UPDATE 16 May 2018: A very experienced palaeographer has determined that the handwritting of the 'Kington Essay' is not Wallace's. We are left with a mystery – who was the “A. Wallace” who wrote it? Was A. R. Wallace a member of the Kington Mechanics’ Institute and was there anyone else called A. Wallace who was also a member?
The Wallace Correspondence Project is asking anyone who is good at recognising handwriting to tell us whether they think a document we have was, or wasn't, written by Alfred Russel Wallace. We have our own views, but welcome those of as many people as possible. Obviously the opinions of trained paleographers and graphologists are especially welcome!
The manuscript of an essay entitled “On the Best Method of Conducting the Kington Mechanic's Institution” was discovered fairly recently (click HERE to download a pdf of it) and a question has arisen as to whether or not the handwriting is Wallace’s or some other person's (Wallace may, or may not, have authored the essay, but even if he did, it may have been copied out by someone else). Note that the corrections on the ms seem to be in a different hand to that of the main text. We would be very grateful for your opinion as to whether or not you think the handwriting of the main text is Wallace’s. Please send your opinion to firstname.lastname@example.org
Obviously Wallace's writing changed over time – but you can see samples of his early hand in the following manuscripts, which were written around the same time as the essay (note, please click a link, scroll down and click the “Scan” button to see the digitised manuscript:
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/scientific-resources/collections/library-collections/wallace-letters-online/1792/1680/S/details.html [the enclosure to the above letter]