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From Alfred Russel Wallace   7 February 1868

Summary

Thanks for Variation.

Reports work on his travel book [The Malay Archipelago (1869)].

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  7 Feb 1868
Classmark:  DAR 106: B48
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5848

To A. R. Wallace   22 February [1868]

Summary

Reports work on sexual selection. Problems with the relative numbers of the two sexes and polygamy. Asks ARW’s help with several questions on polygamous birds.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  22 Feb [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 104–5)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5912

From A. R. Wallace   24 February 1868

Summary

Responds to CD’s queries on polygamy in birds and orang.

Discusses sexual selection and secondary characters; colours and sexual preference.

Expresses his admiration for Pangenesis; it is superior to Herbert Spencer’s theory.

ARW differs somewhat with CD’s chapter on causes of variability [ch. 22 in Variation]. Thinks several of CD’s arguments are unsound.

Briefly discusses how natural selection might aid in producing sterility between allied species.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Feb 1868
Classmark:  DAR 106: B70–2, DAR 86: A10–11
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5922

To A. R. Wallace   27 February [1868]

Summary

Pleased by ARW’s response to Pangenesis.

On negative reception by his friends.

Further argument concerning sterility and natural selection.

Polygamy and sexual selection.

Protection.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  27 Feb [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 108–11)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5940

From A. R. Wallace   1 March 1868

Summary

Offers enclosure demonstrating that natural selection could produce sterility of hybrids.

More on Pangenesis and the inadequacy of H. Spencer’s approach.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 Mar 1868
Classmark:  DAR 106: B49–50, B53–5
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5966

From A. R. Wallace   8 March [1868]

Summary

On critical exchanges at the Linnean Society on natural selection and mimicry.

Roland Trimen’s paper on South African mimetic butterflies ["On some remarkable mimetic resemblances among African butterflies", Trans. Linn. Soc. Lond. 26 (1870): 497–523; read 5 Mar 1868].

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 Mar [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 106: B51–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-5996

From A. R. Wallace   15 March [1868]

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Summary

Coloration of butterflies; brilliantly coloured females.

Commends CD on his paper on specific differences in Primula [J. Proc. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Bot.) 10 (1869): 437–54; reprinted and revised in Forms of flowers] as a test-case proving origin of real species.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  15 Mar [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 82: 23–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6012

To A. R. Wallace   17 [March 1868]

Summary

On his Primula paper for the Linnean Society ["On the specific difference between Primula veris, Brit. Fl. (var. officialis, Linn.), P. vulgaris, Brit. Fl. var. acaulis, Linn.), and P. elatior, Jacq.; and on the hybrid nature of the common oxlip; with supplementary remarks on naturally produced hybrids of the genus Verbascum", [officinalis!?] J. Linn. Soc. Lond. (Bot.) 10 (1869): 437–54].

Peacocks and sexual selection.

ARW’s sterility argument has driven CD’s sons half-mad.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  17 [Mar 1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 43434: 115–17)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6018

From A. R. Wallace   19 March 1868

Summary

On sterility of natural species and natural selection. Closely allied forms from adjacent islands offer best chance of finding good species fertile inter se.

Problem of minute variations and sexual selection.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  19 Mar 1868
Classmark:  DAR 106: B59–60
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6024

To A. R. Wallace   [21 March 1868]

Summary

On problem of sterility, CD cannot persuade himself that it has been gained by natural selection.

On sexual selection and minute variations, he tends to agree with ARW. Sends George Darwin’s notes on ARW’s argument.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  [21 Mar 1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 119–20); DAR 106: B160–3
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6033

From A. R. Wallace   24 March [1868]

Summary

Returns George Darwin’s criticisms of his notes on sterility and sends further notes in reply. Since there are degrees of sterility between varieties, "is it not probable that natural selection can accumulate these variations?" Varieties that are adapted to new conditions could then survive and form new species without being isolated.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  24 Mar [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 106: B61–2, B158–9
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6045

To A. R. Wallace   27 March [1868]

Summary

There are so many doubtful points on the problems relating to sterility that they will never agree.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  27 Mar [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 123–4)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6058

To A. R. Wallace   6 April [1868]

Summary

More on the "terrible problem" of natural selection and sterility. CD’s reasons for disagreeing with ARW. CD analyses and answers ARW in detail in defence of his conclusion that sterility cannot be increased through natural selection.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  6 Apr [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 125–9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6095

From A. R. Wallace   8 [April] 1868

Summary

If CD is not convinced by his notes on sterility, ARW has little doubt that he is wrong. In fact he was only half-convinced by his own arguments.

Modifies his first proposition [a species varies occasionally in two directions, but owing to free inter-crossing the variations never increase] and further discusses the subject.

Encloses Berthold Seemann’s notes on flora of the Hawaiian Islands. Presence of European alpine species in Hawaiian volcanoes is a "hard nut" for geographical distribution [but see ARW’s Island life (1880), p. 323].

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  8 [Apr] 1868
Classmark:  DAR 106: B57-8
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6104

To A. R. Wallace   9 April [1868]

Summary

Warns ARW of dubious character of list of European alpine genera and species in volcanoes of Hawaii. Problems of geographical distribution in oceanic islands.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  9 Apr [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6109

To A. R. Wallace   15 April [1868]

Summary

Admires ARW’s "Theory of birds’ nests" [J. Travel & Nat. Hist. 1 (1868): 73].

Discusses their respective views on birds’ nests, sexual selection, and protection.

Asks why, if brilliant colours of female butterflies are result of protective mimicry, do not males become equally brilliant? CD believes variation in females alone accounts for it, rather than protection.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  15 Apr [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 133–5)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6121

From A. R. Wallace   28 April [1868]

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Summary

Various topics related to sexual selection: sexual differences, sexual preferences, coloration.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  28 Apr [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 84.1: 120–4
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6144

To A. R. Wallace   30 April [1868]

Summary

More on CD’s objections to ARW’s views on protection and natural selection.

Sexual selection.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  30 Apr [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 136–9)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6146

From A. R. Wallace   1 May [1868]

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Summary

Answers CD’s objection [see 6121 and 6146] about sexual differences and protective colouring. Summarises his theory of colour in nature.

Author:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Addressee:  Charles Robert Darwin
Date:  1 May [1868]
Classmark:  DAR 83: 191–2
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6153

To A. R. Wallace   5 May [1868]

Summary

Criticism of ARW for too little esteem of the role of sexual selection as agent in giving colour.

Response to other topics.

Author:  Charles Robert Darwin
Addressee:  Alfred Russel Wallace
Date:  5 May [1868]
Classmark:  The British Library (Add MS 46434: 140–1)
Letter no:  DCP-LETT-6161
Document type
letter[X]
Author
Addressee
Correspondent
Darwin, C. R. (31)
Wallace, A. R.[X]
Date
1868
02 (4)
03 (8)
04 (6)
05 (2)
08 (3)
09 (6)
10 (2)
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