The Alfred Russel Wallace Reader: A Selection of Writings from the Field

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Long overshadowed by his contemporaries Charles Darwin and Thomas H. Huxley, Alfred Russel Wallace was an English naturalist and pioneer evolutionist who researched biological diversity through extensive exploration and travel. Independent of Darwin, Wallace developed a theory of evolution through natural selection, which ultimately spurred Darwin to complete and publish his own Origin of Species. Famous for drawing "Wallace's Line," the boundary line separating the Asian and Australian zoological regions, ...

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Overview

Long overshadowed by his contemporaries Charles Darwin and Thomas H. Huxley, Alfred Russel Wallace was an English naturalist and pioneer evolutionist who researched biological diversity through extensive exploration and travel. Independent of Darwin, Wallace developed a theory of evolution through natural selection, which ultimately spurred Darwin to complete and publish his own Origin of Species. Famous for drawing "Wallace's Line," the boundary line separating the Asian and Australian zoological regions, Wallace's studies of the distribution of plants and animals pioneered an evolutionary approach to global and island biogeography. The Alfred Russel Wallace Reader: A Selection of Writings from the Field is the first book to reintroduce Wallace to a general readership beyond the cadre of scientists and historians familiar with his work.

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Editorial Reviews

Edward O. Wilson
Wallace is one of the most important figures of nineteenth-century biology and in character among its most admirable. He is also one of the very few, like Darwin and Maxwell, whose importance grows with time. This volume, a well-written biography interleaved with Wallace's own writing, brings the great naturalist to life. —University Research Professor Harvard University
Janet Browne
I strongly recommend this book. Wallace has long been left out of the story of evolution and it seems highly appropriate to present autobiographical and reflective writings from the one man who matched Darwin intellectually, who shared the evolutionary moment with Darwin, and whom Darwin admired. Wallace's attractive personality, good writing style, intriguing views on all kinds of subjects, and unusual life story will make this book of interest to historians, biologists, as well as those interested in the wider debate over evolutionary theory.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801867897
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Series: Center Books in Natural History
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane R. Camerini is a faculty associate in the department of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
A Note to the Reader
Introduction: Biographical Sketch 1
1 Wales 18
Wallace Begins Surveying 23
Enclosing Common Land 28
Wallace Discovers Botany in Wales 29
The South-Wales Farmer 34
At Neath 54
2 The Amazon 61
On the Rio Negro 67
Sinking of the Helen 86
On the Monkeys of the Amazon 98
3 The Malay Archipelago 103
Collecting Birds of Paradise 112
On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type 142
4 The World 152
Limits of Natural Selection in Human Evolution 160
Spiritualism and Human Evolution 163
Impressions of the United States 188
Remembrances of Alfred Russel Wallace by His Children William G. and Violet Wallace 195
Notes 205
Books 209
Bibliography 211
Index 215
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