On Thursday 7th November 2013, one hundred years to the day after the great naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace died, a life-size bronze statue of him will be presented to the Natural History Museum in London by the Wallace Memorial Fund. This statue, the first ever made of Wallace, is the result of a fund-raising campaign started by George Beccaloni, Chairman of the Fund, in 2011.
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News and Views
Below is a list of book length publications (printed and electronic) on Wallace which have appeared during 2013, with links to more information about them, if available. This list will be updated if I come across any others during the year. Note that scholarly articles about Wallace which have been published during this period will be listed on Charles Smith's website HERE.
A lucky buyer has an amazing stone carving brought back from Java by Wallace and they don't yet know its fascinating history!
Ahren Lester, a friend of mine who is doing a PhD on Wallace, recently pointed out the following comment in a letter written by Wallace's son William in 1935:
Two frequently asked questions are 1) how famous was Wallace, and 2) was he really forgotten after his death as some people (like myself) have often said? Responses to these have been based on intuition - but now, thanks to Google's Ngram Viewer, it is possible to answer them in a more quantitative way. Ngram allows users to study the frequency of certain terms (e.g. people's names) in about 5 million books over time. Several terms can be examined on one graph, so one can examine their relative frequencies.
The Flying Frog Fracas
I have sometimes heard it said that Alfred Russel Wallace coined the term "Darwinism". This is incorrect, although he did use the term (perhaps unfortunately!) as the title of an excellent book about evolution which he published in 1889.
When Alfred Russel Wallace wrote to Charles Darwin from a remote island in Indonesia in 1858, he could not possibly have imagined the consequences. Darwin forwarded the letter and its enclosed essay to Sir Charles Lyell with a despairing note: “So all my originality, whatever it may amount to, will be smashed.” Wallace had independently solved the problem of the origin of species, and this book relates what happened next.
Join the campaign for a Google Doodle to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death on the 7th November 2013. Please send an email saying that you would really like to see a Wallace-related Doodle on Google's homepage on the 7th November to firstname.lastname@example.org They did a Doodle for Darwin's 200th birthday, so they may consider one for Wallace if enough people pester them!
Ancestor's Trail and Entangled Bank Events are very kindly helping to raise the remaining £25,000 for the statue of Wallace that the Wallace Memorial Fund has commissioned and which is destined for the Natural History Museum in London where it will be unveiled by Sir David Attenborough on the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death - 7th November 2013.