Alfred Russel Wallace

(2912 words)
  • Shannon R. Wooden (Missouri State University)

Perhaps best known today as a catalyst to, or coincidental co-developer of, Darwin’s theory of natural selection, a man whose life Steven Jay Gould laments as a “permanent footnote” in the popular history of science, Alfred Russel Wallace was actually a prominent scientist in his own right, deserving at his death the laudatory claims made by recent biographers: Martin Fichman hails Wallace as “one of the greatest Victorian naturalists” (11), and Gould describes him as “one of the most brilliant biologists and interesting men of nineteenth-century science” (xi). Though “all but vanished from popular consciousness” in the twenty-first century (n.p.), Wallace made numerous contributions to Victorian scientific thought, …

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Wooden, Shannon R.. "Alfred Russel Wallace". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 January 2011
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Scientific Thought and Applications