Wallace's letter on his shipwreck, 1852

Wallace's letter on his shipwreck, 1852

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Credit: NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Wallace's letter on his shipwreck. Letter written by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) to his friend the British botanist Richard Spruce (1817-1893), describing his shipwreck of 1852. Wallace had met Spruce in Brazil, from where he embarked on the ship 'Helen' on 12 July 1852. The ship caught fire 28 days into the voyage to the UK, and the specimens Wallace had spent years collecting were lost. Wallace and the crew spent ten days adrift in a boat before being rescued, continuing to London and arriving on 1 October 1852.

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