Even though you've heard of Darwin, it's quite possible that you're not familiar with Alfred Russel Wallace
), co-discoverer of the theory of evolution (a shame; in many respects he's the more interesting of the two!). Fortunately you can now learn more about the man through transcripts and scans of his letters with family and colleagues, which the UK Natural History Museum have just published online
. [more inside]
posted by barnacles
on Jan 29, 2013 -
"This is the story of Walter and Ina…"
"It begins before they met, when he was taking aerial photographs of occupied France from a Sopwith A2, and she was looking for work in rural Texas and worrying about the boys “over there.” They continued on separate paths until 1924." I'm a sucker for a good love story, and one that elicits nostalgia through historical documents is even better. Here is one such story. Although I have only just now begun to read the correspondence myself, I immediately thought that MeFi was a good place to share it. The curator of these letters is Dr. Alan Dove
, a virologist and podcaster
. Walter and Ina were his grandparents.
posted by Moody834
on Apr 10, 2011 -
from E.B. White, Mark Twain, Katharine Hepburn, E. E. Cummings, Alexander Hamilton, and Zero Mostel. From libraries and archives around NYC, via the NYT (more info here
posted by Miko
on Feb 14, 2010 -
Field Force to Lhasa 1903-04
Captain Cecil Mainprise accompanied General Sir Francis Younghusband's expedition to Tibet in 1903. He wrote 50 letters
home which trace the expedition’s progress into Tibet. Read this insider's account on the day they were written some 105 years later. Final post is 18 November 2009. [Via]
posted by Abiezer
on Apr 4, 2009 -
"John Adams and Abigail Smith Adams exchanged over 1,100 letters
, beginning during their courtship in 1762 and continuing throughout John's political career. These warm and informative letters include John's descriptions of the Continental Congress and his impressions of Europe while he served in various diplomatic roles, as well as Abigail's updates about their family, farm, and news of the Revolution's impact on the Boston area." The Adams Electronic Archive has transcripts [example
] as well as high-resolution scans [example
] of the letters. You may be familiar with some snippets of their correspondence from the movie musical "1776" ("Til Then"
and "Yours, Yours, Yours"
scenes on YouTube).
posted by amyms
on Sep 30, 2007 -
Darwin wrote to 2000 people during his life; 14,500 of these letters still survive. The Darwin Correspondence Project
is putting annotated transcriptions of these online, and they've covered about 5,000 so far, including a letter written when he was 12 after he had got into trouble with his sister for not washing regularly while at school
. There's an intro here
. See also Darwin Online
, discussed here
. And the prolific network theorist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi has co-authored a paper on statistical similarities between Darwin's and Einstein's correspondence (#51
on the list).
posted by carter
on May 16, 2007 -
“The thing about the Kraut and me is that we have been in love since 1934, when we first met on the Île de France, but we’ve never been to bed. Amazing but true. Victims of unsynchronized passion.”
Author Ernest Hemingway
and actress Marlene Dietrich
met while traveling
across the Atlantic. Their friendship lasted until the Nobel Prize-winning author's death in 1961. In 2003, the JFK library
received a donation
from Marlene Dietrich's daughter of 30 letters, cards, and other documents that had been written to her mother by the author. Hemingway's estate had already donated 31 letters from Dietrich. These letters have now been unsealed
and are set to go on view
posted by miss lynnster
on Mar 29, 2007 -
Notorious American correspondence player and chess writer
'A convicted murderer who was
sentenced to death but reprieved, Bloodgood was the best
known of US prisoner players.'
I love obituaries. And what could be sweeter than the cold hand of death dragging Chess Rogues
down to Gehanna?
posted by crunchburger
on Oct 29, 2001 -