One of the many things I collect is any memorabilia associated with the two 'founding fathers' of modern evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. Whilst items bearing Darwin's likeness, such as fridge magnets, key-ring fobs, figurines, old cigarette cards, postage stamps and even sugar packets, are relatively common, it is much, much more difficult to find any 'tat' emblazoned with Wallace phizog.
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A very special book is currently being produced to commemorative the Wallace anniversary this year. The Letter from Ternate is being hand printed by Tim Preston on his Victorian Albion printing press at a rate of only about two pages per day. It is a labor of love, and poor Tim has been printing for five weeks so far. Fortunately the end is now in sight. Once printing is finished, the book will be professionally hand-bound and engravings and other illustrations tipped-in. There will be a pocket on the inside back cover with additional pictures and other material.
The Dell, the amazing house Wallace built in Grays in Essex from the profits of his trip to the Malay Archipelago is up for sale! See http://www.thedellessex.co.uk/ Considering it has 9 bedrooms the price of £1,500,000 isn't too bad I guess! However, I don't think I will be snapping it up!
I have finally produced a list of all the donors to the Wallace statue campaign, which was not a straightforward job for various reasons. A total of 74 generous people and organisations contributed - so a very big thank-you to all of you!
A c. 30 minute video of a talk by George Beccaloni and Caroline Catchpole about Wallace's early life and his adventures in the Amazon Basin and the Malay Archipelago is available at the following link for a very limited time only [it is an experiment]: https://vimeo.com/58786695 (the case sensitive password = Wallace).
Exciting news - we have just reached the halfway mark in the fundraising for the statue - we now have about £25,0001 of the £50,000 needed!! We can now afford to commission a large-than-life head-and-torso bust with plinth, which is about half the bronze which would go in to making a 10% larger than life statue which is obviously the ultimate goal.
The following Press Release has been sent out by the office of Welsh MP Joyce Watson:
Wallace Letters Online (WLO), the Wallace Correspondence Project's online archive of Wallace's letters, is now live on the Natural History Museum's website - see http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/scientific-resources/collections/library-collections/wallace-letters-online/index.html (a short url is http://www.nhm.ac.uk/walla
I am disappointed to report that the campaign to raise funds for a unique life-size statue of Wallace to mark the 100th anniversary of his death this year is still £30,000 away from its target, and there are only a few days left... Unfortunately the fundraising has to stop on the 31st January 2013 to give the sculptor enough time to produce the work for the anniversary on the 7th November.