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Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters from the Malay Archipelago
     

Alfred Russel Wallace: Letters from the Malay Archipelago

by John van Wyhe
 

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This volume brings together the letters of the great Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) during his famous travels of 1854-62 in the Malay Archipelago (now Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia). it was these travels which led him to come independently to the same conclusion as Charles Darwin: that evolution occurs through natural selection.

Overview


This volume brings together the letters of the great Victorian naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) during his famous travels of 1854-62 in the Malay Archipelago (now Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia). it was these travels which led him to come independently to the same conclusion as Charles Darwin: that evolution occurs through natural selection. Beautifully written, the letters are filled with lavish descriptions of the remote regions he explored, the peoples, and fascinating details of the many new species of mammals, birds, and insects he discovered during his time there.

John van Wyhe and Kees Rookmaaker present new transcriptions of each of the letters, including recently discovered letters that shed light on the voyage and on questions such as Wallace's reluctance to publish on evolution, and why he famously chose to write to Darwin rather than to send his work to a journal directly. A revised account of Wallace's itinerary based on new research by the editors forms part of an introduction that sets the context of the voyage, and the volume includes full notes to all letters.

Together the letters form a remarkable and vivid document of one of the most important journeys of the 19th century by a great Victorian naturalist.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Surreal. You won't be dissapointed." --San Francisco Book Review

Featured in The Society for the History of Natural History's April 2014 Newsletter.

"The edited volume of Letters from the Malay Archipelago will probably be of interest primarily to historians of science. ... The letters are grouped by the country from which Wallace wrote or received them. This will allow a reader an extremely efficient way of accessing particular letters either by the correspondent or by the country; something researchers will appreciate." --Reports of the National Center for Science Education

"[T]his is a valuable resource for those interested in the Victorian era, the history of science, biology, Darwin, and Wallace himself. Well illustrated with some stunningly beautiful color plates, this well-appointed volume is easily worth the publisher's list price. It is highly recommended for all scholars working in the field and academic libraries." --Metascience

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199684007
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
11/01/2015
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

John van Wyhe, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore,Kees Rookmaaker, Wallace Online, National University of Singapore

John van Wyhe is a historian of science, Senior Lecturer in the Departments of Biological Sciences & History, and a Fellow of Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore. He is the founder and Director of Darwin Online and Wallace Online, Professorial Fellow of Charles Darwin University, Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and a Scientific Associate of the Natural History Museum (London). He lectures and broadcasts on Darwin, Wallace, and the history of science around the world.

Kees Rookmaaker is a biologist specialising in the history of zoology. He has worked for the past eight years on Darwin and Wallace, including work on transcriptions of notebooks and letters. He has also edited detailed surveys of all letters received by the Museum of Zoology, University in Cambridge during the 19th century. He is the author of over 200 papers and several books. He received the Founder's Medal of the Society for the History of Natural History.

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