As part of my work on Alfred Russel Wallace and his introduction to botanical study, I had to go to the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (SDUK) archives held by University College London (though currently housed at the National Archives).
There I wanted to look at the correspondence with the SDUK of the botanist and inaugural Professor of Botany at UCL, John Lindley (1799-1865), to see if it threw up anything interesting for my research. This it certainly did. (more…)
I have recently had accepted for publication a short note on Alfred Russel Wallace’s early introduction to botany through the works of John Lindley.
In it I raise new material which pinpoints the first botanical text Wallace owned, read and used which reinforces the importance of Lindley–who was the inaugural Professor of Botany at University College London–in Wallace’s early adventures into natural history.
Obviously it is known that Wallace owned Lindley’s Elements of Botany early on, but this pushes Lindley’s influence earlier than that and fills in a gap in our knowledge of Wallace’s earliest botanical experience.
Despite its short length (under 1500 words) it took some time to finalise this piece of research due to the lack of foundational facts that existed. Hopefully it will be of interest once it is published next year.
As it stands, it will be published by the Archives of Natural History in April 2015. I will, obviously, post it once it is printed.