Photograph of British humanist, naturalist, and critic Alfred Russel Wallace.

Alfred Russel Wallace

(1823 - 1913)

After establishing himself as a naturalist, Alfred Russel Wallace at the age of thirty-one in 1854 arrived at the Malay Archipelago, where he collected some 126,500 specimens—including over two hundred new species of birds—and began to formulate his theory of natural selection. After recovering from a bout of malaria in 1858, he sent the essay “On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type” to Charles Darwin; it was presented along with two papers by Darwin to the Linnean Society later that year. Over the course of his life, he published twenty-one books and over seven hundred articles, essays, and letters on a wide range of moral, social, scientific, and political issues.

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