New news and views on news, usually by George Beccaloni
Sreela Banerjee of the Pyr Project wrote to tell me about a brilliant song the project has recently produced about Wallace. It is called 'Wallace was a very busy man' - and it is sung by the Charles Matthews Singers, who are children (largely) from Mickleton Primary School, in Gloucestershire. To hear it click HERE and then on "The Wallace song" (or simply CLICK HERE). The words can be read HERE and the music HERE. There are some nice resources for kids about Wallace, the Wallace Line, and Wallace's world, on the project's "Resources" page.
This must be the first song ever written about Wallace - the only other I know which even mentions him is this one: http://wallacefund.info/mr-darwin-mr-wallace-mr-matthew-song-mr-haines
The patron of the Wallace Memorial Fund, Bill Bailey, and the patron of the Wallace Correspondence Project (WCP), Sir David Attenborough, met each other for the first time last night in the Natural History Museum in London. They were both involved in filming for a two part series about Wallace, which is being presented by Bill, and will be broadcast early in 2013.
I had never properly met Sir David before, so I took the opportunity to introduce myself. I mentioned that I was the director of the WCP and thanked him for agreeing to be the patron of the project. Although I didn't mention my name he said "Oh, so you must be Dr Beccaloni" - which impressed me greatly as my surname isn't the easiest name to remember!
David Attenborough (left), George Beccaloni (centre) & Bill Bailey (right) in the Central Hall of the Natural History Museum, London.
Photo. by Jan Beccaloni.
Many thanks to those of you who completed the Natural History
Museum's survey to choose a logo for Wallace100. The survey closed on Tuesday
June 19th, and I can report that an overwhelming majority preferred
logo 1 – thinking that it was more eye-catching, appealing, legible etc than
logo 2. A final version of logo 1 will now be produced, before it is released
for use. Watch this space!
|LOGO 1||LOGO 2|
There is so much Wallace-related stuff going on at the moment in preparation for the anniversary of his death next year, that I have had to neglect this blog somewhat. Not only am I heavily involved in the planning for the London Natural History Museum's series of Wallace-related events for 2013 (called Wallace100) but I am also working on a number of other Wallace projects. One of these is a campaign to raise funds for a life-size bronze statue of Wallace for the Natural History Museum, which will be the Wallace Memorial Fund's main contribution to the 2013 celebrations. More about this and other activities soon!
Two things I managed to do on this site today are to add some more images of Wallace's wonderful paintings and drawings to our image gallery (https://picasaweb.google.com/WallaceMemorialFund/WallaceSArtwork) and to create a list of all known Wallace films - see http://wallacefund.info/wallace-biographies
Talking of Wallace films, I took the photo of our Patron, comedian Bill Bailey, at the Natural History Museum recently during filming for a 2 part series about Wallace which Bill is presenting. It will be broadcast early next year.
Bill & Alfred
The Natural History Museum in London is conducting a public survey to help choose a logo for Wallace100. Wallace100 is the name for an informal international association of partners with projects designed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wallace’s death in 2013.
The Museum has designed two logos and it wants to know which one YOU think would be the best (most striking, clearest, memorable, attractive etc) for use on websites, printed leaflets etc. The survey takes only about 30 seconds to do, so please let us know what you think and click on the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NDBP7XD
In my last post I asked readers to choose between WALLACE2013 and WALLACE100 as the name for the programme of activities which will take place in 2013 at the Natural History Museum, London and elsewhere around the world, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death. A total of about 140 people took part in the poll and WALLACE100 was chosen by over 60% of voters. A logo for WALLACE100 is currently being designed.
Thanks to all of you who voted.
In 2013 the Natural History Museum in London will be celebrating 100 years since Wallace's death with a programme of activity which is likely to comprise a display/trail of Wallace material in the galleries, a Wallace area on the Museum's website, a conference, and other exciting events. The Museum needs a name for this series of events and would like your help in choosing it. To help please complete the following extremely quick survey by May 23, 2012:- http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/35LV33G
Dr Abigale Woods, an Historian of Medicine at Imperial College London, wrote to me to say:
“I just read your post from 2009, 'Musings on Wallace's Assistants, Charles Allen and Ali' [to read it CLICK HERE]. Very interesting, as I recently found out that my boyfriend's family are descended from Charles Allen's daughter, Amelia. The family lived in Singapore for several generations and had pretty eventful lives, only leaving in WWII.”
Abigale then sent the following interesting information she had discovered about Allen and his descendents, which she said I could share with readers of this blog:
"Charles Martin Allen's obituary is in The Straits Times newspaper, 7 July 1892 (see http://newspapers.nl.sg/Digitised/Article/straitstimes18920707.2.20.aspx). It reads as follows:
“Mr. C. M. Allen of Perseverance Estate, Gaylang, died this morning, at 4.30. Mr. Allen came to the East in 1854 with Wallace author of “The Malay Peninsula” [should be “Archipelago”] and with him went through Sarawak and Netherlands India. He afterwards took to tin mining and prospecting in the Carimons with Mr. Hartmann. He was a Collector and Magistrate at Klang 25 years ago. He explored the Malay Peninsula in the years 1870 to 1872 for Mr. Fisher, who, as a result, commenced the Galena Co., and the Chindrass Gold Co. He succeeded Mr. Fisher at Perseverance Estate, Gaylang, ten years ago as proprietor, and he continued to manufacture his well known essential oils up to the day of his death. He was an unassuming man of great and varied intelligence, well versed in Native matters, of a kindly disposition and never putting himself forward. He was well liked by all who knew him. He leaves a grown up family of eight children, and a devoted wife to mourne his loss. His son Charles who hasfor some time back managed the business will no doubt carry it on. The funeral takes place at 5.30 o’clock this afternoon.”
Abigaile continues “The Perseverance Estate is mentioned in several histories of the region. It was founded by the wealthy Alsagoff family, and was a major source of citronella (lemon grass) and patchouli. It seems to have foundered around the turn of the 20th century.” [The estate is now a district of Singapore city (http://www.gomapper.com/travel/where-is/perseverance-estate-located.html) and is “considered to be the heart of the Muslim community in Singapore.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Singaporean)]
“Charles married a Christina Elizabette (apparently of French extraction) in 1860. The children I have identified are:
- William Martin (?)
- Elizabeth Christina (1864-1934, never married, died in Singapore)
- Amelia Allen (1865-1929), who married Joseph Gray (b. South Shields, 1853, joined the merchant navy, was briefly the 2nd mate on the Cutty Sark, eventually settled in Singapore and became the Pilot for Keppel Harbour). They had two children, from which my boyfriend, Nick Riches, is descended. The family fled to Australia when the Japanese invaded and eventually returned to England.
- John (1867-1914)
- Charles Henry (1868-1910)
- Annie Beatrice (b.1880, married Charles Walter Edwards in 1908). Her granddaughter has posted a story of their branch of the family at http://www.malayanvolunteersgroup.org.uk/node/353. They also fled to Australia in WWII.
- another daughter, later Mrs Bidwell”
About four months ago I asked readers of this blog whether anyone could identify the mystery gentleman in the image to the right (to read the original blog post click HERE). Well, Muhammad Ahmad contacted me to say he thought the sitter was none other than the illustrious 'white Rajah' of Sarawak Sir James Brooke - and he was absolutely right! I looked on the internet for images of Rajah Brooke and found a copy of exactly the same photo in the library of Swansea Museum - see http://www.swanseaheritage.net/article/gat.asp?ARTICLE_ID=1279
World expert on Wallace, Prof. Charles Smith, who runs the excellent Wallace Page website, has nearly finished work on "an 'enhanced transcription' of the journal/diary Wallace kept during his ten-month North American lecture tour of 1886-1887." Charles explains:
"Wallace’s tour extended across the entire U. S. (he visited twenty-five or twenty-six different states) and a small portion of Canada. By that point in his life (several years after the death of Darwin) he was, judging from contemporary reports, the most famous naturalist in the world. The journal itself is not a literary diary; it more resembles (not surprisingly) a naturalist’s field book. Still, it is filled with interesting impressions, notes, and even a few sketches."
"I have been able to secure a DVD copy of the journal from its keeper, the Linnean Society of London, and have finished the transcription per se. My collaborator [Megan Derr] and I are now in the process of working up the “enhancements.” These will include a route map, Introduction, general editorial notes on the text, fifty or more period photos, selections from newspaper and other coverage of the tour, excerpts from letters Wallace wrote and works he published during the trip, insertion of elaborations on the trip made in his autobiography My Life (1905), separate lists of plants he saw/collected and places he visited, and a sizable biographical appendix (Wallace identifies over 135 people he met for whom entries are even now to be found in major biographical compendia such as the DSB, Who Was Who, and the American National Biography). More than five-sixths of this additional work is complete at this point."
Not only will Charles' and Megan's book be a very important addition to the primary literature about Wallace, but it should also appeal to those interested in first hand accounts of the landscape, people and institutions of late nineteenth century North America. Charles is currently looking for someone who could publish the book in time for the 2013 Wallace anniversary year, so if you happen to be a publisher and are potentially interested then please contact him at email@example.com Note that both Sir David Attenborough and Wallace scholar Lord Cranbrook have agreed to act as referees for the project. To see a detailed proposal for the book CLICK HERE.
PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON TO ANYONE YOU THINK MAY BE INTERESTED.