14 Nov. 1913):
2a-2b (Harry Lowerison). "Now lies he there,
and all are glad to give him reverence, for that with the weapons he
had and the limitations he laboured under he fought as a man should
fight for the truths it was given to him to see. If among those truths
some error found its way, why trouble? He did a man's work manfully,
and now he has won his peace. On the whole the world is better, sweeter,
cleaner, nobler, for our great comrade's life in it."
- Current Opinion (New York) 56(1) (Jan. 1914):
32-33 'Passing of one of the supreme figures in modern science' (anon.). "Only a great ruler could have been accorded
by the press of the world any such elaborate obituary recognition as
was evoked by the death of Alfred Russel Wallace . . . "
- Daily Chronicle (London) no. 16140 (8 Nov.
1913): 1g, 5c-5d 'Death of great scientist' (anon.). "With
his death passes one of the most fruitful and richly freighted lives
ever devoted to the twin causes of Truth and Humanity."
- The Daily Citizen (London & Manchester)
No. 340 (8 Nov. 1913): 1d, 2d 'Alfred Russel Wallace. Death at 90
years of age. Last of the great Victorians.' (anon.). "He
was one of the greatest and clearest thinkers of his age . . .
of one thing I am certain, and that is that never has anybody come
more fully within my favourite description of a great man, namely,
that 'he is a combination of the head of a man and the heart of
- The Daily Graphic (London) 8 Nov. 1913. (anon.).
- Daily Mail (London) 8 Nov. 1913. (anon.).
- Daily Mirror (London) (8 Nov. 1913): 4 '"Grand
Old Man" of science dead' (anon.). "Science
has lost its 'grand old man.' Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace, the greatest
of all modern scientists--co-originator with Charles Darwin of the theory
of natural selection--died yesterday at his home . . ."
- Daily News & Leader (London & Manchester)
no. 21113 (8 Nov. 1913): 1a-1b, 2a 'Dr. Wallace & his work' (anon.).
"By the death of Alfred Russel Wallace
this country loses not only a great scientist, but the last of the men
who made the early part of the Victorian era so memorable."
- Daily Telegraph (London) no. 18268 (8 Nov.
1913): 13a 'Two great scientists' (anon.).
- Daily Telegraph (London) no. 18268 (8 Nov.
1913): 13g 'Dr. Russel Wallace and evolution' (anon.).
- The Dial (Chicago) 55(698) (16 Nov. 1913):
416 (anon.). ". . . his heterodoxy brought
upon him a liberal measure of abuse and ridicule from the hidebound
of his own country and ours; but like Ruskin, he never recanted or compromised
in the face of obloquy. His life has been a long and noble service to
humanity, performed in a spirit of modest self-effacement as rare almost
as the achievement itself."
- The Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 49, 2nd
s. (Dec. 1913): 276-277 (J. J. Walker).
News 25(1) (Jan. 1914): 34-37 (anon.).
- The Entomologist's Record 26 (Jan. 1914):
27-28 (Henry J. Turner). "Daily papers,
weekly periodicals and magazines of all kinds have repeated the
ordinary human details of the life of the great scientist who,
for more than half a century, held the world at audience . . ."
- The Evening News (London) 7 Nov.
1913 'The "G. O. M." of Science' (anon.).
- Evening Standard and St. James's Gazette (London)
No. 27871 (7 Nov. 1913) (anon.).
- Forest and Stream 81(20) (15 Nov. 1913): 627
(anon.). "Alfred Russel Wallace, one the
world's greatest scientists, who shared with Darwin the honor of the
promulgation of the doctrine of natural selection, died Nov. 7."
- Gardeners' Chronicle 54(1403),
3rd s. (15 Nov. 1913): 342a-342c 'Dr. Russel Wallace' (anon.).".
. . there is always in what Wallace did the sign of the man who seeks
truth with the ardour of a lover of truth and with contempt for conventional
acceptances. He believed the that the subtle are as apt to err as
the simple. . . "
Geographical Journal 43(1) (Jan. 1914): 88-92 'Alfred Russel Wallace,
O.M.' (Henry O. Forbes). "By
the death of Alfred Russel Wallace, on November 7 last, at the age of
ninety years, the Royal Geographical Society, to which he was elected
in 1854, loses one of its oldest and most distinguished Fellows; and
Natural Science, especially in its biogeographical aspect, one of those
who have, in most widely extending its boundaries and deeply influencing
the thought of his time, achieved a name which will live as long as
Natural Knowledge is cultivated."
- The Globe & Traveller (London) 7 Nov.
- Ibis 2, 10th s. (1914): 133-136 (anon.)
- Independent (New York) 76(3390) (20 Nov. 1913): 329 'A prophetic personality' (anon.). "We
should not know where to look among the world's greatest men for a figure
more worthy to be called unique. There is something curiously static
in the aspect of human lives in retrospect. They take and keep their
places in a portrait gallery. Alfred Russel Wallace will live in the
biographical page as an untiring personality, pushing on."
- International Psychic Gazette (London) 2(17)
(Dec. 1913): 122-124 'Dr. A. Russel Wallace, scientist, spiritualist,
socialist' (Felicia R. Scratcherd ("Felix Rudolph")).
de la Société des Américanistes
de Paris 11, n.s. (1914-1919): 251-253 'Alfred Russel Wallace'
(Henry Vignaud). "Quoi qu'il en soit, avec
Wallace disparaît un des hommes les plus éminents de notre
temps, une de ces rares natures d'élite qui voient plus loin
que les autres et qui ont ainsi puissamment contribué a élargir
la portée de notre vision scientifique."
- Journal of Botany (London) 52 (Jan. 1914):
15-18 (G. S. Boulger). "By the death of
Alfred Russel Wallace, which took place at Broadstone, near Wimbourne,
on November 7th, the last of the giants of English nineteenth-century
science is removed."
- Lancet no. 4707 (15 Nov. 1913): 1410 (anon.).
- Light (London) (15 Nov. 1913): 546-547 'The
promotion of Dr. A. R. Wallace' (anon.).
- Literary Digest 48(1) (3 Jan. 1914): 17 'The
last of the Darwinians' (anon.).
- Living Age 279(3625)
(27 Dec. 1913): 811-814. [reprint from Nation (London)] "But
his true service to his age was in furnishing a stout barrier to the
torrent of quasi-scientific rationalism which, drawing over-freely from
the new evolutionary teaching, threatened to submerge all landmarks,
not merely of dogmatic religion, but of morality and humanitarianism."
- Nation (London) 14(7) (15 Nov. 1913): 310-312
'The greatness of Alfred Russel Wallace' (anon.).
- Nation (U.S.) 97(2524) (13 Nov. 1913): 452-453
'The last of the Victorians' (anon.). "With
the death of Alfred Russel Wallace there disappears the last of that
great breed of men with whose names the glory of the Victorian era is
inseparably bound up. . . in ranking him among the truly notable figures
of his generation, one thinks not so much of his most famous achievement,
but rather of the wide sweep of his scientific labors, the freshness
and originality of his outlook, the vigor and energy of his attack on
all manner of questions relating to man and society, and a certain quality
of largeness which marks his style . . ."
- Nature 92(2298) (13 Nov. 1913): 322 'Dr.
Alfred Russel Wallace, O.M., F.R.S.' (anon.). ".
. . it was peculiarly his-- 'To see the world in a grain of sand, And
heaven in a flower; To grasp infinity in the palm of the hand, And eternity
in an hour.'"
- Nature 92(2299) (20 Nov. 1913): 347-349 'Alfred
Russel Wallace' (Edward B. Poulton). "The
last link with the great evolutionary writers of the mid-nineteenth
century--the men who transformed the thought of the world--is broken.
How can I best speak of the long, happy, hard-working, many-sided life
that has just come to a close?"
- New York Herald 8 Nov. 1913: 14a-14b 'Alfred Russel Wallace is dead in England' (anon.).
York Times 63(20377) (8 Nov. 1913): 13e 'Dr. A. R. Wallace, scientist,
- New-York Tribune 8 Nov. 1913 (anon.).
- Nuova Antologia di Lettere, Scienze ed Arti
168 (1 Dec. 1913): 498-508 (Guglielmo Salvadori).
- The Orchid Review 22(253) (Jan. 1914): 5-7 (anon.).
- Popular Science Monthly 83
(Dec. 1913): 522-537 (Henry Fairfield Osborn). ["abstract" of a sketch that appeared in Nature
in 1912 as 'Scientific worthies']
- Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian
Field Club 35 (1914): lxxxiv-lxxxvi (E. R. Sykes). "Patient,
industrious, broad-minded, with wonderful powers of concentration, the
world has lost a great naturalist and philosopher."
- Proceedings of the Geological Society of London
70 (April 1914): lxxxiii-lxxxiv (anon.).
- Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, 1913-1914 (1914): 63-65 (E. B. Poulton).
of the Royal Society of London XCV-B (1923-24): i-xxxv 'Alfred
Russel Wallace, 1823-1913' (Edward B. Poulton).
- The Register (Adelaide, Australia) No. 20904 (10 Nov. 1913): 6c-6e 'Darwin’s compeer' (anon.).
- Review of Reviews (London) 48(288) (Dec.
1913): 421-425 'Character sketch. Alfred Russel Wallace.' (James Marchant).
- The Sarawak Gazette No. 640 (17 Nov.
1913): 262 (anon.).
- School World (London) no. 180 (Dec. 1913):
451-453 'Dr. A. Russel Wallace: Pioneer of the principle of evolution'
(anon.). "Dr. A. Russel Wallace, whose
death on November 7th, at ninety years of age, we regret to record,
will be remembered not only as an independent discoverer of the influence
of natural selection in evolutionary development, but also as one of
the greatest naturalists of the nineteenth century."
38(990) n.s. (19 Dec. 1913): 871-877 'Recollections of Dr. Alfred Russel
Wallace' (T. D. A. Cockerell). "It is impossible for any man to discuss
adequately the life work of Alfred Russel Wallace. His activities covered
such a long period, and were so varied, that no one living is in a position
to critically appreciate more than a part of them . . . All must agree
that a great and significant career has just been closed, but its full
measure will probably never be known to any single man."
- Scientific American 109 (15 Nov. 1913): 384,
387, 388 'Alfred Russel Wallace' (Benjamin C. Gruenberg).
- Socialist Review 12 (Jan. 1914): 15-16 'Alfred
Russel Wallace' ('The Editor'). "His death
takes away from us one of the giant minds and most highly civilised
and unblemished personalities of modern times. He was one of the great
representative men of science, and ranks far above all his scientific
contemporaries as a pioneer of social progress."
- The Standard (London) 8 Nov. 1913 (anon.).
- The Star (London) 7 Nov. 1913 (anon.).
- The Theosophical Path 6(1) (Jan. 1914): 59-62
'The late Alfred Russel Wallace' (C. J. Ryan). "He
never yielded to the subtle inference that man is a clod, ephemeral
and helpless, the sport of circumstances, or a miserable worm whose
only hope was in some external power. His message was the inspiring
one that every man had the means of rising out of his low estate to
the heights of the gods."
- Tilskueren (Copenhagen) 30(2) (July/Dec. 1913):
1233-1237 'Alfred Russel Wallace' (Fr. Heide).
- The Times (London) no. 40364 (8 Nov. 1913):
9f-10a 'Death of Dr. Russel Wallace' (anon.).
- Two Worlds (Manchester) 26(1357) (1913):
570 'Alfred Russel Wallace, 1823-1913' (anon.). [submitted by Christine
Garwood] ". . . his researches and theories
will go down to posterity as the most serious and important of all attempts
to raise the veil that enshrouds the vast abstract thing which men call
the 'Universe' . . . But Alfred Russel Wallace has not finished his
work for his fellows. He will remain amongst us, he will still inspire
us, he has still other and greater messages for the world."
- Volksrecht (Zürich) 11 Nov. 1913 (anon.).
- Vorwärts (Berlin) 11 Nov. 1913 (anon.).
- The West Australian (Perth) 29(3611) (10 Nov. 1913): 8d-8e 'A great biologist. The life work of Russel Wallace' (anon.).
- The Western Gazette (Yeovil, Somerset) No. 9245 (14 Nov. 1913): 7c-7d 'Great scientist’s death near Wimborne' (anon.).
- The Westminster Gazette (London) 7 Nov.
1913: 9 (anon.).
- Zoologist 17, 4th ser. (15 Dec. 1913): 468-471
(Edward B. Poulton). "Thinking of Wallace's
happy, strenuous life, we are led to realize man's independence of wealth
and circumstance, to know by his example that, if it be great enough,
'the mind is its own place,' and is 'not to be changed by place or time.'"
In addition to the preceding, I have it on good authority
(but have not had time to personally verify) that obituary notices
appeared within days of his death (on 7 November 1913) in the following
foreign newspapers: La Bataille Syndicaliste
(Paris), Le Figaro (Paris) (8-11-13), Le Petit Bleu
(Paris) (9-11-13), Le Temps (Paris) (9-11-13), L'Action
(Paris) (9-11-13), L'Intransigeant (Paris) (9-11-13), Berliner
Tageblatt (Berlin) (8-11-13), and Vossische Zeitung (Berlin)
(8-11-13). Doubtlessly there were many others as well.