Alfred Russel Wallace

Wallace, Alfred Russel

Alfred Russel Wallace, 1823–1913, English naturalist. From his study of comparative biology in Brazil and in the East Indies, he evolved a concept of evolution similar to that of Charles Darwin. Like Darwin, he was greatly influenced by the writings of Malthus and Lyell and based his theories on careful observation. Wallace sent his paper on evolution to Darwin in 1858, and its striking coincidences to Darwin's own theory sparked the older, more cautious naturalist to publish On the Origin of Species the following year (and led Darwin's friends to move quickly to assure that his priority would be recognized). Wallace's especial contribution to the evidence for evolution was in biogeography; he systematized the science and wrote The Geographical Distribution of Animals (2 vol., 1876) and a supplement, Island Life (1881). His research in this field is commemorated in the name Wallace's line. He also assisted H. W. Bates in evolving an early concept of mimicry. Wallace's other works include Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection (1870), Darwinism (1889), and Social Environment and Moral Progress (1913).

See his autobiography (2 vol., 1905); selections of his writings, ed. by J. R. Camerini (2001) and A. Berry (2002); biographies by P. Raby (2001), M. Fichman (2004), R. A. Slotten (2004), and M. Shermer (2006).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Alfred Russel Wallace: Selected full-text books and articles

A Great Naturalist: Alfred Russel Wallace, 1823-1913 By Osborn, Henry Fairfield Natural History, Vol. 123, No. 6, July/August 2015
FREE! Darwinism, an Exponent of the Theory of Natural Selection, with Some of Its Applications By Alfred Russel Wallace Macmillan, 1889
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
The Evolution Debate, 1813-1870 By David Knight; Charles Darwin; Alfred Russel Wallace Routledge, vol.9, 2003
Librarian's tip: Includes "Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection" by Wallace and "On the Tendency of Species to Form Varieties" by Wallace and Darwin
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Darwinism: Critical Reviews from Dublin Review, Edinburgh Review, Quarterly Review By Alfred Russell Wallace; James Rowland Angell; J. Mark Baldwin; Francis Galton; Thomas Henry Huxley; Daniel N. Robinson University Publications of America, 1977
The Malay Archipelago: The Land of the Orang-Utan and the Bird of Paradise: A Narrative of Travel, with Studies of Man and Nature By Alfred Russel Wallace Dover, 1962
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Evolution, Genesis and Revelations, with Readings from Empedocles to Wilson By C. Leon Harris State University of New York Press, 1981
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Alfred Russel Wallace: An Appreciation By Attenborough, David Natural History, Vol. 123, No. 7, September 2015
Alfred Russel Wallace - Species Seeker Extraordinaire By Conniff, Richard Skeptic (Altadena, CA), Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer 2015
Heretic Scientist: Why Alfred Russel Wallace Got Involved in So Many Heretical Ideas By Shermer, Michael Skeptic (Altadena, CA), Vol. 20, No. 3, Summer 2015
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