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Text of an article recently published in the Newsletter of the Society for the History of Natural History:
Progress of the A. R. Wallace Correspondence Project (WCP)
Phase 2 of the WCP began in December 2017 and it has been running smoothly thanks to considerable help from The Charles Darwin Trust (http://www.charlesdarwintrust.org) who helped to set the project up and who are managing our grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
*THE SCENTS OF THE SPICE ISLANDS*
A CRUISE FROM AMBON TO TERNATE ISLANDS, EASTERN INDONESIA
12 days/11 nights
16 - 27 September 2019
Alfred Russel Wallace conceived his theory of evolution by natural selection whilst suffering from fever in the village of Dodinga on the Indonesian island of Halmahera (known to Wallace as Gilolo) in February 1858. Once he had recovered sufficiently he wrote a detailed essay explaining his idea, which he posted to Charles Darwin together with a covering letter, probably in early March, from the neighbouring island of Ternate.
Matt Beros, the WCP's Researcher, recently found an amusing mention of Wallace in a published letter from the famous Victorian novelist Samuel Butler (1835-1902) to Sir Julius von Haast (1822-1887), a geologist who founded the Canterbury Museum at Christchurch, New Zealand. It seems that Butler purchased a photo which he thought was Darwin and sent it to von Haast. Only later when he met Wallace by chance at a friend's house did he realise the photo was actually Wallace. I wonder whether this mislabelled photo is in the archives of the Canterbury Museum?
Read on if you want to know an interesting fact about Wallace's personal life which no biographer has yet discovered! The Wallace Correspondence Project is currently hard at work on volume 1 of Wallace's correspondence which will contain all early letters to and from him up until March 1862 when he returned from the 'Malay Archipelago'.
The Wallace Correspondence Project now has a professionally designed logo (right). It is based on Wallace's monogram (left), which was used on the front cover of several of his books. The project's logo was produced by graphic designer Diky Halim of DID design in Jakarta, Java, Indonesia.
Sadly, Charlotte (WCP Archivist) and Helen (our Researcher) recently left the project to take up very good positions elsewhere. Happily though, we have recruited two excellent replacements - Matt Beros who started on the 1st February as our Research Editor, and Alice Haigh who began on the 18th February as our Project Coordinator & Editor.
Research Editor - Alfred Russel Wallace Correspondence Project
Salary: Starting from £32,761 per year
Employment Type: Fixed Term, ending 31 August 2020
Hours Per week (exclusive of lunch breaks): 35
Annual Leave: 30 days, in addition to public and bank holidays.
Work Location: 3 Queens Mews, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 5AZ