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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Wallace, Alfred Russel

Alfred Russel Wallace

In the field of science, Charles Darwin is a name that is held up in the same high esteem as Isaac Newton and Galileo. Add Alfred Russel Wallace to this list.

Working at the same time as Darwin, Wallace developed his own independent theory on the evolution of species. This was based on his expeditions and rigorous scientific studies in various parts of the world including the Amazon and Malaysia. He noted that previous theories could not fully explain the independent development of species in different parts of the world. His alternative view of ‘natural selection’ was an idea that he discussed in correspondence with Darwin. While some say his theories were simply prompted by Darwin’s own, this vastly understates Wallace’s role.

Indeed, when Darwin presented his Theory of Evolution for the first time it was as a joint piece of work with Wallace. Over time, however, despite Wallace continuing to work in the field and defend the theory against stern criticism, it is Darwin who received the ultimate acclaim and who is now celebrated.

Wallace was highly regarded during his career and published a number of works. This includes more than five-hundred scientific papers and over twenty books. His portfolio of works show a man dedicated to his research and committed to examining the detail and diversity of the natural world. A first edition of his most famous work from 1870, Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection, has realized $750 at auction. More commonly, first editions of his other works fetch between $100 and $300.

During his life, Wallace was heralded as one of the foremost scientists of his generation. Today he has unfortunately been overshadowed by Darwin. A number of biographies and documentaries in the last decade have helped to increase Wallace’s standing, giving him greater credit in the development of evolutionary theory.

Wallace, Alfred Russel. A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro. Reeve and Co., London (1853). With an Account of the Native Tribes and Observations on the Climate, Geology, and Natural History of the Amazon Valley; includes map, folding chart, and 9 plates

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Der Malayische Archipel. Georg Westermann, Braunschweig (1869). The Malay Archipelago - The home of the orangutan and the Bird of Paradise. Travel experiences and studies on people and places; 2 volumes; 27 woodcut illustrations and 5 maps

Wallace, Alfred Russel. The Malay Archipelago. Macmillan and Co, London (1869). The Land Of The Orang-Utan And The Bird Of Paradise; Illustrated with 10 plates and 2 folding maps; 2 volumes

Wallace, Alfred Russell. The Malay Archipelago. Harper & Brothers, New York (1869). 2 folding maps, b&w plates

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection. Macmillan & Co., London (1870). A series of essays

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection. Macmillan and Co., London (1871). A series of essays; 2nd edition, corrections and additions

Wallace, Alfred Russel. The Malay Archipelago. Macmillan & Co., London (1872). The Land Of The Orang-Utan And The Bird Of Paradise, A Narrative Of Travel, With Studies Of Man And Nature.; 7 maps (6 full-page), 8 wood-engraved plates, and 44 wood-engraved text illustrations (some full-page); 3rd edition

wallace, Alfred Russel. The Geographical Distribution of Animals. Macmillan & Co., London (1876). With a Study of the Relations of Living and Extinct Faunas as Elucidating the Past Changes of the Earth's Surface; 7 coloured maps, 20 engraved plates; 2 volumes

Wallace, Alfred Russel. The Geographical Distribution of Animals. Harper & Brothers, New York (1876). With a Study of the Relations of Living and Extinct Faunas as Elucidating the Past Changes of the Earth's Surface; 7 coloured maps, 20 engraved plates; 2 volumes

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Tropical Nature. Macmillan and Co., London (1878). and Other Essays

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Australasia. Edward Stanford, London (1879). with Ethnological Appendix by A.H. Keane, M.A.I.; 16 full-page plates and 20 maps, some folding

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Island Life. MacMillan & Co, London (1880). or the Phenomena and Causes of Insular Faunas and Floras, Including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geological Climates; 26 illustrations: 3 plates of folding maps

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Island Life. Harper & Brothers, New York (1881). Or, the Phenomena and Causes of Insular Faunas and Floras including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geological Climates.; 3 maps; engraved text illustrations; 1st US edition;

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Darwinism. Macmillan and Col, London (1889). An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection with some of its Applications.; illustrated with 37 figures in-text and folding colour map

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Natural Selection and Tropical Nature. Macmillan, London (1891). Essays on Descriptive and Theoretical Biology; New edition iwht corrections, additions, preface, introduction, and index

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Island Life. MacMillan, London (1892). 'or The Phenomena and Causes of Insular Faunas and Floras Including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geological Climates; 2nd revised edition

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Island Life. Macmillan, New York (1892). 'or The Phenomena and Causes of Insular Faunas and Floras Including a Revision and Attempted Solution of the Problem of Geological Climates; 2nd revised edition; illustrated with 26 maps and illustrations

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Natural Selection And Tropical Nature. Macmillan And Co., London (1895). Essays On Descriptive And Theoretical Biology New Edition With Corrections And Additions.

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Studies Scientific & Social. Macmillan and Co., London (1900). 2 volumes; illustrated

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Man's Place in the Universe. Chapman & Hall, London (1903).

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Man's Place in the Universe. McClure, Phillips & Co., New York (1903). A Study of the Results of Scientific Research in Relation to the Unity or Plurality of Worlds; 2 folding plates

Wallace, Alfred Russel. My Life. Dodd Mead, New York (1905). A Record of Events and Opinions; 2 volumes

Wallace, Alfred Russel:. Is Mars Habitable?. Macmillan, London (1907). A Critical Examination of Professor Percival Lowell's Book "Mars and Its Canals" With an Alternative Explanation.

Wallace, Alfred Russel. The Revolt of Democracy. Cassell & Co., London (1913). with Life Story of the Author, by James Marchant

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Letters and Reminiscences. Harper & Brothers, New York (1916). By James Marchant; US edition

Wallace, Alfred Russel. Letters and Reminiscences. Cassell, London (1916). By James Marchant; 2 volumes

Wallace, Alfred Russel. An Anthology of His Shorter Writings. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1991). Edited by Charles H. Smith