The story goes that the work of Alfred Wallace was drawn on by Darwin in presenting his theory of evolution. Charles Darwin saw Wallace's findings as a threat to his own status and subsequently went on to publish ' On The Origin of Species' in his own right without crediting Wallace in any way for his contribution.
|Wallace's birth place Kensington Cottage, Llanbadoc, Usk|
In 1836 when he was 12, the family was facing financial hardship and Alfred was sent to London to live with his older brother John. The following year at age 14, he went to Bedfordshire where he started working for his eldest brother William in his surveying business. Alfred learnt map making, trigonometry, building design and construction, mechanics and agricultural chemistry. It was while working for William that he began taking an interest in natural history.
In 1843, he accepted a position at the Collegiate School in Leicester, teaching drafting, surveying, English, and mathematics and took advantage of the library there to read more about natural history. He was later awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Dublin and Oxford University. Alfred left his position as a teacher and took over running William's surveying business in 1845 when William died, but he continued to be interested in natural history.
Inspired by a book 'Voyage Up the River Amazon' by William H. Edwards and fed up with the administrative aspects of the surveying business,Wallace decided, at age 25, to become a professional naturalist, collecting animal and plant specimens. He enlisted the help of Henry Walter Bates, an amateur naturalist whom he had met while teaching in Leicester, and the two set sail for the Amazon during April 1848.
|Alfred Russel Wallace|
|Wallace studied the beautiful golden bird wing butterfly|
|In 2008 a new book on the work of Wallace was published|
|A bronze statue of Wallace was unveiled at |
The Darwin Centre in 2013
Usk Civic Society, Usk has had it's own memorial to Wallace since 2006 near Llanbadoc Church, where Wallace was baptised, which was unveiled by Wallace's Grandson Richard.
The Alfred Russel Wallace Website
BBC piece on Wallace
Brits at their Best