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Darwin Correspondence Project

From A. R. Wallace   30 August [1868]1

9, St. Mark’s Crescent

August 30th.

Dear Darwin

I was very sorry to hear you had been so unwell again, and hope you will not exert yourself to write me such long letters.2

Darwinianism was in the ascendant at Norwich; (I hope you do not dislike the word, for we really must use it,—) and I think it rather disgusted some of the parsons, joined with the amount of advice they received from Hooker & Huxley.3 The worst of it is, that there are no opponents left who know any thing of Nat. Hist. so that there are none of the good discussions we used to have.

G. H. Lewes seems to me to be making a great mistake in the “Fortnightly,” advocating many distinct origins for different groups,—and even if I understand him distinct origins for some allied groups, just as the Anthropologists do who make the red man descend fr the Orang, the black man from the Chimpanzee,—or rather the Malay & Orang one ancestor, the Negro & Chimpanzee another.4

Vogt told me that the Germans are all becoming converted by your last book.5

I am certainly surprised that you should find so much evidence against protection having checked the acquirement of bright colour in females; but I console myself by presumptuously hoping that I can explain your facts, unless they are derived from the very groups on which I chiefly rest,—birds & insects.6 There is nothing necessarily requiring protection in females. It is a matter of habits. There are groups in which both sexes require protection in an exactly equal degree, & others (I think) in which the male requires most protection; & I feel the greatest confidence that these will ultimately support my view, although I do not yet know the facts they may afford.

Hoping you are in better health

Believe me Dear Darwin | yours faithfully | Alfred R Wallace

CD annotations

3.1 G. H. Lewes … groups,— 3.2] scored pencil
Top of letter: ‘H. W. Bates | 40 Bartholomew Rd | Kentish Town’7 pencil


The year is established by the reference to the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science at Norwich, which took place in 1868.
See n. 1, above; Wallace refers to Joseph Dalton Hooker, whose presidential address (J. D. Hooker 1868), supported CD’s theory of natural selection, and Thomas Henry Huxley (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 30 August 1868).
Wallace refers to George Henry Lewes and Lewes 1868b; the arguments referred to are in ibid., pp. 79–80, 492–503. See also letter to G. H. Lewes, 7 August [1868].
Carl Vogt had attended the British Association meeting in Norwich (see letter from J. D. Hooker, 30 August 1868 and n. 7).
Henry Walter Bates’s home address was 40 Bartholomew Road, Kentish Town, London; CD invited him, Wallace, Edward Blyth and John Jenner Weir to visit Down on the weekend of 12 and 13 September (see letter to J. D. Hooker, [8–10 September 1868]).


Hooker, Joseph Dalton. 1868. Address of the president. Report of the thirty-eighth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, held at Norwich, pp. lviii–lxxv.


On triumph of "Darwinianism".

Discussion of their differences on subject of protection.

Letter details

Letter no.
Alfred Russel Wallace
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
London, St Mark’s Crescent, 9
Source of text
DAR 106: B65–6
Physical description
4pp †

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6334,” accessed on 6 August 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 16