On Saturday 12th July my wife and I took our friend the American Wallace scholar Jim Costa, on a visit to Hertford - the town north of London where Wallace went to school. Although it was a 'fun' rather than research trip I did discover a few things which I thought would be worthwhile reporting:
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News and Views
Some months ago Darwin historian Janet Browne mentioned to me that no 19th century cartoons mentioning Wallace are known. Well, I just 'discovered' one (albeit an unpublished one) which was mentioned on an interesting post by Brian Switek on his Laelaps blog in 2011 - see http://www.wired.com/2011/11/repost-divine-intervention-dinosaurs-and-da... and below (No, Wallace isn't the chap in the centre!).
I came across two letters by Raymond Holbrook Arnot (1874 - 1948) who was an attorney in Rochester, USA. Arnot was interested in history and was a president of the Rochester Historical Society. He was also interested in science and in the late 1890's was the president of the "Alfred Russel Wallace Scientific Club of Rochester", which Wallace was the Patron of! I had never heard about this club until I read these letters and I can't find out anything more about it. When Arnot wrote to Wallace in 1898 and 1899 the club had more than 50 members. I wonder what happened to it?
Annual A.R. Wallace Lecture 2014
Wednesday 30th July 2014
Flett Events Theatre, Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London, UK
Indefatigable Naturalists: Wallace and Darwin on the Evolutionary Trail
Dr Jim Costa (Executive Director, Highlands Biological Station, Highlands, NC, USA and Professor of Biology, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, USA)
I recently noticed that Wallace's annotated copy of the "Report on the scientific results of the voyage of H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873-76. Deep-sea deposits" is for sale on the Internet - see it HERE.
Amber Beavis of the Western Australian Museum, sent me two pics of an excellent cake she made for Darwin Day 2014.
By Alan Leyin (Thurrock Local History Society, Grays, Essex, UK).
Version 3, October 2014
In an earlier post on this blog I mentioned that the Hertford Civic Society in conjunction with East Herts Council and Hertford Town Council have commissioned sculptor Rodney Munday to produce a large wall relief of Wallace, who received his only formal education at Hertford Grammar School (now named Richard Hale School). The finished work will be 2m high and it will be installed on an external wall of Hertford Theatre later this year.
I thought some readers might be interested in how much usage this website gets, so here is a Google Analytics report on usage from 1st Jan 2013 to 27th April 2014. I haven't investigated the possible causes of all the peaks in 2013 (Wallace's death centenary year), but the one in November was around the actual anniversary date - 7th November.