Paper: Homing In: Alfred Russel Wallace’s Homes in Britain (1852 to 1913)

I have just made my illustrated article on Alfred Russel Wallace’s homes in Britain available online.

This article–published in The Linnean, vol. 30, no. 2 (October 2014)–set out to fix with a greater degree of accuracy where and when he lived at each home. The intention is that this will act as the first stage of a larger study of how his choice of residence affected his thinking–if indeed it did.

Anybody who has an interest in a similar project with another individual or with Wallace, please do contact me. I would be very interested to hear what you have done or are doing.



IN PRESS: "Alfred Russel Wallace’s Introduction to Botany Through John Lindley"

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.

Book Review: "Alfred Russel Wallace’s 1886–1887 Travel Diary: The North American Lecture Tour" edited by Charles H. Smith and Megan Derr

I have just had a new book review of published in the December 2013 volume of British Journal for the History of Science (vol. 46, no. 4).*

It is of the excellent Alfred Russel Wallace’s 1886–1887 Travel Diary: The North American Lecture Tour edited by Charles H. Smith and Megan Derr which has recently been published by the Siri Scientific Press.

It is a truly wonderful book which brings to life Wallace’s travel diary written during his 10 month lecture tour in the USA and Canada.

Importantly, it is not only of interest to those studying Alfred Russel Wallace but also for those interested in the history and reception of Darwinism in America, the history of botany, geology and various other sciences as well as general American social history as Wallace often makes comments about America in the late 1880s.

It is a delight to have the opportunity to take a journey around America at a time when it was changing rapidly with someone as perceptive as Wallace. And, with Smith and Derr’s additions, the context is greater expanded.


*You can read it either from my page or from the BJHS site. 

Book Review: "Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848–1930" by Christine Ferguson

I have just had a book review published in the British Journal for the History of Science.*

It is Christine Ferguson’s excellent Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writing, 1848–1930 published by Edinburgh University Press.

For those of you working in the area of occult studies it is a very interesting book. Similarly for those interested in eugenics theory, racial, spiritualism and more besides in (chiefly) the nineteenth-century it is filled with valuable insights.

*You can read it either from my page or from the BJHS site.