Alfred Russel Wallace: Inventor of the Theory of Evolution.
A Delicate Arrangement: the Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace
Notes on Arnold Backman's book © Rae West 1997, 2014

Amazon review of Brackman's book
Timeline of events: Wallace, Darwin, Bates and others
More Notes on 'A Delicate Arrangement' to try to establish Darwin's precedence

Related sites: big-lies.org     nukelies.org

Review of Brackman's Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace

imageScience fraud, Scientific Priority, Creativity, and History.
Arnold C. Brackman: A Delicate Arrangement: The Strange Case of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace
Brackman 5 stars First-rate history-of-science detective story but with some flaws, November 27, 2010

[Amazon review] By Rerevisionist (Manchester, England)
Tags: Arnold C Brackman, Alfred Russel Wallace, Bates, Amazon, Indonesia, Lyell, Hooker, Darwin, Wallace line, New Guinea, Timor, selection

Brackman was an academic of some sort (West Connecticut State College) who wrote on topics including Nineveh, Tutankhamen (as it was then spelt), Troy, Japanese WW2 War Crimes trials (latter book 1987). He appears to have been married to Aggie, from Surinam, in south America, which I think led to his interest in the Amazon, where Bates the zoologist explored. Brackman was also some sort of correspondent, I think for Time/Life, in the Straits area, where he heard of the 'Wallace Line' just after the Second World War, many years before becoming professionally involved. His author's note at the end gives some details of his methodology. He was published by a Time/Life subsidiary.

This book is a reconstruction of the discovery of the theory of evolution. Wallace was an explorer along the lines of Bates 'of the Amazons'. Note that Darwin and T H Huxley were explorers too. Travel by biologists—accustomed to detailed and microscopic examination of specimens—was an important element in discovering evolution, because whole ecological systems thrust themselves on their attention. (Huxley, who went to Antarctica, may have felt he'd drawn the short straw!)

In brief, Wallace, in the then Dutch East Indies, wrote papers and letters, for example on the 'succession of species', in the 1850s, to Darwin and others. In 1858 (ill with malaria) Wallace wrote the first complete exposition of descent and diversification through variation and natural selection. On 9 March, 1858 he posted his letter to Darwin, which Brackman estimates to have arrived by 4 June, 1858. The theory of evolution was announced publically on July 1st, the meeting having been brought forward from 17th. The Linnaean Society must have panicked, as Wallace might have sent the same material elsewhere. Darwin, Hooker, and Lyell rigged up the 'joint paper' meeting. From this time forward mythology of Darwin's priority was nurtured: letters and diary entries were missing, for example. The process continued for decades. Wallace himself believed the story, though with increasing doubts, as for example volumes of letters were published, but with gaps where letters had supposedly been destroyed.

This book is in three parts—it is essentially three sub-books—
1 The arrival of Wallace's letters to Darwin;
2 early lives and work of both Wallace and Bates in 'the Green Infernos';
3 the nobility of character of Wallace.
Brackman surveys other sceptics on Darwin's life—J L Brooks, Stauffer, Haughton—but none seem to have taken Brackman's uncompromising stand. The famous portrait of Darwin with a long beard, possibly steeped in gloom, is interpreted by Brackman as evidence that Darwin felt guilt for the rest of his life. There is abundant detail in Brackman, but it is unsummarised; I made my own chronology from 1776 (Malay archipelago, 1809 (Lamarck's theory), 1813? (first mentions of the ideas of natural selection and survival of the fittest, latter phrase from Herbert Spencer), 1823 Wallace's birth—right through to 1980, the year of publication.

So what? There are several lessons—one being the establishment reaction. Darwin was rich, Wallace struggled all his life. The 'Labor Party' was founded in 1901; aristocrats liked to think one of their number had achieved something of intellectual value (even though it's difficult to believe they'd have had anything to do with barnacles, 'worm stones', and the rest). Educators looked on Darwin as a genius, overlooking the part played by investigative work. (There's a strange parallel with the real Shakespeare—Wallace's ancestry contains a 'Vere'; is it possible he was related to the real Shakespeare?)

The book is a bit marred by Americanisms which don't sit very well in an English-topic book. 'Skim ice', 'Wallace lucked out', 'Darwinism ran 494 pages', 'Labor Party' illustrate the sort of thing. He confuses 'disinterest' with 'uninterest', doesn't know 'windfall' refers to fruit blown from trees, calls Lancelot Hogben a 'controversial historian', hasn't heard of Peacock's oran utan Monboddo character 'Lord Oran Haut-Ton'. There are some misprints ('dumfounded') and a few conflicting publication dates. He always says 'Utopian' of socialism. A comment attributes to Wallace a view ascribed widely to Bakunin.

However, this is an important book, in its way resembling Looney's work on the Earl of Oxford. Here's a sketchy chronology taken from the book (with page numbers) which may be helpful:---


Timeline of events taken from Brackman's book: Wallace, Darwin, Bates and others

  1776 Sonnerat (French) 1st naturalist to study Malay archipelago 167
  1809 Lamarck's theory: simplest gave rise to others; + acq chars 29
  1813? William Wells at Royal Soc has a nat selection & s fittest 75
  1818 Thomas Vere Wallace & Mary Anne move with 6 kids to Usk 100
  Jan 8 1823 Birth of Alfred Russel Wallace 100
  1831 Darwin a corresponding member of Zoological Society 13
  1831 Patrick Matthew in obscure book on naval timber on surv fit 75
  1832 Lyell's Principles of Geology gives incredibly long history 30
  1833 Lyell's Principles of Geology (sic; both dates given by Brackman) 124
  1835 Darwin dedicates Voyage of the Beagle to Lyell (? see below) 33
  1835 First monograph of Edward Blyth (in Mag of Nat Hist?) 37
  1837 Darwin 'opens the first page of his species notebook' 13
  Species notebook conceives of 'tree of nature' 51
  Wallace shipped off to Baton-by-the-Sea to learn surveying 108
  1839 Asa Gray, American botanist, visits England for 1st time 52
  1839 'Illustrations of British Insects' by James Francis Stephen 118
  1839 'Voyage of the Beagle' published 119
  Early 1840s D theory of artificial selection/ nothing on divergence 12
  1840s D had "natural selection" mechanism; but not divergence 15
  1841 Blyth leaves for India, having published in Mag of Nat Hist 37
  1841 W buys a shilling paperback (sic) on botany; 'stunned' 110
  1841? W buys John Lindley's 'Elements of Botany'; nothing geographical 111
  1841? W borrows London's 'Encyclopaedia of Plants', copies info 111
  1842 D copies arguments by Blyth in essays... 37
  June 1842 D claimed 'very brief extract of my theory in 35 pages' 18
  3 Jan 1843 Bates short piece on Coleoptera in damp places in Zoologist 117
  1843 W's father died; 'destitute family scattered' 114
  1843 W tries 1st paper, on Linnaeus' classifn. Disliked jargon 115
  1844? 1st 'Anglo-Chinese' Opium War 123
  1844 W teaching job in Leicester 115
  1844 'Vestiges of.. Creation' by Robt Chambers (cp Velikovsky) 55
  1844 Author of 'Vestiges' 'roundly denounced.. scientific elite..' 121
  1844 D copies arguments by Blyth 37
  Summer 1844 D claimed enlarged abstract to 320 pages; w/o divergence 18,60
  1845 Bates, Wallace met Leicester library; W discovers beetles 117
  1845 early B & W at 23 and 25 draw up plans, purchase supplies 128
  By coincidence, William Edwards, author, in London; helps 128
  Samuel Stevens becomes their agent; no disagreements ever 129
  Stevens shrewdly invests for W 256
  1845 'Explanation..' by Robt Chambers (also tho' anonymous) 55
  1845 approx W says idea something like Sarawak Law 'suggested itself' 27
  Nov 8 1845 W asks Bates his opinion of Chambers' 'Vestiges' 121
  Dec 28 1845 W writes Bates 'Vestiges an adroit thesis..'/ origin specs 123
  1846 W's brother died; collecting debts, W found railway mania 119
  Apr 11 1846 W to Bates mentions Darwin's Beagle & Lyell's Geol 1st time 124
  1847 W visits Insect Room, British Mus, moved 1881 to Nat Hist M 125
  1847? 'A Voyage Up the River Amazon' by Wm H Edwards published; W buys 125
  Autumn 1847 Wallace proposes joint expedition to Amazon; Bates accepts 127
  Jan 8 1848 W had 'squirreled' away £100 120
  1848 Dr Robert Waring Darwin died; left Charles about £40,000 120
  Apr 1848 W & Bates embark Liverpool 'The Mischief'; voyage to Para 130
  1849 US recognized Sarawak 24
  1850 W & B at Barra, present-day Manaus; they separate 137
  1851 prob. Asa Gray revisited England; met but didn't stay with Darwin 52
  1851 Goodrich's 'Universal History' 1 page on Malay archipelago 168
  Charlotte Bronte on first reading avowed atheism 291
  Mar 30 1851 B depressed, but Stevens' good news re money returns 7 years 153
  1852 W's 1st note in Proceedings of the Zoological Society 148
  Jul 12 1852 W weakened by illness decides to return; boards 'Helen' 154
  Oct 1 1852 W after fire & being picked up, & gales, lands at Deal 161
  Oct 5 1852 W already decides to travel more; Andes or Philippines? 162
  Aug 27 1853 Foreign Office authorises W to apply Admiralty for passage 169
  Oct 1853 W completed two books (D complains 'hardly facts enough') 164
  1853 W's 'A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro' 136
  W's book 'Palm Trees of the Amazon' with 48 plates self-published 165
  1853? W attends lecture by T H Huxley (2 yrs younger) v impressed 166
  Later, Wallace felt quite at ease with H; 'only a few..' 267
  1854 RGS presents W ticket Singapore; 16 year old C Allen assistant 171
  Nov 1 1854 W lands at Borneo, mouth of Sarawak river 177
  W arrives 1st time in Sarawak; W & James Brooke get on well 24
  1855 W in Singapore and Borneo 194
  W nurses a baby orang-utan in Borneo 266
  Feb 1855 W sends 'Sarawak Law' to Annals & Magazine of Natural History 26
  1855 (no date) D starts correspondence with Gray; minor exchanges continue 53
  Jun 25 1855 W writes spelling out desirable character of new assistant 185
  Sept 1855 Selby, Badington, Taylor.. publish Wallace's Sarawak paper 26
  Wallace's first species paper 13
  W says "my paper on the succession of species" 178
  Hogben '1st great attempt.. general ideas.. distribution.. fossils 178
  W 23 notes & monographs BETWEEN S & T; largest insect collection 181
  W in this period papers almost 1/month (with no facilities) 182
  Nov 26 1855 Lyell reads W's essay & makes long summary, opens notebook 32
  Lyell still believed Genesis hence shock of Sarawak paper 184
  Dec 1855 D read & annotated 'Sarawak Law' 50
  Sar Law '10 well known facts' but 8 & 10 not known to D *** 30
  Dec 8 1855 Blyth writes to D, asks D what he thinks of Sarawak Law 37
  Blyth, despite D's reading him 20 yrs, didn't know D's views 38
  1856 Wallace in Bali, Lombok, Celebes, Ke 194
  May 3 1856 D wrote to Lyell re 'my doctrine before me' 34
  Apr 13 1856 Sun Lyell visits D; stays; discusses W. D has natural selection, not divergence 33
  D 'as early as 1856 Lyell advised me to write out my views' 33
  July 20 1856 D to Gray l of substance: no independently-created species 53
  July 30 1856 D asks Hooker to return Lyell's letter (so, he kept some)# 40
  Oct 10 1856 W starts corresp with D. 8 D letters exist; only bit of 1 W 40
  W in Macassar, capital of Celebes (now Sulawesi) 43
  Nov 19 1856 Bates in Amazon writes to W on his perfect originality 49
  1857 W in Aru, New Guinea, Timor, Banda, Ambon 194
  Jan 1857 W's letter reached Darwin (at Down) about now; no reply ** 44
  May 1 1857 D replies to W: 20th year/ preparing for pub; 0 on Lyell, Sar 46
  D also avoids species question 46
  D letter again mentioned here 205
  Sep 5 1857 D reveals to Gray doctrine of divergence: variation & survival 54
  Sep 27 1857 W writes to D: fragment exists of l on S Law and big book 46
  Dec 22 1857 D's 2nd l to W: omits Lyell & Blyth reactn; evades species 47
  Last letter from D to W until after July 1 1858 50
  Letter mentioned as appeal by D for facts 205
  Jan 4 1858 W writes to Bates re W's paper 'Succession of Species' 49
  W writes 'I have prepared the plan and written a portion..' 208
  Jan 8 1858 mail boat puts into Ternate 194
  1858 W in Ternate, Gilolo, Kaioa 194
  1858 W's deteriorating health evidenced in rambling letters etc 197
  1858 W and malaria - Brackman cps with Layard of Nineveh 198
  1858 W 'openly questioned Biblical story of creation' 184
  undated Sam Johnson: W says Amazon Indians, Dyaks never leave wives 238
  early 1858 W note in Zoologist on variations of, & what is a, species 45
  Mar 1858 W wrote out his theory "carefully" On the Tendency of Vars 201
  Mar 9 1858 W posts Ternate letter to D via Dutch vessel 17
  1st complete written exposition of desc & div thru var & ns 19
  '.. last piece of jigsaw.. divergence of species.. before D 145
  Mar 9 1858 & W posts letter Fredk Bates via Dutch vessel to Leicester 17
  Mar 25 1858 W recovered from malaria lives 'alone' on New Guinea 206
  1858 Summer Description of the hot summer in England 69-71
  Jun 3 1858 W letter to F Bates arrives at Leicester 17 & n
  Jun 4 1858 Fri Speculative date of W's Ternate letter to D 16
  Jun 8 1858 Tue D writes to Hooker: species not immutable 14
  Jun 8 1858 Tue D writes to Hooker: missing "keystone" found 16
  D had kept Hooker completely in the dark until this time 52
  Jun 10? 1858 Robert Brown of Linnean Society died. ... 63
  Jun 14 1858 Mon D entry in "little diary" 16
  D's entry was pigeons 'interrupted' 20
  Jun 18 1858 Fri D publicly advanced this date for receipt of Ternate letter 16
  Date almost universally accepted for receipt(Darwin's word) 20
  D letter to Lyell with Ternate paper, as W had asked 21
  1st mention of W in Darwin's existing correspondence with Lyell 33
  Letters (4 vols) ed Francis D: zero from here to Aug 1856 31
  Jun 26 1858 Sat D letter to Lyell on 'my priority of many years..' 61
  D PS 'it would be dishonourable in me now to publish' 211
  Next 3 days: letters from Lyell & Hooker; destroyed or lost 61
  Jun 28 1858 D's mentally retarded son dies; Darwins are 'thankful' 62
  Jun 29 1858 D to Hooker, thanking him and Lyell (their letters missing) 61
  Jun 30 1858 Letter sent posthaste to Hooker despite death, diphtheria 63
  Jun 1858 D's big book 'interrupted' by Wallace's MS, says F Darwin 20
  Jul 1 1858 announcement of the theory of evolution 20
  Pre-this date D. had published no word on species question 21
  Linnean Society meeting moved Jun 17th to Jul 1; 'windfall' 63
  D's letter and sketch (received day before!) copied in time 64
  'Wallace and Darwin had exchanged [only] two letters' 64
  Wallace had published, despite L-H/ order 'Darwin-Wallace' 66
  Burlington House, Piccadilly: new item on agenda 70
  Reason for inclusion of Gray's obscure letter: divergence 71
  W didn't know of reading, or see proofs of published record 71
  Only 28 fellows, plus two visitors; Darwin also absent 72
  Geo Bentham elected v.p. Withdrew his own paper on fixity 72
  Not in 'little diary'; must have been deliberate 73
  Lyell's diary also must have deliberate omission 73
  No London newspaper reported the meeting 73
  Bell's annual addr to Linnean Soc 'no striking discoveries' 72
  GROWTH OF MYTH: G. Bentham 'day Darwin's paper was read..' 72
  Lyell 'no other hypothesis..' astounding 80
  Leonard Huxley see below 80
  Others: T Huxley/ Grant Allen/ Edward Clodd 80
  Wallace himself in 1908 repeats 'papers' 299
  1910 book by John Judd '.. not called.. investigation' 340
  W again demonstrated ignorance of events.. Sarawak.. Linn 225
  Jul 5 1858 D. to Hooker: letter of thanks 76
  Jul 18 1858 D. to Lyell on same lines 77
  Jul 20 1858 Thu D 'began abstract of species bk'-'little diary' gap Jun 14 20
  Aug 1858 W's Ternate letter (proofreader?) & Darwin extracts pubd 79
  Oct 6 1858 letter from W survived; W thought D working on 'great book' 212
  1859 The Origin of Species published 33
  '.. every new edition differed..' 59
  D to W: 'I had absolutely nothing.. L & H.. fair curse..' 78
  Critic says Origin's 1st 4 paras have I, me, my 43 times 225
  Jan 25 1859 Date of letter, D to W: abandoned big book/ Linnean Soc 215
  Apr 6 1859 Date of letter, D to W: bk to John Murray/ 'no references' 216
  Apr 12 1859 Dutch boat arrives at Ternate . 213
  Apr 12+ 1859 W has 2 letters from D: dated Jan 25 1859 & Apr 6 [sic] 215
  1860 W returns to Ternate; letter from D dated Nov 13 1859
  D says he's sending a copy of 'Origin' 221
  W receives the book (date unknown) '.. admiration' 223
  Note: 19th Century: Dutch war starts about now, lasts 40 years (fn) 230
  Spencer's 10 volume Principles of Sociology starts; W read proofs 253
  1860 Prof Haughton's remarks in fact are available $$$$ 74
  1860 Wilberforce and Huxley debate 'many versions of the event' 250
  May 18 1860 Date letter D to W: reaction of D to W's feelings on Origin 227
  1861 W to Sims says Origin "difficult" to read 225
  1861 W '.. symptoms of weariness..' 'yr's end.. end of.. tether' 230
  Sep 23 1861 Wallace request (in Dutch archives) study Sumatra & Bangka 183
  1862 Bangka 'known for its open-pit tin mines' 228
  1862? W looks at Mendelian inheritance; butterflies (in effect) 229
  1862 W parts with Ali, young Malay; they'd been inseparable 186
  W decides to return home with 8 yrs of specimens 231
  1862 Francis Darwin claimed D began preserving all correspondence 53
  Apr 7 1862 W in UK to D, saying he's ill/ earliest believed to exist 237
  late 1862 3rd edn of 'Origin' 'perhaps most famous' sent to W 242
  1862-1867 W writes about 30 papers and monographs; two fill 200 pp 250
  1863 Lady Lyell: Wallace was 'shy, awkward & quite unused to good society' 251
  Society names included Lyell, Argyll, Wheatstone, Lubbock 267
  1864 Bates' 2 vol 'The Naturalist on the River Amazons' 136
  1864 Sarawak recognized by British Govt. 25
  May 1864 W paper on 'Man' and 'natural selection checked' 243
  1864 W predicts earliest man in Africa 244
  Jan 29 1865 Date on letter D to W, on originality of Geog Journal stuff 245
  1865 Bates appointed assistant secretary of Royal Geog Society 260
  Mendel 'delivers a paper' to the Bünn Society 303
  1866 Wallace marries Annie Mitten after failed courtship Miss L 252
  1867 D asks Bates caterpillar & moth colours; Wallace replies 169
  Marx's 'Das Kapital' published (?German? Not clear) 275
  Apr 4 1867 Lyell to W. said Sarawak paper was clearer than Darwin 59
  1869 'The Malay Archipelago' by Alfred Russel Wallace published 263
  Has the 'Wallace Line' . 264
  Violet Isabell, 2nd child of Wallace, born (Isabel on 255!) 263
  Apr 14 1869 D writes to W about W the only man.. never demand justice 288
  Jan 12 1870 Flat earther challenges re earth; W involved for c 20 yrs 257
  1870 'Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection' by W. 280
  1871 Descent of Man.. Selection.. Sex, by Darwin, pubd; many AW refs. 282
  1872 Francis Galton at seances was 'utterly confounded' 283
  Sep 2 1872 D writes to W expressing grief over non-existent Museum job 260
  1873 Revised 'Antiquity of Man' by Lyell adopts Wallace 281
  1874 Herbert Spencer Wallace (Bertie) dies aged 7 254
  1875 Lyell's mistaken recollection (attrib to distastefulness?) 67
  Arabella Buckley, Lyell's secretary, dies aged 78 287
  1876 D's autobiog sketch written; omits Lyell agitation re S Law 33
  Wallace's 'The Geographical Distribution of Animals' 2 vols 264
  Engels: The Part Played by Labor.. Transition.. Ape to Man 277
  1878 Govt declares Epping Forest 'Open Space' (cp. Wm Morris) 262
  1878? W on animal colouring in 'Tropical Nature' 265
  1878-1898 Three of W's (inc. Darwinism) books translated into Russian 268
  1879 Ernest Krause says Erasmus D 1st establd a complete theory 29
  1880 W publishes 'Island Life', 'one of his greatest works' 165
  Dec 11 1880 Huxley completes 'memorial' to apply for pension for W. 288
  Jan 7 1881 Darwin informed a pension had been granted Wallace 290
  July 1881 D writes to W 'life has become very wearisome to me' 290
  Apr 18 1882 Charles Darwin's death 179, 291
  1883 W 'free of financial burdens for the first time since.. 14' 292
  1885 Grant Allen in 'English Worthies': Darwin never strove to.. 80
  1886 Wallace does speaking tour of US after meeting Robt Lowell 292
  W met his brother John Wallace 'prospered', in California 294
  1887 Wallace spends 4 days with author Wm Edwards in Coalburg 128
  Francis D completes vol 1 of D's letters; Huxley mentions W 38
  F claims most letters before 1862 were destroyed;'nonsense' 40
  Life & Letters: missing letters question evaded by F Darwin 296
  'Many omissions were considered necessary' - 6000 words 41
  Aug 11 1887 Wallace 'returned to England' says Brackman 295
  Nov 10 1887 W writes to F Darwin, 'not aware..your father so disturbed' 296
  W opts 'to remain in character' 296
  1888 International Flat Earth Society founded 259
  Mar 1889 Wallace's 'Darwinism' published; word coined by W (says B) 300
  Aug 1889 New edition of 'Darwinism'; and reprinted 302
  1891 Dubois finds "Java man" (date not in this book) 176
  W in 'reprint' of 'Contrib..' adds footnote + intro note 297
  'ample recognition' being 'Origin' 6th edn & F D's letters 297
  1893 Jane Gray ed late husband's ls; D destroyed them except 1 53
  Jane writes the Darwins and finds Asa's ls largely missing 297
  1896 T Huxley in 'Darwinia' said 'W forwarded the memoir..'## 80
  1897 Francis D's last vol D's letters; Sarawak Law only 1 ref 31
  1897 'Pioneers of Evolution from Thales to Huxley' Edward Clodd 355
  1898 'This Wonderful Century' by Wallace 101
  'The Wonderful..', W's recollection 'main points of theory' 200
  1900? Wallace & wife move for last time to Broadstone, Dorset 306
  Mar 21 1900 de Vries acknowledges Mendel 303
  1901 British Labor (sic) Party founded 274
  W for 1st time notes surprise that D. arrived same theory 298
  1902 Gaps in volumes 1 & 2 of Life & Letters; Lyell, H, H, et al supply 41
  1905 W recalls causes of evol'n 'appeared almost inconceivable' 199
  1906 Hooker's account, inc 'landmine' mystery of missing letters 68
  Bunbury's diary published, ed by Lyell's wife, intr. Hooker 298
  1908 Royal Geog Soc'y survey of Amazon river part 'holds good' 141
  Gold Darwin-Wallace medal 'cast' by Linnean Society 305
  Wallace receives OM (delivered to him) founded Edward 1901 305
  Jul 1 1908 Wallace's observations & mistake on 50th anniversary 299
  1909 Francis D announces find of D's 1842 essay 'hidden..' 41
  Makes Brackman suspect F may have found & burnt W's letters 41
  1913 US: Henry Fairfield Osborn on finest points of D's char 81
  Wallace's last book, 'Moral Progress'; passage perhaps on D 298
  Wallace wrote 'powerful tracts'; warning of catastrophic conflict 309
  Oct 29 1913 Ellsworth Huntingdon of Yale writes to Wallace for help 307
  Nov 7 1913 Wallace died in the morning 309
  Family 'like Darwin & Hooker' - oppose burial in W Abbey 310
  Gravesite x
  Dec 13 1914 Annie Wallace dies 310
  1915 W's son said he never heard W say an unkind word about B 137
  Nov 1 1915 Memorial plaque to W unveiled, in Westminster Abbey 310
  Jun 1916 James Marchant's Alfred Russel Wallace published - mentions missing wrapper 42
  1918 L Huxley, 'Life & Letters.. Hooker' W 'genuinely waived' 80
  1921 Wallace's desk slate presented to Linnean Society 237
  1924 Export of birds of paradise from Aru Islands, Moluccas, N Gui banned 188
  1930 The Genetical Theory of Natural Selection R A Fisher 355
  1930s ish Under Stalin 'forced.. accept Lamarck's doctrine' (no evid) 203
  1950 approx G de Beer edits D's "little diary" after it came to light 20
  1951 Brackman's first journey in Borneo; never saw an orang 192
  1953 Michel Perrin claims found Amazon source in Peruvian Andes 131
  1954 Garrett Hardin wrongly says D 'wrote a paper' 81
  1957 AAAS & 'Zoogeography' and Wallace Line etc 224
  1958 1st unexpurgated edition of Darwin's autobiography * 41
  1958 Loren Eiseley; but unilateral act & no D paper 83
  1958 Christiaan Barnard 'openly wept' over ape heart 191
  1959 C F A Pantin, of Linnean Society, on importance of Sarawak39
  Gertrude Himmelfarb 'Darwin..' scandalous commentary says B 82
  Forerunners of Darwin from Johns Hopkins, Wallace unindexed 83
  W's descendants find anaconda skin, present to Linnean Socy 181
  C D Darlington 'Darwin's Place in History'$$$ 347
  1960 Marston Bates 'written jointly' and with wrong date 81
  1961 Leonard G Wilson finds Lyell notebks on transmut of species 32
  'traumatic impact of the Sarawak Law upon Lyell..' 298
  1962 Gerhard Wichler in Charles Darwin on Ternate paper ### 83
  1964 Old Orchard, Wallace's last home, bulldozed for housing 310
  1968 Barbara Beddall$ not '.. noble'; D gained, stuff vanished 85
  John L Brooks$$ convinced W 1st & only to [solve] diversity 18
  1969 Neil Armstrong stood on the moon (sic)207
  1970 Edited vol on Darwin has essay by Gillispie$ on injustice 84
  1970 Nat Geog expedition claim re source of Amazon 131
  1973 Soviet Encyclopaedia has myths 84
  1970s? Herbert H Ross says prearrangement, and D & W read papers 82
  1970s South Moluccans and Netherlands 219
  1974 Carneiro resigns as Director of Brazilian Conservation 131
  1975 'Sociobiology: The New Synthesis' by Edward O. Wilson 277
  'The Ascent of Man' BBC TV series: Bruce Mazlish on Wallace 346
  1977 Brian Inglis 'Natural and Supernatural' 280
  1978 Brackman looks up 8 letters to W from D; wrapper gone **** 42
  Sept 1978 Scientific American issue on evolution; Ernst Meyr wrong 84
  Presents Wallace misleadingly 'doing fieldwork', suggests handout 219
  1980 Brackman: 'for more than 100 yrs bits & pieces available..' 78
  Eight Cambridge scholars expect complete Darwin's letters 21-46 this year 351

$ these are (or were) dissenting voices, pro-Wallace
$$ John L Brooks, R C Stauffer, & others may have suggested Brackman's thesis
$$$ Darlington 'made a shambles of Darwin's priority'; unclear what B means
$$$$ 'Haughton's devastating commentary on the "joint communication"' p 354
# This falls short of a proof that Francis Darwin's claim of letter destruction was wrong
## The point B makes is that Wallace forwarded it, but not for Linnean Society
### ''..no evidence..of the date.. D discovered.. divergence, and a case can be made that Wallace beat him to it.'
* Brackman doesn't say what the cut stuff was; may have been innocuous
** I don't think Brackman gives proof it was delivered/ NO! D replied
*** Brackman omits details of the 19 line commentary etc D made of Sarawak Law
**** Possibly Marchant just thought it wasn't valuable

Further Notes on 'A Delicate Arrangement'

Apr 1997: I emailed Western Connecticut State College to see if I could find Brackman. They never replied.
May 1997: I found by Internet 'person search' or something: Arnold C Brackman & Agnes, 10 Chickadee Lane, Brookfield, CT 06804-3001, US

Seeds of Brackman's 1980 book
[1] Brackman was some sort of correspondent in the Straits area, where e.g. he heard for the first time of the 'Wallace Line' (p23n 1946/ p 338). His book was published by a Time Life subsidiary (ironically, on p303 Brackman correctly says, with an example, 'Time-Life publications are generally considered poor source material')
[2] Wife Aggie from Surinam in South America (p133) must be Agnes, authoress of 'The Art of Indonesian Cooking' (174); some interest therefore in Amazon, too
[3] Author is/was an academic of some sort (p342 says at Western Connecticut State College)
[4] Interested in stamps; and [5] Not much knowledge of guns

Brackman's other books (published by 1980) are listed at the beginning as:
The Luck of Nineveh, The Search for the Gold of Tutankhamen, The Gold of Tutankhamen, The Dream of Troy, The Last Emperor, 'and other works'. A computer search revealed Brackman also wrote a 1987 work on Tokyo war crimes - see below

Brackman's research methodology is a bit vague though the last chapter ('Author's Note') has accounts of lots of his research.
    Foreword is on the point of Wallace's almost complete eclipse by Darwin. Richard Dawkins (I'm pretty sure) barely mentions Wallace and shows no familiarity with his works. (Therefore, from the revisionist viewpoint, Wallace ought to receive much greater attention). Brackman gives a detailed description of Darwin's careful accounting of his upper-middle-class household expenses, and his methodical approach to life; this is a significant part of his case against Darwin, since Brackman found it unbelievable that Darwin could lose letters of enormous scientific importance. See my review above on the social significance attached to Darwin because of his wealth.

Essentially Brackman's book is three sub-books. I A Delicate Arrangement deals with the arrival of Wallace's letters to Darwin. II The Green Infernos deals with Wallace and Bates' early lives (not just their travels). III The Nobility of Character refers to Wallace, not Darwin. These sections overlap, so some material is common to all three, adding some confusion. Brackman tends to reproduce only very small extracts from letters, and sometimes letters seem selected to tell different tales in different parts of Brackman's book.
    Brackman reminds me of Arthur Koestler in the sense he's an essayist who likes his own voice, and declines to supply an overview. Brackman doesn't anywhere summarise what he's saying about Wallace's priority. Brackman's assumes from the start what he's trying to prove, though he seems occasionally to doubt himself; I'm not sure how he became convinced. Many dates are tiresome to hunt down. My long table (above) is extracted from his book, and may be helpful to others checking the various claims. Chapter 34 is anomalously almost all on spiritualism, which was one of Wallace's interests, but not very relevant. Brackman seems right that Wallace was 'badly taken in.. not unlike some people.. today.. psychologists, psychiatrists, mystics, and evangelists. ..'

Wallace has a number of supporters who are mentioned by Brackman—e.g. Beddall, & John L Brooks, and C F A Pantin—but they aren't summarised in one place. Nor are the opponents of the Wallace priority idea, such as, I think, McKinney. Nor are people who raised puzzles, such as Loren Eiseley p356. Some of these are collected in the Author's note at the end.

Stylistic and Other
    Americanisms, some a bit odd; don't sit well in a book on Victorian England. '.. wrote [sc. to] Darwin.' '.. Wallace's Darwinism ran 494 pages.' Anyone from the USA is 'American'. 'Skim ice' occurs many times. 'Wallace lucked out'. 'Lucretius' view is so contemporary ..' (p29). Brackman gets 'disinterested' confused with uninterested (p225). Can an 'inferno' be green? And inevitably there are typos: e.g. 'dumfounded' (both pp 31 & 117). There seem to be incorrect passages (e.g. p86) where the sense has been lost and probably not properly proofread.
    Some of Brackman's British English is shaky. He doesn't seem to know a 'windfall' is to do with fruit trees, or that 'Labor Party' is 'Labour Party'. Peacock's Melincourt (with its caricature of Lord Monboddo) is obviously not known to him. But he quotes tho' Coleridge, Stillingfleet, something not in my references, on Darwinising as Erasmus Darwin's Oran Outang theology of the human race')
    Some dates are wrong - Lyell's Principles & 'Beagle' given two publication dates! 264 & 265 have conflicting dates re 'The Geographical Distribution of Animals'. Brackman clearly hadn't heard of Benjamin Kidd. His comments on Lancelot Hogben misplace him oddly as 'the controversial historian' (p178).

'Social Darwinism' pp276-278; mostly attributed to Germany (I think without historical justification as US, UK had similar attitudes). And of course Brackman doesn't answer the problem. And more on p346, blaming Darwin & saying Wallaceism would have been different and humanitarian. P347 mentions USA. Wallace on his travels seems justifiably to have had a high opinion of 'savages'. P140 has an extract by Wallace on a gun accident, '.. luckily missed a number of people..' which Brackman considers offers a 'profound insight' into Wallace's character; unlike Darwin's scale with black to white, or a 'subtle form of scientific racism' with e.g. H C Chapman on 'ascending forms' of chimp, idiot, Negro & Kalmuck' (p147). This assessment may be wrong though; Wallace also talks of 'repeopling' islands with vegetation.

Political views Brackman in particularly can't use 'socialism' without saying it is 'Utopian'; he seems not to know of Robert Owen and other.

Some Opinions of Brackman Which Seem Odd
    'The scheme was mad' of the proposal to go with Bates to the Amazon; in fact if Wallace hadn't had the bad luck of a ship fire, & later 'invested' very badly he would have been well-off.
    Brackman says of Wallace finding the ship which would burn all his work to date, 'For the first time in years, he was in luck.' (p154)
    On Wallace not settling down with his money, plus a gift from a relative (p270), but speculating and losing the lot, Brackman tamely says Wallace was a 'dreadful businessman and a miserable administrator.'

More Items from the Missing Index
24 James Brooke, on whom Joseph Conrad based characters
144 Batesian mimicry
167 Raffles
168 'The bird of paradise had never been exhibited in Europe'
271 Brackman comments on Russell, Linus Pauling, J B S Haldane.
278 Brackman thinks thoroughly unpopular causes charmed him; his source is or was 'a near-neighbour in Dorset', J W Sharpe.
276 Women's lib; unmarried from choice & poss. beneficial effect c p276. Brackman doesn't know Russell and no doubt many others had similar lines of reasoning.
329 Passenger pigeon.
344 Marchant & missing Wallace letters
Muklucho Maklay, Russian anthropologist type in daring deed
On cave men, Gladstone is quoted on 'so-called scientists who trace their ancestry to troglodytes' - I take it these latter are cave dwellers.
Somewhere there's a comment attributing to Wallace a view ascribed widely to Bakunin.

Brackman's mention of Timor (after invasion) sounds as tho' in 19th century

THREE INTERESTING POINTS emailed to me by Bob Williams (not verbatim; information unchecked):
[1] 'Linnaean society reaction to Wallace's letter 'must have been sheer panic'; he'd already upstaged them with Sarawak letter & might have sent his material to AANH or anywhere. Published without permission within two weeks; unprecedented for a paper?'
[2] 'Brackman lets Darwin get away with the statement that Wallace's paper arrived on the 18th & Darwin mailed it to Lyell that afternoon.. but this was 30 pages on a subject Darwin had worked on for years..'
[3] 'Brackman may have info he doesn't want to reveal' (or of course may not want to communicate with someone not known to him).


HTML, notes Rae West. Notes and research May 1997. This format upload 2014-01-06 to 2014-01-13